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

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Lina had taken careful note of the situation, not one to be easily distracted by monstrous talk. She'd fought enough things running off the need to be better than everything and all of creation to be distracted by it's talk of surviving, and surpassing. Lina was too busy seeing that Blizzard wasn't nearly as effective as she was earlier, and that Marcus seemed to have a better time melting it than electrocuting it.

Great, it can change it's weaknesses. She thought. The best idea she had that came to her mind was to switch elements on her sword. Distancing it from her body a bit, Lina had to take the extra time to force the sword from arctic frigidness to scalding heat. The sword was bright with heat and glowed with the power of it. Turning the bladed end of her sword towards the preoccupied monster, she bent down a bit more and let out a cry of battle. "YeeaaAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" The furious warrior woman leaped towards it's side, cleaving the scalding hot sword though about half it's mid-section, but not bisecting it. She had noticed that the beast could feel pain as well, and if she couldn't much destroy it, maybe she could drive it to submission.

"Come on, just freeze, damnit..." Blizzard cursed as her freezing wasn't doing as much as she'd wanted, even with increased power. It probably didn't help that her team mates were using different elements as well, since her ice got melted thanks to the electricity from Faraday, and now Persephone was using heat against it. Heat slashes, but it was all the same.

She was about to get furious when she got an idea. Wait a minute. Heating it could actually benefit me. Maybe if we heat it enough, freezing it will work better, making it crack and harden. It wouldn't necessarily be frozen in ice, but it would still be hard enough to not reform after having parts of it broken off. "Keep at it, guys! New plan! Heat that sucker up so that I can freeze it better! Faraday, keep doing your thing with electricity! And Persephone, continue to slash at it with your heated sword! Just remember to switch to ice once we're done heating it up enough." This plan had to work, because she didn't want to spend any more time doing this than she had to. The sewer water stayed frozen as it was, since Blizzard had used a fairly low temperature to freeze it.

'Oh, this isn't good...'

Marcus could feel the monster bristle as he let loose the charge, but whether or not it did any lasting damage didn't seem to matter, as it simply picked him up and tossed him to the ground. Dazed, he looked up to see the monster's appendage morph again, this time to excrete a thick, tarlike ooze.

Before he could react, it was upon him, pressing down on him like a ton of bricks. 'Shit! If I let this thing keep going, it'll bury me alive!' Looking to his HUD, it relayed he had chewed up most of his capacitance in that last attack - he was down to 22%. 'Fuck. FUCK. That's not much to work with, not at all. Unless...' His thoughts briefly turned to a metal cylinder in his overcoat pocket, gently thrumming, pulsing with electrical potential...

'NO. I can't use that thing here. I have no idea how it would react in an environment as damp as these sewers.' He turned what little of his body he could to face Blizzard, and summoned what little breath he was able, the ooxe starting to restrict his breathing. "Blizzard! Persephone! A little help before this thing buries me alive!?"

"Stop! Thief! Someone help!"

No sooner had the scream left the panicked woman than a man of twenty-six was bolting after the culprit. He gave a hurried order, "Call authorities," as he passed the victim. Mark Robinson dodged and weaved through the crowded streets of Manhattan, his quarry roughly shoving people aside in attempts to run from the scene. Moron. By doing so, he only made himself more of an obvious target.

The man in the black hoodie turned into an alley after a minute or so, skirting a large dumpster. Mark, however, sprang upwards, one gloved hand catching the edge, and twisted in mid-air to vault over it. Landing lightly, he continued his pursuit with almost no change in the distance between the hunter and the hunted. Lamp post at the corner. Out shot a hand to grab it, and Mark pushed off from the ground to swing around his temporary axis. He was gaining on the would-be thief, ever so slightly.

Now? a familiar voice prompted the familiar question in Mark's mind. Talsper was still guessing about the right time to make the exchange. Mark didn't blame him: guessing wasn't easy. His method of pursuing a target was, by nature, freeform and improvised.

Not yet. I'll let you know when you can take over, Mark answered silently, knowing his friend would hear him. Just remember to keep running.

Jump up. Catch the ledge. Over. Fall. Roll with the landing. Back on his feet in a heartbeat. A familiar sequence, performed countless times prior to today. It was far quicker than taking the stairs down as the thief had done.

Two Minutes Later

Thief on the streets, grabbed something he shouldn't have, got caught, made a break for it. Broad daylight. Being pursued by... someone. She was unspecific. Find and detain the thief. Shouldn't be a problem. Those thoughts ran through the mind of the Seraphim agent known as Justicar as she took to the skies on her wings of white and teal.

She had taken the call, redirected from police to Seraphim, and assured the victim that the organisation would handle it. There was no need to call for backup: Justicar could handle a petty criminal on her own, with her considerable skill as a martial artist and her natural ability to chase down her foe. Flying was faster than running.

Kurt jumped from rooftop to rooftop as he tried to keep up with the flying drone. Although he was completely invisible, he kept a safe distance so he could calculate his route accordingly. The machine flew overhead at a constant speed, making very few course adjustments. Its path seemed to be a slower, more roundabout one, as opposed to a straight shot back to wherever it came from. A sound decision.

Suddenly, the drone took a sharp turn downwards into an alleyway while Kurt was in mid-leap. He was unable to change his course and ended up landing on the next rooftop and crashing to the ground. He cursed silently as he got back up and looked around for the drone. It seemed to have finally shaken him off.

"Shit..." Kurt mumbled as he looked down on the bustling street below him. Somewhere among the mass of humanity was their target, safely out of their reach. The drone was his only lead and that managed to escape. Not a good way for his first mission with Seraphim to end. He reached for his phone to contact Waldemar and Arlana, and stopped when he noticed something. One of the taxis driving by seemed a little...off. Kurt couldn't but his finger on it, but there was something peculiar about that vehicle. It was almost as if it was skipping frames...

'Just like the hologram outside the clinic...'

Kurt withdrew his phone. "Spectre here. I think I might have our man."

'Think is the operative word.'

He jumped from the rooftop, aiming himself towards the "taxi." Dropping his cloak, he focused energy to cushion his descent and landed somewhat roughly on a nearby vehicle. He immediately took aim at the suspicious car and fired a blast of ectoplasm toward it.

The flesh blistered as the woman with the sword sliced through it almost like a hot knife through butter. But that didn't matter, the man in goggles wasn't angry anymore, in fact he had the look of a rabbit staring off into the headlights of the car that would crush it. More words were said, but they didn't matter, Morph was retaking ground in the fight and the rush of adrenaline, despair, anger and hate gave it one hell of a rush. The man knew he was finished and Morph would make sure of it. He focused on crushing the man before his comrades could help him or before any last stands or desperation attacks could happen, letting a wave of ooze inch closer and closer to the man's face. Hastily thinking of Faraday's imminent defeat, Morph was joyfully that one more annoyance would be stopped. It regarded the man as below its creator, especially after the 'rabid dog' insult. Morph would show him, as a rabid dog only mindlessly attacks and Morph would take him down with thoughtful, albeit on the fly, strategies. Fire, frost or lightning, it didn't matter, Morph would endure and eradicate.

"Marcus!" Shouted Lina, hurrying to her companion's aid as he was being smothered by the very large tendril. This would have to be fast. Twisting around to face Morph again, she took of at a dead sprint with her weapon. She ran her way behind Morph and raised her sword high above her head, the flow of battle leading her movements. She hacked and hacked repeatedly at the tendril that ended at the large mass that was about to smother Marcus with great speed, burning through with every cut. She was going to chop this thing to bits if it took all night and every single swing brought from her an angry grunt, like one of those female tennis players.

This blob wasn't about to give up, it seemed, as it was attempting to smother and, as far as Blizzard thought, devour Faraday. "Oh no you won't! It's enough that you got those people on the streets, you're not going to get him too!" Persephone stepped up to try and cut Faraday loose, but was having some trouble. Lets try and help with that...

She began to shoot icicles at the blob and the part of it that held Faraday. Hopefully this would work, because otherwise, they'd be one man down and a blob who not only would devour people, but would be able to control electricity like Faraday did, and that was not something Blizzard was about to let happen. She kept at it with her icicles, not stopping until Faraday would be free. "Hang in there!" she called to him. "We will get you free!"

Between Lina and Blizzard, even the blob couldn't keep its grip - in no time, the tendril was severed cleanly in two. Marcus took this opportunity to scramble to his feet, still covered in an ooze roughly the consistency of motor oil. It reeked of blood and burnt rubber.

The trauma of their assault seemed to finally be taking its toll, however slight. As the tendril came loose, the monster let off what Marcus assumed to be a growl. Whether of pain or annoyance, he couldn't tell. 'If it's hurt, we should take this opportunity to put it down for good.' Rushing behind Lina, he touched his hand to the power main and readied himself for another draw.

The bolt of ecto-plasm sizzled past Red Coyote's head a slammed into the gurney. It burned a gaping hole through the blanket and into the pile of medicine. Shit! What in the hell was that? "B.O.B. trace the shot." He commanded, did his best to limit the damage. Meanwhile, his Battle Observation Bot program examined the video feeds from the SPD's and found the trajectory of the shot. It alerted Red Coyote to the origin of the shot. Doesn't seem to be anyone there. But that wouldn't be the first trick of the light today. {/i} He switched his Glock to full auto. Dis-engaged the taxi hologram, aimed at origin of the ecto-blast, and sprayed. In less than a second his magazine was empty. He took the brief moment of confusion to get off the road an into an alley-way. He checked his computer, the rest of the SPD's would be here in three minutes. [i] Stall for three minutes then I should have enough SPD's to brute force an escape. He took cover behind a dumpster and holstered his Glock, retrieving the G3 that he had strapped to his back. He steeled his nerves for what would come next, but first he had to buy as many seconds as he could.

"So tell me, what are you going to do to me if you catch me?" He asked, attempting to gauge or at least locate his adversary, he had no idea if his last barrage if did anything, but he knew others would be coming soon.

Despite the concentration of Morph's effort on trapping the electric man, his team-mates managing to cut him loss and it was looking like Morph should be thinking of cutting its losses right about now as one of its many tendrils was cut off. Morph, not able to keep the pain inside any longer, let loose a haunting howl. The man slumped away from the wall to the wires with gritted teeth and looked at the power main with vigour. This man was out to get Morph and Morph wouldn't have that.

If the man wanted Morph, he would have Morph, and so would the others. It would enjoy this little challenge. Stretching itself into a long coil of flesh, Morph twisted itself around the the Seraphim bloodhound in reach, namely the electric man and the swordswoman, constricting them like a python. They would suffer, then if luck would have it, their windpipe would break and with one final twist, so would all those arteries in his neck. Time to finish this.

Cars screeched to a halt and pedestrians fled as the weapon's report rolled through the city blocks. Kurt started to move when he saw the gun, but still ended taking several rounds in the chest. His kevlar vest caught them, but the impacts were enough to knock the wind out of him and cause him to stumble backwards. The masked man took off into an alleyway as Kurt regained his balance. Although a bit shaken, he gave chase. This man was a clear threat to public safety that had to be neutralized as soon as possible.

"So tell me, what are you going to do to me if you catch me?"

The voice came from the alley. From what it sounded like he was taking a stationary position. And likely armed. Kurt engaged his cloak and peeked around the corner. Just as he thought, the man was taking position behind a dumpster, behind the sights of an assault rifle. The kevlar vest worked fine against smaller rounds, but that rifle would tear Kurt to shreds. Getting rid of that gun was top priority.

Taking a deep breath, Kurt channeled ectoplasmic energy into his hands. Had he not been cloaked, they would have been glowing an extremly vibrant purple. He could feel his hands getting warmer as more energy found itself gathering into his palms. Using this much energy at once was a good way to fatigue himself, but he had to hit hard enough to stagger the man and disarm him.

Let's go.

Kurt swung around the corner, unleashing the twin bursts of energy as he charged forward. The dumpster took the hit from one of the blasts, the kinetic energy denting the metal and scorching the green paint around it. The second hit the criminal square in the chest, which forced him back and threw his arms out. Seeing the opportunity, Kurt dropped his cloak and hit the man in a running tackle that knocked the rifle out of his hands. He shoved his opponent away so he had enough space to throw a left hook at him.

The criminal was knocked flat against the wall by the first ecto-blast. The right shoulder of his coat caught on fire, as he tried to pull the sleeve off Kurt tackled and disarmed him. Spectre pushed him back before the fire could burn him and as he lined up his punch, but the criminal laughed. He drove the pointed snout of his helmet into Kurt's fist, and then crouched. Before unsheathing his knife and diving upward at Spectre, he slipped the blade in just under his vest. As Spectre crumpled, the criminal did not miss a beat as he stabbed him two more times before leaving the knife in the wound.

"So I guess that was a rhetorical question. Well then, keep the knife, it's dirty now. Also," He reached in his pocket and retrieved a cheap, pre-paid cell-phone. He typed in "911" and handed it two Kurt, "I dare you to dial them! By the way I'm Red Coyote, I apologize for not introducing myself earlier, frankly my manners are abysmal now a days."

Then the dark corners of the alley seemed to spread, grow, and meld together. The darkness flowed over Red and what remained of the gurney. The it receded, and Red Coyote was gone.


The back-up SPD's had arrived, and after orchestrating his grand exit he handed the gurney off to two of them. With their claws they grabbed the frame and took it off into the sky, disguised as an errant cloud. Meanwhile Red continued to run through New York city, using the SPD's to remain hidden. Finally he approached the water-front. Stole a boat, and sailed back to his lair.

The thief was fast, for a change. He'd gotten himself into a building and had begun to take the stairs up. Mark was still on his tail, not bothering to waste breath on yelling at him. Within ten minutes the hunter and the hunted were on the building's roof. The thief was starting to tire: Mark was not. He was in his element.

Two figures on a roof nearby, one running towards the building's edge, the other emerging from the roof access doorway. Justicar noted that one of the two was dressed in black, just as the woman on the phone had described. She dropped a little in altitude to get a closer look.

The thief was at the edge of the roof now, looking towards the building opposite. It was lower. He could make the jump. Maybe.

Mark stopped short a few metres from the guy. Now was the time to speak. "Don't do it, bud. You'll break something. Just give me that purse, and then I'm turning you in. No-one has to get hurt."

The thief didn't move for a short while... and then he jumped. Mark shook his head almost immediately. Without a run-up, there was no extra forward momentum to get you across. The guy was lucky: he landed almost exactly on the edge, executing a badly done roll away from the edge as soon as he landed. He'd hurt himself, though. When he got to his feet, he winced visibly and began limping away, favouring one leg.

Mark backed up a short way. He wasn't getting away any time soon. Taking a deep breath, he made his approach run, building up speed as he moved. One foot on the lip of the building, pushed off without a hitch. An almost perfect landing. He ended up rolling a different way than normal, but was back on his feet in no time.

Fascinating. Seems people have no qualms about jumping from building to building these days. Justicar was watching intently, soaring above the scene. She would intervene if the thief got away.

Now, Talsper. Almost immediately Mark's right hand began to glow a bright gold. The thief, amazed that his pursuer had followed him across the gap, performed a double-take at the sight of the glowing hand and the change in Mark's posture. He had drawn up to his full height, giving the thief an imperious look with his now golden eyes. Talsper was in control.

"Desist in thine efforts to flee, vagabond, or I shalt personally ensure that thou dost yield," Talsper ordered, raising his hands in preparation of a spell.

"The fuck did you call me?"

"Didst thou not hear me?"

"Y'know what? No. You back the fuck up, right now." The guy pulled a pistol from inside his hoodie. Talsper immediately performed a swift flick and released a red wave of heat from one hand. Caught in the surprise attack, the thief's gun-hand was burned. A snarl of pain and the clatter of metal on the roof was the result. Talsper closed the distance between himself and the thief, drawing on the Aura within his ring to conjure twin orbs of flame.

"I shalt reiterate. Desist and yield, or suffer further."

Cowed, the thief tossed the stolen purse on the ground and began nursing his burned hand. "Ahh... God, that hurts. We good? Can I go?"

"No. You can't." A woman's voice interjected, coming from Talsper's right. Justicar landed lightly on the building's roof and strode towards the two. "Agent Justicar of Seraphim. You're under arrest on charges of theft, bucko. I'm handing you over to the police."

Talsper smirked at the thief's reaction: his face had fallen at the sight of the winged woman. Justicar shot a glance at him as she pulled out a cellphone. "You seem capable enough. I'll speak with you later. For now, watch him," she ordered as she stepped away to make a call.

That thing with the gun was too close for comfort, Mark commented. We haven't had to deal with weapons all that much.

She might not have been able to freeze the tendril that broke off, but Blizzard was quick to draw her laser gun and shoot with it at the tendril, vaporizing it into nothing like she'd done before with the frozen clump. However, now they had another problem as the blob began to coil around Faraday and Persephone like some kind of snake. Why it didn't include her, she did not know. But she had to get them free.

What could she do, though? The blob was resisting her ice attacks, which was the only way she could deal damage. She could always shoot more icicles, but that left the possibility that she'd shoot her own teammates, and she wouldn't have that happen. What were her options?

Hmmm, she thought. Perhaps if she were to splash water on it... but she'd frozen it earlier, and even if she hadn't, Faraday ran a risk of losing control over his electric powers if he got wet. And her laser gun only worked on smaller parts...

She'd have to do what she could do, though. She focused her powers on the humidity inside the sewer to compress it into a shape near her. She held her hands in a ready position to grab whatever she shaped the ice into. A weapon formed, and she was holding a claymore of ice. Thick enough not to break immediately, but not too heavy for her since she wasn't as strong as Persephone. She charged at the blob with the claymore raised, intending on cutting them loose.

The first thing Kurt noticed was a sudden spike of pain that shot up his wrist as the punch connected with the criminal's helmet. It caught him off guard just long enough for the man to duck underneath him strike him in the stomach. The blow knocked the air out of his lungs and caused him to double over with a stifled groan. Somewhere between the second and third strikes, Kurt realized that he was being stabbed. The adrenaline rush suppressed the pain just long enough for him to stand up straight before stumbling forward and collapsing to the ground. Blood flowed freely from his wounds, quickly staining his shirt a dark red.

"So I guess that was a rhetorical question. Well then, keep the knife, it's dirty now," the man said as he dropped something on the ground next to Kurt. It was a cell phone, with the numbers 911 already entered on the screen. "I dare you to dial them!" he taunted with an air of cockiness. "By the way I'm Red Coyote, I apologize for not introducing myself earlier, frankly my manners are abysmal now a days." And with that, Red Coyote took off into the alleyway, disappearing into the shadows.

Kurt tried to get back up, but the pain was just too much. He collapsed again and watched as his target disappeared with a mix of anger and helplessness. A sharp, jabbing sensation in his gut reminded him that Coyote's knife was still stuck in him. As much as he wanted to remove it, he knew very well that taking it out would cause even more problems. Fighting the pain, he reached into his pocket and pulled out his phone. The device was stained with blood.

"I'm down..." Kurt said between grit teeth. "Suspect got away...I need help!"

The New York City shoreline was now a sliver on the horizon behind him. Red Coyote estimated he was a little less than half-way, and well out sight. So he took the opportunity to turn off the engine and perform some first-aid much needed first aid. The plasma blast left a wicked scorched mark across his chest and right shoulder. His trench-coat it and the flak jacket off he started to get a better view of the damage. A bruise was developing across his chest. Even through the layers of clothes and kevlar the sheer heat of the blast stinging left first degree burns across his chest. If I hadn't been wearing my flak-jacket that hit would've floor me, not sure I would've been able to get back up. He reached into his utility belt and removed a compact first-aid kit. Inside he kept medical-glue, painkillers, Neosporin, and bandages. He popped a painkiller into his mouth and then got to work spreading Neosporin over his burns. When he finished he put his shirt back on, restarted the engine and headed towards his lair. As he got on his way he considered the wounds he had left that hero with. He doubted they would be fatal, gut wounds rarely kill instantly, and he knew for a fact Seraphim spared no expense on its agents healthcare. Which is good, because the last thing I need is a Hero chasing my ass to the end of the Earth because I killed partner.

Morph just watched more of itself be vapourised away. And with that, it was the breaking point, Seraphim had made a mockery of Morph, so Morph would make a mockery of them. Anger flooded its brain, breaking the cool edge of a pouncing predator. The edge that Morph had relied upon, had counted as an advantage against its prey - a kill in cold blood was swift and efficient, the opposite would be messy and wasteful. Well, bugger that. This fight had turned into one that was more about survival than anything else, to Morph, it was either winning and succeeding or death, whether it would be just vapourised by the ice lady as the frozen tendril was, or stuck in the Seraphim labs somewhere, being tested to death. Well, Morph did not want to end up in that situation again. Its creator's actions were at the brink of tolerable, but an entire Seraphim science team? That would be unbearable.

The ice lady was charging up to it with some sort of giant sword, she had even be a threat now, now that she had stopped staring in disbelief at the decreased effectiveness of her powers. They were almost rendered redundant with little change Morph had made to its cellular structure. Time to do that again. At least Morph had something to toy around with other than being shocked by a human conduit of electricity. But then again, such things could be copied to an extent, but that brought no real benefit, not here, not now. As she approached, Morph coiled round and round, tighter and tighter, as a carapace grew and rendered the frontal half of Morph's body stiffer and stiffer. It produced a sound rather like a chuckle, as Morph form it amusing that most of its current arsenal came from marine creatures. Maybe it should give domination over the oceans a shot?

All musing aside, whatever happened now, there were at least two possibles: the thick carapace would withstand the blow, or that the overzealous charge would strike through and hit her companions as well. After all, that sword was probably bigger than Morph itself.

"Gath." Arlana spat, then focused on the shift, the stone crawling across her body, wings ripping out of her back. Shetapped her earpiece. "Spectre, I'm on my way. Just hold on." The Gargoyle took a running start and leapt into the air, her wings filling and catching a thermal drifting out of a sewer grate, propelling her high into the air. "Control, I need directions to Spectre."

The person on the other end quickly rattled out directions to her. She tucked her wings and dove low, skimming only a few feet over street level, cars screeching to a halt at her approach and in her wake. It wasn't important, they'd be alright. Kurt, on the other hand, couldn't wait. She twisted in flight and beat her wings, sending her to the side, down an alleyway. Just ahead she could see Kurt, and she filled her wings with air, slowing her and dropping her to the pavement. She ran the rest of the distance to his side.

"Where's that medevac? I'll meet them on the way." She said into her earpiece, then turned her attention to Kurt. "Hang in there. And grab on and hold tight."

Striking the blob, the claymore didn't cut through. As Blizzard should have expected, but she didn't want to just leave her companions behind. However, she knew that this was too much for then. She picked up her cell and contacted Seraphim. "Seraphim HQ! I need immediate backup! We have a murderous blob who's holding my teammates tightly and I can barely hurt it! We're in the nearby sewer!" She got a response for the backup, and was told to hold on somehow. She put the cell down and couldn't do anything but wait. In the meanwhile, the blob kept squeezing Persephone and Faraday, intending on watching them suffer before devouring them.

However, it couldn't do that for long before it was hit with liquid nitrogen from the backup from Seraphim, making parts of it freeze faster than Blizzard's ice powers could. Even with the AFP, it managed to freeze. A howl was let out as it let go of Persephone and Faraday, who got away from the blob. Slowly being frozen, the blob tried to escape while parts of it fell off and gave off howls of pain because of the extreme cold. Blizzard was quick to shoot the parts with her laser gun to evaporate the parts to they wouldn't be able to rejoin with the blob.

The blob was now much smaller than it had been when Blizzard, Faraday and Persephone encountered it first. Still being shot with liquid nitrogen, it kept attempting escape while looking for holes or anything to escape into away from these Seraphim agents. It did see a convenient hole and crawled into it, getting far away from the liquid nitrogen. Blizzard cursed that it got away, but was glad that Faraday and Persephone were alright. All three of them headed back towards Seraphim along with the backup Blizzard had called for.

Seraphim's medical staff that had been called for met up with Arlana and Kurt and brought him into the ambulance they'd come on. They all headed back to Seraphim HQ, with Waldemar not far behind in the car that had brought him and Kurt there. Once there, Kurt was brought to the medical floor of Seraphim where he would need to be taken care of until he'd fully recovered.

Both teams, excluding Kurt for obvious reason, reported to Christopher to brief him on their respective missions. While neither team had succeeded in capturing the villains in question, they had all come back alive, and that was what mattered the most. All of them would get paid soon enough, however they wanted to be paid, and were allowed to roam around the Seraphim building or wherever else they wanted to go so long as they had their cell on them. They were all dismissed from Christopher's office, who sat down behind his desk and pondered what to do regarding both villains. They would attempt again, no doubt. And that time, he'd be prepared.

The Seraphim woman, Justicar, had quickly carried off the injured thief and turned him over to police custody, while Mark regained control over his body and returned the purse to its rightful owner. Ordinarily he refused any form of recompense - he was just trying to help - but the would-be victim had insisted on giving him a small amount of cash. Mark hated it when people gave him money for helping them. Made him feel like he was the one doing the robbing.

Be it a crime should they desireth to compensate thee for thine efforts? Talsper queried.

Well, no, but... that's the third time this month. Someone steals from someone else, we help them, the victim gives us something. I still have that girl's number from two weeks ago, his companion replied, a little irritated by the 'gift' of charity. I should stick that note in the bin when we get home.

Ah, yes... the maiden named Rina. Why didst thou not contact her as she hath instructed?

Because I have no intention of willingly visiting someone who dresses like that, Mark shot back as he turned and began to walk home. And with that kind of attitude to giving strangers her number, she's certainly no 'maiden'.

Thou dost make a fair point about her sense of apparel. She could pass for a courtesan - Talsper cut himself off as the flapping of large wings could be heard by both the traceur and the magician. Justicar landed in the street, folded her wings and casually walked up to Mark, ignoring the gasps of appreciation and clicks of phone cameras.

"That was an interesting display you pulled off back there," she began. "Chased a man to the rooftops, leapt a gap between two buildings without taking a scratch, and then... I don't know what you did to burn his hand, but it's clearly not something that most people have freely available. Ever think about a career with Seraphim? We're always looking for new talent. You may want to consider it."

Mark raised his eyebrows at the proposition. That was certainly something new. Seraphim was a prominent organisation in the media; there had been a string of advertisements recently, and Justicar's suggestion backed them up. "Hmm... suppose I were interested. What then?" he asked.

"If you want I can call ahead and book an interview time for you," Justicar suggested.

Mark quickly shot that idea down. "Ah, that won't be necessary. I'll need to confer with my friend who assisted in taking down that thief. We'll call Seraphim ourselves." He neglected to indicate Talsper's ring, though: it was highly unlikely that the existence of the extraplanar being would be believed.

"Suit yourself. I'll still fast-track you to a high priority on our list of applicants. I'll need your name, number and address to do so." After Mark gave his contact information to the Seraphim agent, Justicar took a run-up and leapt into the air without a backward look, leaving the traceur to his own devices... and at the mercy of the public in the area. They promptly swarmed him asking questions about his connection to the organisation of heroes.

It took Mark a good ten minutes to extricate himself from the crowd that surrounded him, and he promptly departed into an alley, jumped a low wall and found himself on the other side of the city block.

So... are we to join this band of superheroes that we have seen in the newsreel? Talsper asked on the way home.

Newspaper, and... well, I don't know. I'll have to think it over, hit up their website, draft a CV... and what the heck am I going to say to explain you? Having a friend from another plane of reality tended to complicate matters.

Mayhap the ensuing conversation shalt make things clearer to Seraphim. They hath likely seen much that not even I know of.

Mark stifled a laugh at that comment. He figured that after over six hundred years of life, it was likely that you had seen everything.

Marcus left Adelbert's office with a pronounced frown on his face. He'd let his enemy humiliate him and escape twice in three days - this time, in front of the people he was supposed to work with.

'Some hero I am. I can't even keep myself safe in those skirmishes. If Blizzard's backup hadn't arrived so quickly...' He shuddered to think of what that blob had in mind. It had devoured an entire street's worth of people with next to no effort - he wasn't terribly keen to find out what their final moments had been like. He flexed his hand, watching as the sparks flew from his fingers. 'For all my raw power, I can't stand up to an enemy that could just beat my skull in.'

He pounded his fist into the wall outside his apartment, his expression contorting to a mixture of frustration and desperation. 'I'll I've ever wanted was to help people. And I can't even do that anymore. Am I just... not cut out to be a hero?'

His demeanor somber, he staggered into his room. At least he had a decent place to sleep...

Arlana felt no shame for the failure. They had failed to apprehend their enemy, yes, but against a new enemy with unknown abilities the intelligence they had gathered was worth it. No civilians had been harmed or anything more than shaken up. It was not a victory, true, but it wasn't really a defeat either. Next time would be different.

After a short stop at the Research and Development branch of Seraphim - checking on prior requests for a spear capable of surviving her wielding it and armor that she could wear in both forms - she headed for the Medical Wing, to assuage the only thing troubling her, Spectre's injury.

She walked through, now shifted back into her Human form, her red hair tied back in a ponytail and clad in jeans and a t-shirt with a denim jacket thrown over it. Barefoot though, oddly enough. It didn't take long to find where Spectre was being held.

"You're Spectre, right? I didn't get an opportunity to introduce myself. Arlana Dehannsen." She didn't offer to shake, instead just bowing her head respectfully. "How're you feeling?"

In the three short hours that spanned Justin's time in class, he managed to customize the Seraphim smartphone to his preferences, one of more noticeable features being the music that blared from a pair of headphones connected to the device. Music, in which, the boy had no qualms with reciting as he stepped through the self-sliding doors of Seraphim Tower.

"I left my girl back hoooooome...I don't love her no mooore..." He sung loudly as he traversed through the empty lobby of the building, his undulating vocal tones echoing through the dim halls. Stepping towards one of the executive elevators, he continue to sing as he waited for the mode of transport to open. "And she'll never fuckin' know thaaat...these fuckin' eyes that i'm staring aaat~..." Soon, another set of doors opened before Justin, and soon he was elevated to the Residence floor.

"Bring your love baby, I can bring my shaame. Bring the drugs baby, I can bring my pain-Huh?" Justin's crooning was interrupted as he stepped off the elevator. His smaller phone was vibrating, a picture of Joesph Case appearing on the screen. Pausing the music, Justin removed the headphones from his ears and addressed his father.

"Hey dad...yeah, class ended not too long ago, i'm at the Seraphim building now...I actually got hired earlier today, and they actually have housing arrangements here, i'm actually walking to my apartment as we speak...yeah, I was thinking of chilling here, at least for the night..." He replied, traveling down the long corridor of the residency block before stopping at his door. Across the hall, a relatively downtrodden man slowly approached his own door. Justin payed little-to-no attention to the man, too engaged in his own conversation to give his fellow employee the time of day.

Seraphim had amazing medical care, Kurt quickly learned. The moment he arrived back at headquarters, he was rushed into the infirmary and stitched up. He was knocked out for the procedure, but a nurse informed him later that it had taken less than 45 minutes. It was as if he never went under at all; the drowsiness induced by the anesthetic had worn off only minutes after he woke up.

The room he was wheeled into now looked like something out of a science fiction movie. He was hooked up to fancy gadgets and monitors that looked at least a decade ahead of their time. While he couldn't even begin to guess what they did, he couldn't argue with the results. The painkiller being pumped into his veins subdued the burning pain in his gut to a mildly uncomfortable warmness.

Yet, as he lay in the hospital bed, Kurt couldn't help but feel guilty. The only reason he had this kind of care was because he was working for Seraphim. Had he been an ordinary guy off the street, he would be looking at several weeks, maybe months, of recovery. The current prognosis gave him a few days, tops, before he was back to full strength. The approach of a woman pulled him from his guilt. He didn't quite recognize her. Pale skin, with green eyes and red hair. She didn't seem to be a doctor, judging from her outfit.

"You're Spectre, right? I didn't get an opportunity to introduce myself. Arlana Dehannsen."

Kurt's eyes widened somewhat. Arlana? As in, the giant freaky statue Arlana?

"How're you feeling?"

"Uh..." Kurt was caught somewhat off-guard. "As good as I can be right now. Don't know what they did, but it's working. Oh, and thanks, by the way. The name's Kurt, since we're all friends here." He paused, trying to phrase his next sentence carefully. "So what's up with the statue thing?" He asked uncertainly. "I mean...which Arlana is the actual Arlana, if you don't mind my asking..."

Arlana nodded at his words. Most people seemed to be a bit surprised by her nature, and she doubted telling him the whole story would make him any less surprised. "Very well, Kurt, then. Arlana is my true name. Among Humans, I use the name of Alison Haven, a compound of two names of Humans I met shortly after my arrival on this world five years ago." She paused for a moment. "As for the 'statue thing', that is my true form."

She paused for a moment, forming her thoughts together in a sentence that would make sense. "I come from a world much unlike this one, a world called Faerie. My people are...or were, warriors and knights in service to the masters of that world. We are known as Gargoyles."

When explaining her true nature to someone, this was usually the part greeted with someone spitting whatever they were drinking all over the nearest wall. It was a curious part of Human nature that certain shocks or surprises could result in that.

Crawling. Ever crawling through the sewers. Without its extra mass, it felt naked. But there were the small victories. A three-man Seraphim team had been beaten, they were in its grasp - quite literally - right up until the ice woman called in the cavalry. It was still nursing the share of electrical burns, thermal burns and ice burns from the liquid nitrogen's bite. It slipped through the sewers, devouring the fauna and flora. New York's sewers had never been so free of rats and algae. Soon it had recovered about a quarter of its mass, enough to shift into a flesh-and-bone copy of its creator. But that would wait; the sewers turned out to be rich with biomass and Morph was sure that it could devour all it could get. Even if it was just the flesh of vermin, even if it wasn't human flesh. Vermin had almost taken over the world by sheer luck of being the vector of one of the deadliest diseases on the Earth. But that was then and this was now. And now Morph was exhausted.

It curled up upon the roof and form what could be said to be a cocoon, though it was more vast and armoured that one from a simple caterpillar. Capillaries criss-crossed the surface of the structure, bringing in nutritious blood to the creature inside. Like a caterpillar, metamorphosis went on inside. Cells divided, tissues were repaired, and new biological structures were created. While Morph rested, some cells secret extracellular matrix, forming adipose, cartilage and other connective tissue. Others did differently and become part of nervous, epithelial and muscle tissues. Now Morph wasn't just a huge blob of mass and malevolent sentience, but an organised bundle of organ systems. This went on for about forty-five minutes until a hand burst forth from the cocoon and a greedy mouth ripped at it, devouring it whole. Now, it had rested. Now was the time. Now, Morph was a man, but not a man. In fact it was a wolf in sheep's clothing, on the prow for new, unsuspecting prey.

It had beef up for one heck of a heavyweight championship after all. And after Seraphim's response to the massacre of those civilians, it would be best to go about this quietly...

Marcus let out a sigh as he opened the door to his apartment. The last week hadn't been kind to him, and he just wanted to collapse in his bed and forget his troubles for a few hours. He motioned to turn the lights on, only to find they didn't seem to work. He flipped the switch several times, annoyance painting his features.

'Really? NOW!? Sometimes I fucking hate my powers.' In times of emotional duress, his powers often acted erratically - including performing minor power draws from items and utilities in his immediate vicinity. He groaned, as it would take a calibration to his suite to reverse once started. 'Guess I'm not sleeping tonight. What a fucking drag...' He didn't bring the tools to do that with him, so he'd have to borrow them from Seraphim's tech lab. He stepped outside and saw a man, not that much younger than Marcus himself, fiddling with his cell phone with a look of annoyance. 'Uh... oops. Did I do that? Well, if I did, I just need to give it some juice, so no problem there.'

"Uh... hi there. I think I'm the cause of the problem with your phone. Hand it over for a second and I can fix it."

"...This place is pretty awesome. Like, they got free room service and everythi-Hello?" Justin's conversation was interrupted, quite abruptly. "Did my call just get dropped? Fucking AT&-wait." Bringing the phone down from his face, the boy realized that his call hadn't disconnected, but instead, the phone was off. Totally bereft of life. Justin sighed as he pressed on the power button, only to receive no response.

"Arrrgh, I just charged this damn thing in class!" He seethed through gritted teeth as he began turning his attention towards the door he had yet to open, simultaneously mashing on the phone's few buttons. All the while, his across-the-hall neighbor approached him from behind. Justin continued to pay him little attention, as the door to his flat swung open.

"Uh...hi there."

"Hey." Justin greeted back abruptly, his attention still affixed on getting into his home.

"I think I'm the cause of the problem with your phone. Hand it over for a second, so I can fix it." The man said, now acquiring about 55% of Justin's attention. Justin dropped his bookbag somewhere on the inside of his condo before reappearing before the co-worker.

"I could most likely fix it myself, but eh. Why work hard, when you can have others do it for you?" Justin replied, tossing his phone in the man's direction. As he got a better look at the man's face, he came to a stark realization. This was the same man that he'd seen earlier today, in the lobby. They've must've both applied for the job, and both got it. But, there was something else about the man that he'd remember. He also remembered seeing his face in the news once. Some brief article about a failed tussle between the guy, and some water-wielding adversaries.

"Hmph...your name's Faraday isn't it? I think I saw your face and name in the news before...you got your ass handed to you by some water chicks." He remembered, beginning to extend a hand.

"Either way, my name's Justin...Case. I'd ask what your powers are, but with a name like Faraday, i'd imagine they'd be electric-based. 'S makes me wonder why they even hired me. I mean, two electric guys? That just seems redundant...but, fuck, as long as I can use these people's resources while still getting paid, then you won't see me complain too much." He added with a scoff.

He handed over his cell phone and Faraday looked down at it. He could feel no current, alright - so this was likely his doing. Not a problem - a brief jolt should get it back in working order.

"Hmph...your name's Faraday isn't it? I've seen your face and name in the news before...you got your ass handed to you by some water chicks." He extended a hand. Marcus returned with an awkward smile. "Yea... that's me. Anyway, you shouldn't touch me while I do this. Even small jolts can be painful." He extended the hand with the cell phone forward and took in a deep breath. A flash of light burst forth, with sparks tumbling from his hands. He could feel the phone's circuitry fill with current, and it flipped on, as though nothing had happened.

"Sorry about that. My powers can get... cagey."

"Either way, my name's Justin...Case. I'd ask what your powers are, but with a name like Faraday, i'd imagine they'd be electric-based. 'S makes me wonder why they even hired me. I mean, two electric guys? That just seems redundant...but, fuck, as long as I can use these people's resources while still getting paid, then you won't see me complain too much."

"Yea, that's the long and short of it. I'd stick around to say more, but I have to head down to the tech lab to keep what just happened to your phone from happening to the rest of the floor." He offered Justin his phone back, and turned to leave.

Chapter 1-1: Creature of the Sea / Technofreak

Two weeks later...

Business had went on as usual for Seraphim. Kurt had recovered from his injuries after his encounter with Red Coyote, and Christopher was wandering around the Seraphim building as he tended to do from time to time. No use just sitting in the office all day. He could be contacted whenever, so he thought to take a stroll. The heroes there greeted him as they passed by him and he greeted in return. Everything was going well for them. Villains were being caught, although Christopher knew he couldn't catch all of them, he tried his best to send out appropriate teams each time.

He entered the science labs to check up on his scientists. "How are things going in here?" One of them turned towards him. "Things are going great, Christopher. We're making further progress to ensure that our computers and equipment are even safer than before." Christopher smiled in return to hearing that. "Glad to hear it, Steven." he said to the scientist. The two of them walked over to where some scientists were working on a few of the equipment some of the heroes had brought into the labs, repairing and enhancing them as they had been asked to do. "Good work, people. You make Seraphim proud." Christopher told them. "Thank you, sir." they all answered him while still working on the equipment.

Christopher left the labs and kept wandering around still. It was always nice to be social with the people he worked with. One reason why he asked everyone to call him Christopher instead of Adelbert or mister Adelbert. Just sounded too formal to him whenever he was called that. Always did. He was barely alright with it if he had to deal with people from the government who were all too uptight for him and thankfully he only had to deal with them if one of the heroes from Seraphim did something to endanger the safety of any country they were sent to, and that happened rarely. The heroes there knew to capture the villains by any means necessary unless it involved the lives and safety of innocents. Christopher looked outside the windows to see over the city of New York. He felt that it was kept safe along with the rest of the world.

Mark hated interviews. Back when he was in high school there had been many attempts to land a job for the summer or otherwise... during most of them he had been reduced to a stuttering mess, or shut up entirely when posed a question he thought to be difficult. And yet, here he was in the Seraphim lobby, a small file in one hand containing a letter of application and a CV. He'd heard that Seraphim provided accommodation for its heroes, so most of his possessions were packed up in suitcases in his car outside.

Talsper had talked him into coming: the mage wanted to see what Seraphim had to offer. "If I mess this up, it's on your head," the traceur muttered to no-one as he nervously approached the front desk, knowing Talsper would hear him.

The receptionist, a pretty redheaded woman a couple of years his senior with an earpiece in one ear, looked up as he neared the counter. "Hey there. Something I can help you with?" She sounded like the perky, carefree type. Mark could already tell this conversation wasn't going to end well.

"Um... yeah, I made a call a couple of days ago... scheduled an interview to work here. The name was Mark Robinson, and guest," he explained, a little haltingly.

"One moment..." The receptionist, whose name was Callista judging by her nameplate, quickly tapped out a command on her keyboard. "Yep, got you noted down here. I'll show you to Christopher's office... though is the interview for two people? Where's the other one?" Of course. She doesn't know the situation with Talsper. Mark cursed himself. "Um... yeah, he's here. Just not here. If that makes any sense." Dammit.

Callista gave a short laugh. "I've heard worse explanations. Right this way." She got up from her chair and stepped out from behind her desk, indicating a door leading deeper into the building. Mark followed. The two soon reached an office that looked rather spacious judging by what could be seen through the doorway.

"One moment," Callista requested when the two stood before the door. She reached up and tapped a button on the side of the earpiece she wore, turning away for a moment. "Excuse me, Christopher? You have a new applicant waiting at your office... Mark Robinson. Alright." She turned back to Mark. "Take a seat and he'll be with you shortly." She gave Mark a smile before walking away, presumably back to her desk at the lobby.

Not too long after that, Christopher came into the office to greet the new hero. "Good day to you, mister Robinson. I apologize for being away when you came, but sometimes I just need to stretch my legs and get social with the people I hire." He walked over to his desk and sat down in his chair. "You're here for an interview, I can presume. Tell me a bit about yourself."

Mark inwardly cringed in his chair. He never enjoyed that kind of question, particularly from potential employers. "Um... well, there's a couple of things I figure would be interesting to you." He took a moment to mentally get the words right before continuing. "I don't really have any powers or anything, unless you count constant parkour training. My friend here, though..." He pulled the glove off of his right hand, holding it up to show Christophe Talsper's ring.

"What would you say if I told you there was an extraplanar being trapped inside this ring? And that he and I can swap places?"

"I'd tell you that I've seen things that sound more unbelievable than that. I'm sure that you wouldn't believe that, but I also think you wouldn't dismiss it as the ravings of an old man." Christopher chuckled a little. "I would like to meet this friend of yours. After all, this interview is for two people. I only see one person sitting in front of me."

"Fair enough. Talsper, you're up." Mark replaced his glove, allowing Talsper to take over once it was in place. As per usual, the ring began to glow, the golden light soon enveloping his entire hand. Within a minute the man sitting before Christopher was sitting straighter, fingers steepled and gold eyes affixed on the Seraphim leader.

"Hail. I am the being my compatriot hast described. My name be'eth Talsper Rekuhai, Mage from the plane Eniadan," Talsper introduced himself. "Ask, and I shalt answer."

Christopher was impressed with the change between the two. It was obvious to him who was the one in control when they changed, even if he wouldn't have seen the exchange itself. "I'd also like to know more about you, Talsper, if you wouldn't mind telling me. I respect privacy, but I'd like you to be honest with me if you two are to join Seraphim. I'm interested in where you're originally from."

Talsper was more than happy to oblige. "Eniadan is a realm many gates from this one, in which magic is in as much abundance as that which we breathe. Before I was cast out, I was a master of the Aura, bending it to my will with mere thought. I was severed from my talent in a foul parody of the law... who can say what events hath transpired in my absence..." He trailed off temporarily, before remembering where he was at a light mental poke from Mark.

"I hath strayed off-track. As I said, I was cast out from Eniadan, mind and soul trapped in a golden band, and sent here as punishment for crimes that are not on my hands," he continued. "'Tis not to say, however, that I am without capability. Fragments of my power remaineth with me, as does the Aura bound into my ring. I hath taught Mark the use of basic shardwalking, thus." To demonstrate, he raised one hand, rerouting a portion of the Aura within himself into conjuring a small silver orb. The sphere gave off thin wisps of smoke due to its below-freezing temperature compared to the air in the office, which was warmer by comparison.

"Very interesting." Christopher said as Talsper stopped and procured an orb of sorts, presumably ice, Christopher thought. "It sounds like Eniadan would be pretty interesting to explore, but I'm guessing that if you knew how to get back, you might be back there already. Either way, my main concern is Earth and its inhabitants. Tell me, what more can you do? How would you and Mark be of assistance to Seraphim?"

Talsper did not answer immediately. Instead he turned his thoughts inward. Hm. 'Tis an interesting question. How dost thou suggest we proceed?

Mark, too, was unsure of how to answer this one. Ehh... I'm not sure. Maybe... maybe tell him we can serve in some sort of fast-moving reconnaissance, or as a team scout. That might work.

Thou art sure? We saw Justicar in action. She is likely a runner herself. Or, more accurately, a flier.

Still. We don't normally take people on head-to-head. Our thing is for me to chase them down and you to ensure they don't escape.

Very well. Talsper refocused his attention on Christopher. "Apologies for the delay. I was conferring with Mark on this matter. We believeth that we wouldst be suited to a scouting role, or... reconnaissance, he said. Mayhap there is a team that could benefit from this?"

"Perhaps. I merely posed the question to see what abilities it was you possessed. I am glad to see that the two of you seem to talk to each other about matters, although I hope that it won't happen too often on the battlefield. It wouldn't do good for you two to get attacked at a vulnerable time such as right now when you two were talking to each other." Christopher took a look at Talsper for a moment, viewing how different he really was in posture from Mark, before continuing. "If there are any questions you two have for me, you're welcome to ask. I'm certain that you've got some for me."

Again the two spoke mentally, for only a few seconds this time. Mark and Talsper exchanged places a second time: once Mark's eyes changed back to their usual green, and he relaxed backwards in his chair, he spoke up again. "We only have a couple of questions. First, do you have medical staff on the premises? I ask out of curiosity and interest in not losing any limbs." It stood to reason that Seraphim would have medical equipment and personnel, but Mark just wanted to check.

"Secondly, we would both need places to exercise our abilities. Um... for myself, some form of physical assault course or other place to practice parkour. And for Talsper, a room that can be damaged without consequence or repaired easily."

"We've got plenty of medical staff you can contact if you need anything. They've got a cure for almost anything and are equipped with advanced medical technology to get our heroes out on the field as soon as possible. I would advise going to see them after a particularly dangerous mission." Christopher answered his first question. "As for a place to exercise your abilities, both are available. You'll be able to find them pretty quickly when you take a look at which floors they're on. There are several floors in a row exclusively for practicing abilities. They're specifically labelled as training floors so you'll find them easily."

Christopher decided it was enough sitting for now for him, so he stood up and walked towards the window in his office and motioned for Mark to come by his side as he faced the window. "I should let you know that being a hero is never easy, no matter how much you might think it is. You need to be ready for danger. Your parkour skills might work in the right environment, but if you get caught off guard or are put in an environment where you can't use your parkour, you're going to be in trouble unless Talsper saves you with his powers. Once we're done here, I'd advise you to go to our armoury and find yourself a set of armour you'd like. I'm not talking about the kind knights of old used to wear. It's more of a special armour you can put on, wouldn't be noticed, still gives you room for enough movement and protects you from most things. It's not without flaws, but it's better than getting caught out in the open without means to protect yourself from a surprise attack."

"I'll look into it when I get the chance," Mark noted. "And... well, yeah, I figured this kind of thing wasn't all smiles, waves and celebrity appearances. We can fight, but it's not my forte. That's what the six-hundred-year-old mage in the ring is for."

Christopher chuckled at that response. "It seems you're ready, then. Welcome to Seraphim, Mark and Talsper. You'll find a staff member outside the office who'll show you to your apartment. She'll have the keys to it and will hand them to you." He walked over to Mark with his hand out to shake Mark's.

A handshake later, Mark had spoken with the staff member in question, and received keys and a map of the Seraphim building. Now came the process of moving in. The suitcases were hoisted out of his car, and promptly loaded into... an elevator. Another thing Mark disliked, due to its small interior. The map he'd received detailed each floor, so he hit the button to take him to the apartment level.

Thankfully, the lift ride was faster than the interview. Upon stepping out into the hall, Talsper recalled the instructions the staff member had given. Left, then third on the right.

"Yes, thank you. Had that covered," Mark noted aloud as he approached the door in question. There was a name-plate on the door: empty, with a slot to fit a piece of paper inside. He opened the door with his key and began hauling his possessions just inside the door. Proper unpacking would be dealt to later.

A news broadcast was running idly in the background as Waldemar sat reading one of the local papers, a fresh cup of coffee emanating a refreshing scent from its place on the table in front of him. He liked to keep informed about what was going on and though the American newspapers all seemed to have some kind of ideological bias or other he had found one he quite liked after some trail and error. Well, as long as he kept away from the finance section anyway. It had become standard routine to have the paper delivered on his doorstep every morning, a small taste of the normal life while he worked with Seraphim. Looking up from an article about some ongoing repairs below 12th street, Waldemar's gaze wandered to the laptop on the coffee table. Sure, he guessed that he could just browse the online versions of whatever paper he wanted, but there was just something relaxing about reading it the old fashioned way.

Getting back to his paper again and flipping the page to a more interesting piece of news, he found his thoughts wandering towards his first mission with Seraphim. A mission that, in hindsight at least, could have gone much better. They had apparently met a villain that Seraphim hadn't had many dealings with in the past, so the information they returned with was worth a bit of work, granted. But he still felt like he could have done better, there was still a person willing to cause that much chaos just for a few boxes of medicine out and about after all. Just what exactly he could have done differently was something he had gone over in his head a couple of times by now too, but no matter, it wasn't like an exact scenario like that was ever going to happen again, so it was wasted thinking.

Taking a good sip from his coffee he resumed his reading, turning over another page, there didn't seem to be too many interesting news today. But at least Specter had managed to heal up fine from his injury, Seraphim had to be commended for the quick response time of their medical staff. Waldemar hadn't even had time to reach Specter, much less do anything useful, before they had arrived on the scene. And their medical technology was top notch as well, he'd gone to see Specter once during his recovery and the machines and medical expertise of the personnel had astounded him. If more tech like that was created and distributed he had no doubt that the overall level of medical care would increase. Still, like with so many other of Seraphim's creations they probably needed components and maintenance far in excess of what a normal hospital could provide, not to mention the money involved. And besides, Seraphim didn't seem like an organization that would withhold such important info without a very good reason, maybe he'd ask one of the technicians or engineers about it one day.

Come to think of it, it had been two weeks since he arrived in America now hadn't it? He felt like time had flown past as he had gotten settled into this new job, or well, he wasn't that convinced that it could fully be called a job. It wasn't exactly a job in the sense that you have set hours and a certain amount of work to do, more like they were required to be on watch 24/7 just in case something happened. And for the last two weeks nothing had happened, or well, nothing that he had been asked to participate in at any rate. Sometimes he wondered if that was due to his powers being rather limited, or if it was due to his inexperience with these matters. Might be because of the jet lag too now that he thought about it.

Drinking the rest of his coffee he folded up the newspaper and put it down on the table, didn't seem like any news caught his eye today, he'd have to remember to dispose of it in the paper trash later. Heading over to the small kitchen he washed the used cup and dried it off before putting it back where it belonged, he might as well head up to the range to try and improve his marksmanship. It was an activity that he had taken to pass the time with, seeing as he was helpless without his powers he thought that he should at least know how to use a handgun somewhat accurately as a backup. And as such he had taken to training with a set of leather gloves to keep his abilities in check, since he had no way of knowing if he was actually improving or not if he did so barehanded.

Walking over to the wardrobe door, Waldemar opened it and pushed the suits and other clothes that he had bought to one side of it, exposing a stainless steel cabinet. Retrieving a key from his pocket he unlocked it and withdrew the smaller of two aluminum cases from inside before promptly locking it up again. He didn't feel comfortable having firearms lying around unsecured in the apartment and had asked for a secure storage cabinet to be installed for that very reason. It wasn't that he didn't trust his fellow superheroes, but it seemed wholly irresponsible to not lock up such dangerous things when they were not in use.

Heading towards the entrance he put on his shoes and suit jacket before heading out with the small case in hand, he'd get some ammunition once he had arrived at the range he figured as he locked the door behind him. Heading over to the elevator as he whistled a little tune. Strange that firearms practice had become so common for an anesthesiologist.

Justin awoke with a start. Not out a bad dream per se, but because his stomach decided that now was the best time to start the day. In the organ's defense, it was late in the midday. Mixed with the odd jobs Seraphim's had assigned during the day, and the semi-daily classes (and resulting homework he'd receive from said classes) he's assigned himself at night, sleeping was one of the things he had to put on the backburner. But, today (or, more specifically, last night and sometime until he's called for a task) was considered one of his free days. Or, about as free as it was gonna get.

"Hrmmm...Hungerrrrr..." He growled through a voice filled with phlegm. He reached out towards his nightstand, to get a hold of his phone. Instead, he only managed to grab air. Opening his eyes a bit wider, he realized his nightstand was not where he would've expected it. And upon fully opening his eyes and sitting up, he realized that he wasn't in Harlem. It became clear to him that, even though he's been a part of the Seraphim's services for about two weeks now, he still had some trouble adjusting to the apartment's living arrangements. He eventually located his phone, and the screen lit up against the darkness of the room as he checked the time.

"Well, I guess it's time to get up..." He began to remove himself from the bed, and his stomach made more noise. With the thought of breakfast hastily blaring in his mind, he grabbed his other, bigger, company-owned phone. He let out a yawn as he dialed a number into the touchscreen. His stomach wondered why it took for long for sustenance to be acquired, and rumbled some more as a result. "Eugh...Shut uuuup, I know, I know." He replied as he put the phone up to his face. Someone on the receiving end made themselves known, and (in true Justin fashion) was promptly interrupted by the boy. "Yeah, lemme get a bacon, egg, and cheese omelette, hash browns, OJ, and coffee. Room 1218. Name, Justin Case." And then he hung up.

Upon opening the huge venetian blinds that covered a large majority of his bedroom's wall, he-"Gah! fuck!"-immediately closed them back, as to not be visually assaulted by the bright rays of day. With the speed of a lazy glacier, he began to migrate across the living room area towards the the bathroom, hoping his breakfast would be delivered by the time he was done taking a shower. "Hmmm, what should I do today? Should I study, or should I work on the Awe some? Hell, i'm smart enough. I can do both! Or I could do neither, and just use this day to slack off..." He pondered as the water he prepped rose to his prefered temperature.

The cold waters of the Artic were pleasing. Ianthe's long body slid through the calm ocean, rhythmically breaking the surface. The spines on her back rose like the masts of a ship above the water. She snorted, sending a spout of water out.

There's an unidentified object showing up on the radar. It's not a ship... maybe a submarine?
It's going too fast, we can't reroute
Shoot the damn thing then, it's only a whale

Ianthe dove, searching lazily for something to eat, when something fast jet by her. It scraped by her before exploding below. The shockwave hit her hard, and she was thrown through the water. She would not be bested by this creature, not even half her size, nor half her speed. She turned and charged at it, sinking her teeth into the side. It only dented the metal, not puncturing the hull.

What the hell!? What is that!? Alert the captain! We can't take another hit!

She circled back and rammed into the side. It was hard, tough. But it wasn't that tough.

Department of the Navy
Office of the Chief of Naval Operations
Washington, DC 20350

October 3, 2012

To Director Christopher Adelbert

A few of our submarines have been disappearing in the North Atlantic. Their last known coordinates are within a few miles of each other. More importantly, we have reason to suspect that it was not an attack by another hostile nation. The last broadcasts are recorded, and included in the envelope. They are all very similar, with all of them mentioning a "large creature" and a "leviathan". We're not equipped to handle this sort of incident, and are therefore requesting that you follow up on this matter. Also included are pictures from the only recovered submarine: the Alligator. So far, we have only lost 3 subs, and we are not sure if this is the cause of all the incidents, but we would like this matter taken care of before it becomes any bigger an issue.

It was signed by one of the Directors, and stamped with an official seal. There were several pictures and a CD inside. The pictures showed a trashed submarine, with several bite marks.

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