The Super Hero RP Deluxe! (Closed, Started)

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Specter

"I would like to not be killed. Maybe slightly maimed, a broken rib or two I dunno."

The Crick laughed, but quickly spoke. He spoke of so much that he had no idea about, things that the Crick didn't truly know about. It wasn't exactly convincing him to refrain from anything, but at least it was somewhat polite.

"Go to him or something. And Three...either kill me now before I have to figure out how to kill you or leave now. I'm tired...and I just wanna go for a walk."

"Frederick is dead," he repeated, weakly. Did the Crick not realize how painful it was for the Specter to think of it, that every time a little instance of hope, it was torn away just as quickly, causing his insides to ache? The young hero wanted to be left alone, and the Specter had no reason to keep trying.

"I'll leave, it's no use. This... it's not working, you're not listening," he continued, his ghostly form disappearing from sight. His voice kept echoing, just as sorrowful as before, though weary as well.

"Besides, you won't understand. You'd get it if you had been through the same thing as I have been through, though I don't wish it upon you, it's painful. Something is wrong, I can't seem to remember how much time has passed, I have to act now. Don't get in my way, and everything will be fine."

Without waiting for a reply, the Specter disappeared, upwards. He didn't know where Gabriel was, but the Crick had mentioned Loveless. Theodore would know, he'd be able to point the Specter in the right direction.

Hopefully he'll understand. He's not a hero, and he was Frederick's friend.

Not long after leaving the tunnels, he found Theodore, getting dressed. Once upon a time, he'd feel like he should wait, but he couldn't wait. Making no attempt at doing this carefully, his voice could be heard as he appeared behind Theodore.

"Where is Gabriel Oakfield?"

His voice was dire, though it also had elements of that it was a question, not a command, and a slight sense of desperation.

"Do you know where he is? You should know, you know everything."

Theodore

Theodore was pulling on his vest when it happened. His meal with Rias was still some time away so he wasn't in much of a hurry; he just wouldn't have time to stop back in his apartment later. Theodore moved his hands to button up the vest when A voice spoke to him. "Where is Gabriel Oakfield?" Considering that, as far as Theodore knew, he was alone in his room getting dressed, this came as a mild shock.

Theodore nearly jumped a solid half foot into the air and yelped in fright. He turned to the source of the voice after grabbing the first item he could reach off his dresser. In Theodore's defense, he brandished the simple comb quite menacingly. You know, for a comb.

As Theodore faced the Specter, he calmed down slightly. "Jesus! You almost gave me a heart att- nevermind, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN! The Crick and I have been searching everywhere! Oh, and don't worry. I haven't told anyone who you are yet. just..." Theodore started to say before Frederick cut him off.

"Do you know where he is? You should know, you know everything." Frederick said. As the reality of the situation set in, Theodore felt his heart sink. "So this isn't a courtesy call then." Theodore stared at the ghastly figure for a moment. Here Frederick was, right in front of him, yet he was also as far beyond his reach as the most distant of planets. It was heartbreaking in the worst kind of way.

Theodore had to act. He didn't actually know where Gabriel Oakfield was, but he had contacts in the police who could tell him. That'd have to do. "I don't know, but I can find out." Theodore said truthfully; he wasn't going to deceive Frederick. It'd be wrong to do so. Instead, he'd make a deal.

"I'll find out and tell you under one condition. Go to Neutropolis General Hospital Room 342 and stay there for 10 minutes. It's your room. If you still think you're dead after seeing yourself quite alive and Sofia's worried face, than I tell you anything you want to know about Oakfield. Thereafter, we never speak again. If not, you get back in your body, get up, say you're sorry to your sister, and we all go out for whatever dinner and a play you want; my treat." Theodore said, his eyes sharp. He couldn't make Frederick do anything, but he could dangle one hell of a cost of doing business in front of him.

"Or you can float away and find a different way, but I prefer Option 2." Theodore added as an after thought.


Specter

"I don't know, but I can find out. I'll find out and tell you under one condition. Go to Neutropolis General Hospital Room 342 and stay there for 10 minutes. It's your room. If you still think you're dead after seeing yourself quite alive and Sofia's worried face, than I tell you anything you want to know about Oakfield. Thereafter, we never speak again. If not, you get back in your body, get up, say you're sorry to your sister, and we all go out for whatever dinner and a play you want; my treat. Or you can float away and find a different way, but I prefer Option 2."

"Don't lie," the Specter replied, air around him shaking, his form yet again flickering. clothes rose up into the air as he spoke, surrounding him. "Don't lie, Theodore, don't do that! Not you too..." he trailed off, going a little away, trying to keep himself from doing what he had done to Crick. It was clear that he was struggling to keep what little control over both himself and his telekinesis. However, then he realized that Theodore had mentioned Sofia, and, surprised, he let the clothes drop to the ground again, looking at Theodore, questioning. Not that the journalist could see that, of course.

I'm... why would Sofia be here?" the question hung in the air, and he stared at Theodore. "Isn't the funeral over? How long... how long is it since I died? I don't know anymore, I don't know how much ten minutes would be, I don't..." he was trying to grasp at an inate understanding of time he no longer seemed to possess. However, he wasn't too far gone, and he connected a few dots, though it was barely enough to comprehend what ten minutes was. "It's not long, right? Only... only ten minutes, and then you'll tell me. Sofia..." he said her name. Sister, Frederick's sister. But... Theodore was saying that Frederick was alive, that his body was... alive.

No. But... I'll go. If I want to kill that man, I should act now. And this seems like the best way to do it.

"You'll come with me, right? To the hospital, and keep track of time. 10 minutes. I won't have to show myself to Sofia, do I? She... she knows, she knows I used to be Frederick. I don't want her to see me in this state. Not when I'm this sad, and angry, and pathetic, and small. And then you'll tell me where Gabriel Oakfield is, and I'll kill him."

Theodore

"You'll come with me, right? To the hospital, and keep track of time. 10 minutes. I won't have to show myself to Sofia, do I? She... she knows, she knows I used to be Frederick. I don't want her to see me in this state. Not when I'm this sad, and angry, and pathetic, and small. And then you'll tell me where Gabriel Oakfield is, and I'll kill him."

Theodore was worried for a moment there. This plan of his was something of a hail Mary; lots of potential gain but with an equal or greater amount of risk. If, after seeing his body, Frederick wasn't convinced than... a person would die. A criminal and a bad one at that for sure, but still a human being.

Regardless, it was Theodore's only play.

"Okay. I'll go with you. It's gonna take me some time to get there though; I can't fly. And I won't make you show yourself to Sofia if you don't want to. Does she know you're the Specter? I haven't told anyone so..." Theodore responded, leaving the last part blank because he wasn't sure.

As he left his place and made his way to the hospital, Theodore sent out three messages. The first was to The Crick to let him know he was trying to help Frederick. The second was to Rias to let her know he'd make the meal but might be a little late. The last was to a connection with the police to inquire about Oakfield. Theodore hoped the information would prove unneeded.

About half an hour later, Theodore arrived at the hospital. He walked the well-traveled hallways and up the stairs toward Frederick's room. He'd been here half a dozen times over the last week and barely needed to keep his eyes open at this point. Through it all, Theodore was very conscious of Frederick following him. Though he couldn't see the ghastly man, every now and then something moved seemingly without reason and Theodore knew.

At long last, Theodore arrived outside the door. He pulled open his smartphone to open a stopwatch. During this, he saw his informant's answer to his question about Oakfield, but closed it before Frederick could possible see it.

Theodore took a deep breath and opened the door. Inside was a pretty plain hospital room. Opposite the door was a closed window that looked over a parking lot. A boring view, but there was a small park on the other side of the street so at least it wasn't bad. Inside the room were two beds and lots of equipment. One of the beds was another coma patient. Theodore didn't know anything about him. The far bed however contained Frederick.

Frederick was hooked up to 3 pieces of equipment; a medical monitoring device, a feeding tube, and an IV providing some kind of drug. The monitor said Frederick's vitals were stable if low. Most notably, Frederick's heart was beating on it's own.

There were two chairs on the far side of the room; one of which was occupied by Sofia who appeared to be taking a nap. Theodore was just happy she was sleeping; she hadn't had a chance for much in the last week.

Theodore waited until Frederick's astral-self was in the room then pressed a timer on his phone for 10 minutes. "So Specter; what do you think?" he said quietly so as not to wake Sofia.

Tom

"I'm thinking about going home. I'd love to stay here to watch the development of this tense situation, but I'm tired of being unable to move."

"Home?" he said "Like back with your parents?"

He realized he hadn't really thought of the fact that Tim had somewhere else he could go to live, but was it even in Neutropolis? He wouldn't be able to keep an eye on Tim's villainy if he left, but then again Tim was hardly in a position to be a villain at the moment. Besides, surely his parents would set him straight. Unless... what if they're villains too? No that's silly... or is it...

"Er ahem," he said, snapping out of his thoughts "where would that be anyways?"

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

She wasn't far along her walk when she noticed a familiar face, one that she certainly hadn't expected to see just out and about. Sirius the guy who had healed her after she'd escaped the blimp. Hm, I wonder what he's up to. I certainly didn't expect to see him just walking around, though I probably shouldn't just go say hi he might get suspicious.

Still she couldn't help but follow after him at a distance, curious about what he might be up to. Perhaps if she saw him stop or something she might approach but for now she would keep her distance.


Specter

"Okay. I'll go with you. It's gonna take me some time to get there though; I can't fly. And I won't make you show yourself to Sofia if you don't want to. Does she know you're the Specter? I haven't told anyone so..."

"She knows," the Specter confirmed. "She saw me enter Frederick's... my... body. But she said she suspected it, with the disappearances, and with this new, suspicious ghost hero being sarcastic in public and wearing theatre masks. I suppose she just knew me too well. Him... the person I used to be. As for getting there, I'll follow you, don't worry. Hurry, though."

With that, he seemingly disappeared, though the Specter stayed, paying little attention to what Theodore was doing apart from if he was moving into another room or outside. Whenever that happened, he followed, never straying too far from the other.

I don't want to wait.

This was... worrying him to say the least. What if Theodore was lying? What if he wasn't? Why would his body still be alive? Or... or perhaps he hadn't been lost for as long as he thought. Had he lost as much of himself as he had, for nothing? Like a fool, given up on Frederick because... no, his body was still a flesh puppet, even if it did somehow survive. Every now and then, an item would shake as the Specter got close to it, resonating with his troubled mind, and allerting Theodore of his presence. Finally, they got to the hospital, and entered the room.

"Here goes nothing," he said, speaking in merely a whisper, though Theodore could hear it. It was an uneasy Specter that floated into the hospital room, noticing Sofia sleeping on the bed. His bed. Where Frederick lay, weak, pale, small. He had always been rather small and pale, dark brown contrasting with the skin to make him seem more so, but this was different. It reminded him of the coma, and it was upsetting, very much so. "My heart stopped," he said, suddenly, and appeared, masks both at the back of his head this time. He was above his body, looking down.

"But it's beating. There's... something inside my body. A fragment of a soul, perhaps that's why it's still alive. For now. It's still a flesh puppet for me to wear, Theodore. It's Frederick, but... it's not right, not natural. I'm not right, I think my soul is fragmented, and something's... changed. Everything in the past seems so distant." His voice sounded accepting of that fact, though pierced with despair. Then his mind went back to Gabriel, blaming him, and the anger surfaced, though only in his words.

"If I enter the puppet, if I apologize, will you still tell me where Gabriel Oakfield is? I need to kill him, because he's the one who put me in this state. It's the only way to make things right. I don't think I'll ever really be Frederick, or a judge, nor really Sofia's brother again, but I'll try, if you let me finish it."

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"Home? Like back with your parents?"

"No, the very okay-but-not-quite-good dreamworks movie with the same name," Tim replied, sarcastically, as he eyed Tom. "Of course home to my parents. Or rather, to my dorm room, the college people are probably wondering why I left. No roommate, though, I paid to make sure of that," he continued, a bit sourly over that his request to be taken outside had gone unheeded.

"Er ahem, where would that be anyways?"

"Out of town," he replied. "Smaller place, near the state-border to the south, one of those; "not so important, yet for some reason we have a college" places, you know the kind," he replied, lazily, and got up. "Now, seriously, I'm dying in here, let's do something," he whined, and started putting on his shoes and jacket.

"Seriously Tom, I'm going insane, if you don't take me outside I'll go real evil and stab you in your sleep or something. You know, typical movie style, slasher, I'll chase you down the hallways with a knife and everything, it'll be great," he grinned, though he wasn't actually going that insane. That would require one of those torture scenes, one with a tv and with enough of the bad Adam Sandler movies to scratch your eyes out.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

Unlike many of the heroes, Sirius saw little backlash after the incident with the explosion. This was partly because he wasn't really a hero, and partly because he hadn't been around for long, but most of all because pretty much no one knew who he was. And even those who did know him, knew him as the guy who had healed some people. However, this didn't mean there wasn't anything on his mind, the conversation during the dinner with Daniel Luxe, for instance. And the fact that super-powered individuals would be likely to be regarded with suspicion and as a danger. Which, again, meant that Sirius couldn't use most of his powers without expecting people to get frightened.

That's no good, if they're afraid, how can I help them?

Of course, he was dragged out of his thoughts as he noticed someone on a motorbike driving far too quickly, and then crashing into a van. Or was it a truck? It all went a little too quickly for him to see, and then it was completely slow. For a couple of moments, he thought it might have been an accident, but then he noticed that the man on the bike was seemingly fine, and started rummaging through the truck.

A criminal, then?

Sirius wondered if he should act, perhaps the biker was just trying to help the other driver... though it was entirely the wrong part of the truck to be that. Finally, he shook his head.

No, this is a robbery.

From the corner of his eye, he noticed that someone else was standing there. He thought he had noticed someone following, was that her? Or had they simply been going the same way. There was something about her -the way she stood, her body- that was familiar, though he couldn't quite recall until he got closer. Then, he noticed it, the facial shape and eyes were the same, he was sure of it. The hero from earlier, Coil he thought it might be.

Oh, that's convenient.

Although, she was out of her costume. Looking at her, making sure it was her, Sirius then spoke.

"Oh, it's you. From earlier. Hi again, by the way," he continued, being polite was important even in a situation like this. He would have smiled, but it wasn't really the right time. There was a casual tone to what he said that made he perfectly clear that he didn't seem to care much about her secret identity either. He pointed towards the truck and the guy trying to rob it.

"Are you off your shift, or do you want to deal with that? I would help, but my only current power is useless." The only source of emotions he currently had was the ghost's, and, while he had curiously peaked in to see if something was going on, once, he had been so unsettled by the emotions experienced that he had shut the connection, and had no intention of opening it back up unless there was an absolute emergency.

Dr. Schwertner

Vinzenz, lacking a proper chair in the laboratory's roost, was seated quietly along the edge of the overhang, leaning forward against the middle strut of the guardrail. His attention moved from the workings below to the pages of his journal. He was analyzing the rudimentary blueprints of the singularity device that had seemingly appeared on his pages from nothing. He thought hard about when it happened, and he simply couldn't recall actually drafting the plans. But it was definitely the work of his hands, that he could recognize. He could almost see his hands at work in his memory, but there was no clarity. He wasn't even sure that it was of his own design, regardless of his marks on the paper.

However, he was unable to dwell on it for much longer, for his thoughts receded into the depths of his mind once more. As if being dragged by incorporeal tendrils, and removed from view. He could almost feel limbs slithering back into the recesses of his thoughts. The phantom sensations made him shudder, and he suddenly found himself unable to remember why.

"Err, Doctor Schwertner?"

The doctor almost leapt from his seat in surprise. He turned to the inquisitive voice and saw the younger physicist on the walkway. "Vat? Vat are you doing here? Ist see project not progressing as planned?" Vinzenz's eyes darted down to see what might have happened. From what he gathered, it appeared everything was fine. Which left the question of what business the physicist had. The doctor's gaze returned to the probing man, brows furrowing with questions of their own.

"Uh, yes," the young physicist responded, his words hurriedly lurching from his mouth. "Th-there's no problem with the project, doctor, it's just...well, I-I wanted to personally thank you for this opportunity. After learning what you were aiming to accomplish, I was ecstatic to know that I would be a part of this great leap in scientific advancement."

"Sank you," Vinzenz said plainly. "You may return to verk.," he added, waving his hand dismissively at the young man. He had no use for praise. It was unnecessary, a waste of time and words. He took a moment to watch as the physicist sheepishly descended the stairs to resume his duties. The doctor noted a look of defeat on the man's face, and the empathy of the two colleagues he had joined. Perhaps he will learn to use his time more wisely. Otherwise there will be no longer be a place for him here.

Theodore

"If I enter the puppet, if I apologize, will you still tell me where Gabriel Oakfield is? I need to kill him, because he's the one who put me in this state. It's the only way to make things right. I don't think I'll ever really be Frederick, or a judge, nor really Sofia's brother again, but I'll try, if you let me finish it." The Specter - not Frederick - said.

Theodore nearly broke again. Theodore took a deep breath and responded. "If you kill Oakfield, then you can't go back to being Frederick. You said it yourself; Frederick is a good man, a judge, and the best brother Sofia could ask for. The only way you aren't Frederick is by betraying what he stands for. As I said before; you need to make a choice. You can continue on your crusade against Oakfield and whoever stands in your way or you wake up and remember who you are."

The Frederick he knew would never murder; if that's what the Specter wanted to do than he'd have to forswear the memory of his friend. If not, then all the better.

Mina

Once Tess had been properly informed of what was to happen, Mina decided to check on one of her investments; Dr. Schwertner. She had a few items to discuss with him. She knew the man to be in the building thanks to the security measures she'd put in place. Security for the building was one of the first things she'd put in place. If the building would be supplying anything for the police, than it had to have better-than-average security.

Making her way down a few flights of stairs, she made her way to the good doctor's lab. After passing through whatever clean-room procedures Dr. Schwertner had seen fit to put in place, she entered the lab. From the looks of it, the lab was well on its way to operational status. A good sign, if not unexpected. From what she'd uncovered, the doctor was quite efficient in that regard. The staff were decidedly nervous; another expected result. Of course, she couldn't discount the possibility they were nervous because the C.E.O. just entered the lab.

She paused for a moment to search for Dr. Schwertner. She spotted him on the balcony overlooking the city. She could hardly blame him; it was a good view. Still, she was surprised he didn't want to personally see to the installation of the equipment. She wasn't sure whether this was a concern, a relief, or neither. Regardless, that's where he was and where she was heading.

"Dr. Schwertner." Mina said as she entered the balcony. Mina closed the door to the balcony to provide some privacy. "We need to speak."


Specter

"If you kill Oakfield, then you can't go back to being Frederick. You said it yourself; Frederick is a good man, a judge, and the best brother Sofia could ask for. The only way you aren't Frederick is by betraying what he stands for. As I said before; you need to make a choice. You can continue on your crusade against Oakfield and whoever stands in your way or you wake up and remember who you are."

"Why are you making me choose?" the Specter asked.

Revenge. Frederick. Revenge. Sofia. Revenge. Justice. What would be the most just? Why do I have to choose?

"I don't think I can choose. It's not my right."

He seemed to be resting on top of Frederick's body now; the soul fragment remaining inside putting him somewhat at ease. Next to him lay Sofia, Frederick's sister. He had taught her how to read when their parents were too busy, spent hours having tea-parties with her, and playing instruments, and making up stories that would entertain her. He had been her babysitter when she was still too young to be home alone, tried to tell her to go to sleep but eventually let her come back down to watch a movie with him, until they had both fallen asleep on the couch. They had fought over the last piece of candy once, and he had finally given it to her when she had started weeping, calling him a "dummy" for not letting her have it.

He had watched her first solo-performance, in front of a small crowd. She had shaken, Sofia had always been scared of standing in front of people, even now it sometimes terrified her. However, she loved music above all. Fragments of memories, not his. Strange, distant, or rather, they didn't feel like they belonged to him anymore. But there was a connection, resonance.

She should be working on her music. Not... here.

If she knew what had become of Frederick, what had truly become of it, she would weep, just like back then. And this time he couldn't give her a piece of candy to calm down.

"Sofia," he said, carefully, not wanting to wake her up. His hand hovered over her head, looking like a halo of mist. "Sofia. I'm sorry, Frederick can't return. I lost him. I lost him into a dark place. Will you accept this fragment of him?"

If I don't enter my body... what will become of Frederick? Of Sofia?

If he was there, he could put her at ease. Or at least try. As for revenge... There had to be another solution.

"I won't kill," he finally told Theodore, and entered his body.

I can't promise to leave that monster alone either, though.

It was odd, having gone back to his body. His meat-puppet, Frederick. It didn't fit like it was supposed to, like a glove with one too many holes. Even so, he opened his eyes, carefully sitting up, though as he did, he knocked over a glass of water that had been placed next to Sofia. Not physically, though, nor without intention. It was as if he had moved the wrong muscle. He looked at Theodore, eyes hazy and with a confused look, dark brown hair going in every direction.

"It doesn't quite... fit." His voice was strange, and though most wouldn't be able to put their finger on just why, Theodore could recognize a bit of the Specter's echo in it. However, alongside it, there was a piece of the amusement only Frederick could find in a situation like this. It was oddly clear for someone who had been in a coma, however.

"I want to know where Oakfield is. I need to... to talk." Alarms beeped as he removed the tubes connected to him. Getting up, the first few steps took got him somewhere, though the fatigue from having been lying down for almost a week got to him. He stumbled, falling face-first towards the door, and then passing through it. The landing on the floor was soft, likely softened by his powers, and he got back up just before anyone could notice the seemingly dismembered head on the other side of the door.

That was a bit... awkward.

Attempting to grab the edge of a table to help him get up, however, earned another item getting moved involuntarily, this time a pillow lifting itself and then falling right down again. The arm he had intended to use was completely still. Getting back onto the bed was somewhat of a struggle, though he refused any help offered. It wasn't until he was sitting on the bed, feeling a little defeated, that he noticed that Sofia had awakened.

"Frederick..." she embraced him, and he didn't correct her. It was too early to do that.

Tom

"Seriously Tom, I'm going insane, if you don't take me outside I'll go real evil and stab you in your sleep or something. You know, typical movie style, slasher, I'll chase you down the hallways with a knife and everything, it'll be great,"

What a creepy threat, he's not the slasher sort of villain, but still maybe he is a little too cooped up. Yeah, some fresh air would do him good.

"Alright alright," he said, standing up "lets go outside then, anywhere in particular you want to check out? Could see if George wants to come with."

He's still friends with George as far as I'm aware, George would probably get flustered over Tim asking him out but he's pretty friendly for the most part. He hadn't heard any more about it from either of them, but wasn't about to make assumptions.

"Well any ideas?" he said "if its not a far drive to your dorm I could take you by there."

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

"Are you off your shift, or do you want to deal with that? I would help, but my only current power is useless."

"What?" she said, surprised that he had recognized her. Certainly her mask wasn't very covering, but her powers made anything more effective at its job, the mask included, and no one had seen through it before. He has powers, maybe they helped him see through it.

Of course the robbery was somewhat more pressing of an issue, one she really wasn't sure how to deal with. Out of uniform, and definitely don't want to draw attention to myself. Doesn't he have powers? I guess nothing that helps here. It wasn't her business if she wasn't in costume after all, the best she could do would be to call the police or something. There was still the matter of dealing with Sirius, there isn't a shred of doubt in his voice so I doubt I can persuade him he's mistaken. Best I can hope for is to get him to keep quiet about it.

She grabbed him and pulled him away from the scene "Shh, you can't tell anyone about that ok?" she said "I'm out of costume, there isn't much I can do, don't you have any powers?"

With luck she could get him to take care of this for her. Or the robber would just take what he wanted and run off, she certainly wouldn't be opposed to checking to be sure the driver was ok after all, it was certainly well within her civilian role to call an ambulance or the police.

Tim Merridy

"Alright alright," he said, standing up "lets go outside then, anywhere in particular you want to check out? Could see if George wants to come with."

George, huh. I haven't seen him since I confessed.

He had wanted to, simply wander over to the door and knock on it, ask if George wanted to come out to play. But then he remembered the flustered expression and what George had said, that he wasn't ready for anything like that. Tim didn't want to admit it, he had made a pretence of taking it well, but it had still hurt, if only a little bit. However, lingering on the hurt whenever he was idle hadn't really made it better. He only realized that he had gone quiet when Tom spoke again.

"Well any ideas? If its not a far drive to your dorm I could take you by there."

"It's four hours from here," Tim replied, and grinned, pushing his thoughts away. "It's fine, I'm fine, let's just see if George want to come along. We could eat something, or watch a movie... although would that be a little too close to a date?" He shrugged.

"Whatever, I'm sure you being there wouldn't make it even remotely similar! I can't think of anything less romantic than bringing your brother along to a date, so it should be fine," he teased, and hurried out the door, making his way over to George's door, but deciding to let Tom catch up. Not that it was hard for the other to do so.

"You ask him," Tim suddenly said. "If he's there, I mean."
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"Shh, you can't tell anyone about that ok? I'm out of costume, there isn't much I can do, don't you have any powers?"

"I won't tell anyone," Sirius replied. Had he done something bad by recognizing her? He knew that super-heroes were supposed to hide their identities, but he had powers as well, and he wasn't evil, so she had nothing to fear.

"And I do, but they change. Currently, all I can do is cancel other people's powers when they get very close to me. It wouldn't do us much good. I do know some martial arts, but..." He looked over at truck. Anything that could survive a crash with that, would likely not be phased by his moves.

There's the emotions, though.

"If there's two of us, we might manage. Even if we do it as people intending to help, not heroes. There is also something else... if you allow a bond between us, I could channel your emotions to change into a more beneficial power. It's painless, and you can shut it down when you wish to, but it's the only way for me to change powers. I don't experience them on my own, you see." He twisted part of his fringe between his fingers, how many times had he repeated this?

Perhaps I should just wear a sign, or come with a handbook.

Cold grey eyes stared at her, anticipating a reply. "It's up to you, but we need to act quickly, the truck-driver might still be alive."

Tom

"If he's there, I mean."

"Sure, I'll give him a call," Tom said, knocking on the door. After a few moments they could hear someone rummaging around on the other side and then it opened.

"Hey George," Tom said "we were going to go hang out, maybe see a movie or something, you want to come?"

"Uh-um, sure," George said, "give me a bit to get ready."

With that he closed the door, opening it again a minute later now wearing a jacket and shoes. Grinning Tom turned to Tim.

"Alright! The gangs all together," he said "so you got anything you want to see? Avengers 2 just came out, we could see that."

Tom had of course gone to the midnight screening of it, and watched it again with some other friends, but he wasn't about to say no to a third viewing.

________________________________________________________________________

Tess

"It's up to you, but we need to act quickly, the truck-driver might still be alive."

"I can shut it off at any time, and you can't actually read my mind or anything right?" she said, mostly thinking out loud "alright if that's the case then do it."

She might be a villain, but she didn't care for killing people. Besides she had to admit that Sirius intrigued her somewhat.

Emotionless huh? Weird, he still wants to help people though, so clearly has a sense of altruism at least. Man I bet a psychologist would love to do a study or twelve on him. She was relieved to hear that he wouldn't tell anyone about her identity, once again he seemed completely sincere, to the point that she wasn't sure he knew how to lie. And he can nullify powers apparently, that might explain how my mask didn't work on him.

Dr. Schwertner

Vinzenz's attention had wandered from the toiling of his subordinates back to his journal. The thought of the mysterious diagrams appearing among his writings had crawled back to the front of his mind. He paced around the interior balcony, scratching his head, kneading his shoulders, nearly all sorts of fidgeting as theories rapidly jounced through his brain.

"Calm yourself, Doctor," the Voice had called from within his mind. A voice was all Vinzenz knew it to be, though memory of it seemed to come and go along with it. It tried to soothe, but it was cold and empty and it cared not. "Don't think about how...but instead, consider why?"

The doctor let his journal rest at his side while he massaged his temples with his freehand. Why, he thought. Why, why, why. Not even as a question, but the word itself looped through his head. "Purpose...vat's see purpose?" Vinzenz softly asked the empty air.

"It's time to reflect, Doctor," said the Voice. "Remember your history. Think on your mistakes. Reflect. It bears repeating. Your faults do not."

As quickly as it came, the coldness had left. There was no trace of its words in the doctor's mind, except for a faint echo. Vinzenz walked over to the large glass pane and stared out into the city. He wasn't looking at anything in particular, his mind was far too preoccupied to focus on anything going on outside. He brought the journal to his face and studied the pages again. It didn't make sense for it to be there. He had no use for a device that could create a singularity. Or at the very least, generate a simulation of a singularity. It was impractical for starters, and not to mention incredibly unstable.

Then it struck him. It would be unstable without the some form of containment. In exactly the same way as the gate he constructed in Germany. It was an oversight, his ambition blinded him, halted any consideration for the amount of force generated by the gate's creation. However, if he could learn to stabilize space around a singularity from this new device, the same measures would ensure stability with the activation of his new gateway. It would mean taking more time to achieve his goal, but he needed everything to be done right this time.

"Dr. Schwertner." Mina said as she entered the balcony. Mina closed the door to the balcony to provide some privacy. "We need to speak."

Yet another delay, Vinzenz thought as he sighed and pocketed his journal. He turned to face Mina, smiling with his hands clasped behind him unopposedly. "Yes, vat can I do for you, Miss Fukao?"

Jack Crosby

The Shadow Rider grunted and groaned and he put all his weight into giving one more push on the makeshift hydraulic spreader. A simple crowbar simply wasn't doing the trick. The lock boxes were a lot more durable than he'd hoped. Regardless, with one final push, the steel fastener in the box snapped and the box's lid popped right open to reveal his prize. Beneath his mask, a wide grin quickly transformed into a disappointed scowl. "Ya gotaa be kiddin'...rolled coins? Not so much as a bag-a-bills, ya got nothin' in this safe on wheel but a buncha rolled coins?!"

There was a low groan coming from the front of the truck as the driver was slowly regaining consciousness.

"I wasn't askin' you!" Jack shouted angrily. No matter how he looked at it, the coins were still money and something he could make off with. "Least I don't have to carry it all on my own," he muttered with some relief. His shadow extended from his hands and enveloped the boxes of coins, allowing him to lift the entirety of the lock box's contents without much effort. With a shadow bag in each hand, Jack stepped onto the street and into the view of the onlookers.

Theodore

"I want to know where Oakfield is. I need to... to talk." Frederick said. Theodore wasn't entirely convinced of the veracity of the claim given his desires several seconds ago. Still, he'd tell him; just not at the moment. First, Frederick needed to get some rest. His body and soul had been separated for a little too long in his opinion.

A least, that offered a reason to set up some protections for Oakfield; 'Trust but verify' and all that. "Okay; but after the doctors clear you." Theodore said, before adding slyly "Not that I should really comment on that." Once Sofia awoke, he looked at her and nodded. Theodore felt like he should leave Frederick to Sofia because there was only so much he could do as a friend. As family, Sofia was just more effective. "In the mean time, I have a meeting to go to. If you're up for it Frederick, I believe I owe you a dinner and a show so let me know where you want to go."

Thereafter, Theodore made his leave. "Take care Frederick." From there, Theodore made his way to lunch with Rias.

Mina

"Yes, vat can I do for you, Miss Fukao?"

"I have a few items to cover. First, do you have everything you need? Is everything up to your specifications?" Mina asked, starting with the easy part. Once he'd answered, she took care of anything specific he needed (or scheduled it at least), then moved onto the hard part.

"Walking up next to him, she handed him a tablet with a file open. The file was a scan of an old paper document that was marked with age. The paper was written in German and was a list of personnel at a science facility with images next to the names. On the list was a Dr. Schwertner who bore an incredible resemblance to him. On the top right of the page was a swastica in a red circle.

"Care to explain?" Mina said after he'd had a chance to read it.


Specter

"Okay; but after the doctors clear you. Not that I should really comment on that. In the mean time, I have a meeting to go to. If you're up for it Frederick, I believe I owe you a dinner and a show so let me know where you want to go."

He nodded, and held onto Sofia a little closer. The Specter couldn't help but feel tired, walking around right after waking up probably hadn't been the best idea. Not to mention, how long had it been since he slept? He had spent so much time thinking, hiding.

I'm exhausted.

Yet, he knew he couldn't just fall asleep yet. Not with the alarms triggered, anyways.

"Take care Frederick."

Specter.

"Take care, Theodore," he replied, his voice still a little odd. Wrong. It was enough to make Sofia notice the Specter in it, and she looked at him. He could see the doubt in her eyes, though she didn't address it, only went back to embracing him.

I need to apologize.

Even if he hadn't been aware of that he was still alive. Funny how that worked.

"I'm sorry, Sofia." It reminded him of when he had awakened after his former coma, Sofia had been the only one there as well. The moment didn't last for long though, doctors and nurses rushing into the room to make sure he was fine. The Specter didn't want to deal with them, not yet. They would be doing tests and make him talk to them. Not now, he wanted to spend some time with Sofia. He spoke, looking directly at them.

"Leave."

"Mr. Rolls, we need to make sure you're fine--"

"I don't want to. Go away." He lay back down... only he didn't. Instead, a nurse fell down, suddenly. It was clear that she hadn't fallen down on her own accord. Sofia looked at him, then at the nurse, as if she was asking him if he had done it on purpose. The Specter shook his head. Making a quick decision, she breathed in.

"He woke up like that. With... with things like that happening, I mean. A glass broke, and a pillow rose into the air. I think something got knocked around in his head, he's never had any powers before this... and I don't think he's able to control them very well." The doctors looked at each other, and nodded.

"Okay, we'll take a look at it. If there really is something, we will need to find a private room, considering..." they looked at the other coma patient. It was likely that they didn't want the poor fellow to accidentally get something thrown at him. Or worse. "Mr. Rolls, don't move. Anything."

"I won't."

Could this get any worse?

At least Sofia was smiling. Cautiously, worried still, but she was smiling. And right now, that was all that mattered.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"Alright! The gangs all together. So you got anything you want to see? Avengers 2 just came out, we could see that."

Tim told himself he wouldn't let this get awkward. Yet, he couldn't help but look at George, studying the other carefully. Then he raised a hand.

"Greetings, peasant. I hope you've had a pleasant week."

Peasant.

Peasant. He had called someone a peasant. How many years was it since he actually had done that? 2? 3?

No, that's not important, I called George a peasant. I'm supposed to be nice to him.

He grinned, nervously. "Aaanyways, Avengers 2 sounds good, I missed launch night, and---" he looked at Tom.

Wait a minute...

"YOU SLY BASTARD! That's why you were heading out that late at night! How hurtful! Delightfully evil, yes, but that's my job!" He crossed his arms as best he could. He came of as more than a little pissed off, even as he grinned, though he quick to take advantage of the situation.

"Heh. I didn't even think you could lie. You can pay for our tickets, and our food, and I want to sit in the middle, with the best seat. That's what you get for leaving your poor brother inside," he huffed, insulted over that Tom hadn't asked him if he wanted to come along. At least his anger hid the fact that he still couldn't bring himself to look directly at George.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"I can shut it off at any time, and you can't actually read my mind or anything right? Alright if that's the case then do it."

Sirius nodded. "Yes, it's not mind-reading, it's just borrowing your emotions. Give me your hand then..." he closed his eyes, and she could feel the connection snap in place, though there was nothing coming through. On his side, however, there was curiosity mixed with worry mixed with some other emotions. All together, it blended together, not really leaning towards one of the three more extreme emotions of sadness, anger or happiness. Instead, his eyes turned a mixed colour, and the air around him sparked for the briefest moment. Tess could see that there was more emotions in his expression now, and he tilted his head, smiling.

"Electricity it is, thanks. And that looks like our friend the criminal." His accent was a lot obvious now. A suspicious looking man -was that rude to think?- stepped in front of them. He looked like he was the motorbike driver, and Sirius raised his hand, shooting a bolt of lightning towards the stranger.

"Mister, I don't know what your power is, but you're going to give up." As he spoke, he carefully motioned for the pretty woman to handle the driver, as he approached the bad guy, intending to fight him in close range combat, lightning sparks in his hands. He felt at the odd mix of emotions in his chest, and spoke again.

"So? Are you going to move? Or is it only okay to use your powers when the other person is unarmed and defenceless?"

Rias and her band arrived at the restaurant they'd chosen and waited at the table for Theodor to arrive for dinner.

Ivaan, Bom and Rias made ideal conversation with each-other while Rias looked over the menu in search of something that looks good. All three where dressed, fairly nice, they didn't go over board, but they did take the time to 'clean up a bit'.

Dr. Schwertner

"I have a few items to cover. First, do you have everything you need? Is everything up to your specifications?"

"Yes, sank you," Vinzenz replied quickly with a friendly smile, trying not to show his eagerness to see her departure. "Eversing is as it should be, just vaiting for see essential pieces for see device's main structure. Vich I have been assured are currently being machined und vill be delivered next veek. Alsough you can expect a request in see near future. Sere is an essential component I have recently drafted. Not too many parts, sough sey are of course unique. May take some time."

The doctor had hoped she was only making a routine checkup and the meeting would remain brief, though it seemed Mina had other plans. She handed Vinzenz a tablet and his smile vanished the moment he set eyes on the document. He was hit with a cocktail of emotions and did his best to keep them from view. Though he had a feeling if it were the actual paper she put in his hands, he doubted he'd have the control to refrain from tearing it to pieces on sight. He shot a sharp gaze at Mina. It was a momentary glance, but his view returned to the tablet once again. He inhaled deeply to calm himself and released a slow sigh. Then he handed the tablet back to Mina and slowly approached the window, leaning against the balcony's railing and looking down onto the streets below.

"Given your position, I sink it a fair assumption sat you have made sacrifices, correct?" Vinzenz asked rhetorically. He tightened his grip on the railing as he recalled the day he was approached by the physicist Johannes Stark himself. He was accompanied by two men who revealed themselves to be members of the Gestapo. It was clear that whatever Stark was interested in, he was very serious about it. He made an 'offer' for a partnership, though they may as well have had Vinzenz cuffed and dragged from his home, for there was only the illusion of choice given the present company. An agreement was made quickly and without much ado. His goodbyes were brief and unceremonious, as he didn't know that would be the last he'd see of his parents.

"My time vis see Reich vas...a necessary partnership. Feh! Hardly a 'partnership'...I vas told to jump, und I jumped. Sey came to my home. Sey told me I vas to make my country proud. Sat I vas a brilliant mind, sat I had see potential to furser Germany's place as a superior technological force. I smiled und nodded. I knew vat could happen if I resisted. My only solace vas see fact I could research anysing I vanted, so long as it benefited see Reich. I read on a seory of parallel dimensions, see possibility of new realities. It seemed absurd at first. Most likely vy it vas discarded as useless to pursue. But I pursued it. Und I succeeded! Vell...not as intended. I vas...see first gateway pulled me in. Und..." There was an extended pause as the doctor's mind clouded and he was hit with a sudden migraine. He massaged his temples with his eyes shut tight. "I don't remember much of see experience, but srough pure chance I vas transported to see varehouse you found me."

Mina

Mina kept a close eye on the doctor after handing him the tablet. She wanted to read his reaction to the information. So important was this to her that she followed the man to the window to keep sight of his reaction. Truth told, she didn't so much care that he'd worked for the Nazi party. So had Wernher von Braun and he'd been welcomed to America with open arms. It was unlikely that Dr. Schwertner had directly hurt the allied forces and his scientific sphere wouldn't have contributed to the holocaust.

Not that the man who'd put this document together would agree. Aldric would be ecstatic that there was another Nazi scientist left to kill. Fortunately, he was unaware and would not be uncovering this fact.

What she cared about was his intentions. After reading him, her gut told her he wasn't lying. Mina trusted her gut when it came to people. "Good. Now tell me this isn't some harebrained scheme to open a portal to a parallel universe where the Nazis won WWII or something." she finished, watching him closely. The last thing she needed was an army of super-Nazis storming the city from her brand new tower.

Theodore

Theodore arrived at the restaurant a few minutes before the agreed upon time. He'd had to run to pull it off, but he was there. Theodore hated being late. Walking inside, Theodore glanced around until he spotted Rias. He made his way over and greeted them. "I hope I haven't kept you waiting long." he said, holding out his hand to shake with the band members.

Jack Crosby

"So? Are you going to move? Or is it only okay to use your powers when the other person is unarmed and defenceless?"

The Shadow Rider chuckled and shook his head at the man who opposed him. "Christ, bleedin' hearts are a dime a dozen in this city," he muttered. His Shadow began to form massive black gauntlets around his arms, still retaining the rolls of coins beneath the surface. The Shadow crept up, further along his arms until they tapered at his shoulders. "Now listen here, Sparky. I ain't givin' up nothin', so if you think you're gonna make me...well, you got another thing comin'." Jack dashed forward and leapt at his challenger, right arm cocked back and ready to strike.

Dr. Schwertner

"Good. Now tell me this isn't some harebrained scheme to open a portal to a parallel universe where the Nazis won WWII or something."

"If sere is von good sing I can say about see state of sis vorld, it is see distinct lack of Nazis," Vinzenz said assuringly. He stood upright from the railing and faced Mina, hands clasped at the small of his back. "So you can rest knowing I have no intention on aiding seir return. My pursuits, vhile vonce in line vis see Reich, are strictly my own."

Tom

"YOU SLY BASTARD! That's why you were heading out that late at night! How hurtful! Delightfully evil, yes, but that's my job!"

"What, you needed your sleep to get better," Tom said sheepishly, he would have brought Tim along if he hadn't been injured, but now that Tim was accusing him he felt somewhat bad about leaving him out of it.

"Heh. I didn't even think you could lie. You can pay for our tickets, and our food, and I want to sit in the middle, with the best seat. That's what you get for leaving your poor brother inside,"

"Uh sure," Tom said "I mean I kinda figured I'd end up buying your ticket anyways."

"I-uh I can buy my own ticket," George said, looking a little startled by Tim's attitude "I don't want to cause any trouble."

"What? No you're fine," Tom said "It's my treat, really."

With that Tom felt the debate, if it could even be called such, had been settled and started leading the trio out on their way to the movies.

________________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

"So? Are you going to move? Or is it only okay to use your powers when the other person is unarmed and defenceless?"

"Now listen here, Sparky. I ain't givin' up nothin', so if you think you're gonna make me...well, you got another thing comin'."

Well he seems to have that well in hand, I should go make sure the civilian is alright, she thought, moving out to check on the man. She had to admit she was somewhat impressed by Sirius's display, he didn't hesitate, and was clearly confident in his ability to handle the situation. Wonder if any of that is coming from me or if it's all him. I'll have to ask him to explain his powers better later.

The civilian who had been injured seemed to have taken a blow to the head, would probably need to visit the hospital for a concussion, but as far as she could tell would likely be fine after such a trip. Then again she wasn't a doctor, nor did she have medical equipment on hand to tell if there was any internal bleeding or the like, but there wasn't much she could do about that. I wonder, should I call the cops on this joker? I'd rather not, they'd want to talk to me, though I should phone an ambulance for this guy once this blows over.

"Just sit still, try not to move too much," she said to the man, turning to watch Sirius and the criminal duke it out. Sirius should have just skipped the threat and blasted him, cocky punk like that isn't too likely to back down.


Specter

The Specter was tired of the tests by now. He had been told to move things with his mind more than his actual body had been checked for any damage, and each time something toppled over or got raised into the air, curious doctors took notes. Apparently, it wasn't the first time someone had gained powers after trauma, though they had not seen a telekinesis user get something knocked in place for it to happen. Of course, he hadn't gained them after this, but he wasn't going to correct them, especially because of that the Specter was apparently in the newspaper, branded a bad guy now.

There went my super-hero career.

Not that he cared too much. Playing hero had gotten him killed twice, and even now, in his body, it still was wrong. It didn't fit, and because of that, his powers were acting up. At least his more ghost-like abilities didn't seem to be activating at random, they seemed to act on instinct rather than when he tried to move. The telekinesis was worse off, it felt similar to moving his body, and sometimes he confused them, or thought he could tell the difference and was proven very, very mistaken. At least he was getting used to it, knowing when he was moving his body, and when he was using telekinesis. That still didn't change the fact that he was outright exhausted, though.

If only I could go home, and be alone.

Sofia was there, outside the room, watching as the tests happened. That was pretty much the only thing that made the Specter behave, he wanted to act like a child, tell them to go away so that he could sleep, or open the door and push them out. At first, he did his best to seem chipper, smiling and joking. However, his mood turned sour quickly, a mix of the exhaustion, the feeling of being trapped in a body that didn't work correctly, and the anger and despair from before causing him a headache. The doctors tried to get him to do more, told him the tests were necessary, asked him if he remember anything from his coma, and he did what he could to answer. Then, suddenly, he stopped wanting to, just staring at them, hoping they'd get the picture.

"Mr. Rolls, I know you're tired, but we need to ensure that---"

"I'm not Mr. Rolls," he replied, absentmindedly.

"Frederick then--"

"I'm not Frederick." He looked directly at the man. "And I'm going to go to sleep." With that, he put his head down, closing his eyes. A bewildered doctor finally agreed, though the Specter could hear him tell one of the nurses to request another scan of his brain, to make sure that there was no head injuries.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"What, you needed your sleep to get better,"

"As if, you just wanted me to be out of your hair." He stuck his tongue out, though he wasn't going to hold it against Tom too long. Only for the amount of time it was beneficial for him. While Tom seemed to accept that he would be paying, George insisted on paying himself.

That's...

He blinked, and bit his tongue to not continue the thought. It probably wouldn't have worked, however, he managed to bite his tongue, which hurt like hell.

Goddammit!

"What? No you're fine. It's my treat, really."

"Yeah, don't worry about it, Tom's a nice guy, he wouldn't say something like that and hold it against you."

He awkwardly patted George's back, before he went quiet, slinking into the back-seat and taking the chance to close his eyes for a short moment. He had to admit that he hadn't been sleeping a lot these days, a lot of pain and no more pills. It drove him insane, though at least the cast could be taken off soon. He hoped. As they got to the cinema, he went ahead to get the best seats -couldn't rely on the likes of Tom to do that- and to get the biggest popcorn there was, though he had a hard time carrying it. Eventually, they got seated, and he looked towards the movie, though he couldn't help but look over at George every now and then.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"Christ, bleedin' hearts are a dime a dozen in this city,"

"Excuse me?" Sirius said, raising an eyebrow. The curiosity from Coil -what was her actual name?- hadn't faded yet, and even with the rest of the feelings mixed in, it seemed the strongest. The robber started using his powers, some sort of shadow that crept onto his arms, making gauntlets.

I probably shouldn't let those hit me.

"Now listen here, Sparky. I ain't givin' up nothin', so if you think you're gonna make me...well, you got another thing comin'."

"My name isn't Sparky, it's Sirius," he replied, and, as the other ran towards him, clearly going to punch, he stepped to the side. Seeing as the risk-taking nature of the other had left a hole in the stranger's guard, Sirius simply stepped closer again, grabbing his back and putting a hand on his neck. As his opponent was quite a lot shorter than him, this wasn't hard to do, especially not since it was all one swift motion. He decided not to go easy on the criminal, letting enough electricity to hopefully knock the other out run through his body, though making sure it was far from a killing blow.

"And I wouldn't challenge martial users to a fist-fight that easily, if I were you."

"I hope I haven't kept you waiting long."

"Nah" Ivaan said as he stood to greet Theodor, Bom and Rias following suit "We've only been her a few minutes, haven't even gotten our drinks yet." Rias said, before the lot of them sat back down. "Busy day? You seem a bit winded." Bom asked as Rias having picked her meal waited for the waiter to come back around. "Wouldn't be surprised, after everything that's happened recently he's probably swamped."

Mina

Hearing the doctor's words, Mina sighed in relief. "Super-Science Nazi Warmachines" being off the table was a worry she was happy to be rid of. The last thing she wanted was some corny comic-book style super-villainy tainting her activities.

"Very well." Mina said, taking back the tablet. She closed the files on his past and instead opened a different set of files. "Last item of business. As I'm sure you're aware, my company recently begin providing support for the Neutropolis city police and emergency services in the form of some high-powered suits to combat superhuman threats. These are the specifications for the current design. I'd like you to look them over and see if you have any input for future improvements. I don't need any specific design work; just some fresh-eyed suggestions to give to the actual design team."

Theodore

"Busy day? You seem a bit winded."

"You have no idea. Between the recent uproar against superhumans, some rather difficult investigations into Psyclone's activities, and a friend in the hospital it's been a long week. Your respective weeks were better I trust?" Theodore asked between flagging down a waiter for a drink (coffee of course).

Theodore for his part was just trying to relax; trying to forget all the stress of the last week and enjoy a meal. He doubted it would work out that way, but he could hope.

"Some ass hole broke into Ivaan's car, but that's about the worst of it for us." Bom said. "Well, that, and the odd moron getting mad at me for not stopping something I've publicly stated I want no part of." Rias said. "I mean really, what part of 'I've no interest in being a super hero or villain' was unclear." she added, slightly annoyed.

"Anyway" Ivaan started, cutting in. "Putting the unpleasantness of that, and the week in general a side, thanks for treating us like this."

Jack Crosby

"My name isn't Sparky, it's Sirius."

"Gah!" Jack cried as the electricity coursed through his body. His Shadow dissipated momentarily and the boxes of coins fell to his sides. He stumbled and nearly fell, but managed to steady himself without too much trouble. Though he was a but shaky from the shock. The Shadow Rider managed to regain his composure and he turned to face the man that made himself known as Sirius.

"And I wouldn't challenge martial users to a fist-fight that easily, if I were you."

"That a fact?" Jack asked brusquely, and with a tone of clear agitation. His Shadow formed around his arms again, stretching down to pick up the coins as he stood. It engulfed the boxes and strips of cardboard began to fall from the black masses. Jack's Shadow had started to take shape, previously amorphic sections became defined and more solid. "I'll hafta keep that in mind," he said as he pointed at Sirius with his arms, from which protruded large barrels. A 'foomp' resonated from within the barrels as a roll of pennies was ejected from each barrel, the paper casings shredded and the coins scattering like a shotgun blast.

Dr. Schwertner

"Last item of business. As I'm sure you're aware, my company recently begin providing support for the Neutropolis city police and emergency services in the form of some high-powered suits to combat superhuman threats. These are the specifications for the current design. I'd like you to look them over and see if you have any input for future improvements. I don't need any specific design work; just some fresh-eyed suggestions to give to the actual design team."

"I do not read into sese matters of city business, but I vill take a look nonseless," Vinzenz said, accepting the tablet once again. He furrowed his brow at the blueprints, scrolling up and down, zooming in and out, and pacing back and forth. He came to a stop at his original spot and cleared his throat. "Vell, I sink, sat vhile it looks sleek und befitting a super-force, I sink a more...expanded design could be more beneficial. I recommend larger casings for see lower body overall, und for see shoulders und back. It vould allow for see inclusion of a more dense hull und room for shock absorption, as I don't sink sese super individuals vill be light on sese men. Perhaps high-pressure pneumatic pistons in see legs, allow for greater mobility, if slightly reduced range of motion. Compression units could be easily fitted to see heels. Perhaps see wrists as vell, if...no, sat vould be far too much of a hindrance. More suitable for a larger design..."

The doctor trailed off a little bit, thought silently for a moment longer, then perked up as his processes concluded. He offered the tablet to Mina along with his advice, "I've marked und labeled vere I sink improvements could be made. It vould seem comfort und streamlining vas see focus in see design, but sat inhibits imperative functions. As see saying goes, an ax in see house keeps see carpenter away. Und all sings considered, a more sturdy soldier is never a bad sing."

The Crick

The Crick came soaring down, landing hard in front of Sirius and putting his arm up. A riot shield quickly folded out from his forearm, blocking the shadow-powered shotgun blast. The Crick staggered backwards slightly. Where did this guy get those guns from? He looked down, noticing the pennies clattering around his feet, a faint black shimmer steaming off them. The Crick looked up, finally realizing the shadows weren't shadows, like he'd initially thought early, when he was watching and listening to the scene unfold from a distance.

The shadows sounded weird. Like and infinite mass of...nothing. Like an empty room that stretched on for eternity, but had that high-pitched noise that came with it. Nails moving across and endless chalkboard. with the faint sound of...screaming?

"Hey Donnie Darko, that's a neat trick you got there but it ain't exactly fair against an unarmed opponent."

The Crick looked back at Sirius. He thought he'd recognized the voice. This guy was showing up more and more, was he trying to 'go hero'? He quickly shoved these thoughts to the back of his mind and focused on the problem at hand.

"Look, I wanted to go for a walk, clear my head, play some Crossy Roads on my phone, you know chill. But you don't seem like the kinda guy to just yield easily and I've had up to hear with the supernatural. So, how bout me and my friend...Grey-haired man, bring you in?"

Tess

"And I wouldn't challenge martial users to a fist-fight that easily, if I were you."

And he knows martial arts, interesting not many heroes around here seem to bother to learn them. Or villains for that matter, I wonder what he practices. This didn't seem to intimidate the villain though, who seemed to create coin firing shotguns out of his shadows, only to be blocked by the sudden arrival of the Crick. Wonder if he's going to invite Sirius into his super-club as well. Needs to work on his names though, Grey-haired man? Come on.

Still this was proving quite amusing, though at the moment she saw no reason to step in. At the moment it was far more entertaining to be a bystander than to be a hero or a villain, besides she didn't have a costume with her to be anything else.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tom

The movie proved quite enjoyable, and Tom had to restrain himself repeatedly from pointing out various references to the comics as he watched. George seemed to enjoy it quite a bit as well, and he was sure Tim was having fun, if rooting for the villain the whole time. All too soon though they were leaving the theater, Tom munching on the last of the popcorn that was left.

"Well what did you guys think?" he said.

"It was fun," George said "th-thanks for bringing us out here."

Tim Merridy

"Well what did you guys think?"

"It was fun, th-thanks for bringing us out here."

"I liked the first one better, had a more fun villain," Tim replied, rubbing his arm. It had gotten quite stiff from him being unable to move it much, though the itching was definitely the worst part of the whole "cast" experience.

Only a few days now... I wonder if I could remove it myself, I mean, it's only supposed to be on this long so that it's perfectly healed, right?

"Even so, I don't think it's completely totally garbage. It was enjoyable," he grinned, pushing away his thoughts about getting away from the bandages. If he really was going to take the chance, he'd rather not let it become apparent. Perhaps he could surprise Tom, considering that the other would assume he was keeping them on until his doctor's appointment.

It'd be perfect. And, with the people of the city thinking the heroes are bad guys... I could ruin his reputation.

Innocently, he looked at George, and back at Tom. He figured he would have to say something to not appear as if he was scheming.

"Also, before I forget, I think I had a question... oh, yeah, the two of you, how'd you become friends? With George being all quiet and cute, and Tom being a noisy comic-book fanboy, you've got to have something in common."

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

It seemed like Sirius' shock had been too gentle, and the bad guy quickly got back up. It had become rather clear that this was the robber, why else would he act like this?

That means I won't have to go easy on him either.

"I'll hafta keep that in mind,"

the stranger said, and the shadows crept up his arms again. Sirius raised his hands, ready to apply another dose of "shock-therapy", only to realize too late that the other was forming guns this time. Reverting back to his state of no emotions, Sirius attempted to cancel the power, but it soon became clear that he had acted too slowly, the guns were already fully formed by the time he tried to cancel it. Since the things being shot at him were coins, he was powerless to stop them. His only choice was to step back and try to get out of the way, and as he was about to dodge, someone jumped in front of him.

"Hey Donnie Darko, that's a neat trick you got there but it ain't exactly fair against an unarmed opponent. Look, I wanted to go for a walk, clear my head, play some Crossy Roads on my phone, you know chill. But you don't seem like the kinda guy to just yield easily and I've had up to here with the supernatural. So, how bout me and my friend...Grey-haired man, bring you in?"

"I'm not grey-haired," Sirius replied, a bit insulted. "And I'm not a hero, so I don't need a title," he continued, backing away a little more and to the side. However, rather than running away, he went back to the mixed emotions state, feeling a bit more amused -he wondered why Tess was amused, though- and fired an electric bolt. He was aiming at the bad guy from a direction unblocked by the power ranger, and suddenly ran towards the bad guy as well, hoping to tackle him and take him by surprise.

Theodore

"...thanks for treating us like this." Ivaan said. Theodore just smiled and replied "It's my pleasure."

A few minutes later, Theodore was done looking through the menu and placed his order. The conversation wandered to several odd topics - weather, plans, etc - before Theodore broached his secondary topic. "So, before we get too deep into the party mood, there's an item I'd like to discuss with all of you. As I'm sure you know, Summerfest is coming up. Loveless Media is looking for people to put on stage and I was wondering if you'd be interested in performing. It's going to be on one of the off days and not the ideal time slot, but it's still on the main stage and it's still the biggest day in music here in the city. You don't need to give me an answer today, but please think it over." Theodore said.

Then his soup arrived and the famished radio host dug into it.

Mina

Mina took notes on all of the ideas the doctor offered and added them where necessary to the drafts. The ideas were solid and bore testing out. Still, she was certain others would be sure to take advantage of the information to improve the design.

"Thank Dr. Schwertner. I will come by occasionally for further input. If there are any design problems you'd like fresh eyes looking at, send me the draft and the problem to be solved and I'll see the engineers and scientists take a look. In the mean time, I'll see about expediting your special equipment. Now, unless there's anything you need from me. I have other meetings and projects to attend to." Mina said, casting the doctor a questioning glance.

As the food arrived Loveless made then band an offer, and as Bom and Ivaan dug, along with Theo, Rias gave the only answer she really could "I wanna say 'yes, of course' but we do need to run it by Claire first, she is kind of the boss. I'm pretty sure she'll say yes though." she said as her steak started cutting it self free of the bone.

"I'm sure she, as well as us, are concerned about a repeat of the festival." Rias paused for a second, like she was thinking about something. "By the way, why is Coil getting so much attention? I mean it's not even 'cause she's new' it's more like 'she's the only one anyone talks about' and I KNOW Unicorn is out there doing stuff. Had to take her to the hospital after the Blimp exploded."

Jack Crosby

"Hey Donnie Darko, that's a neat trick you got there but it ain't exactly fair against an unarmed opponent. Look, I wanted to go for a walk, clear my head, play some Crossy Roads on my phone, you know chill. But you don't seem like the kinda guy to just yield easily and I've had up to hear with the supernatural. So, how bout me and my friend...Grey-haired man, bring you in?"

"Unarmed?" The Shadow Rider asked jovially, arms wide in accusation. "Looks like he's got two perfectly good arms to me. And you ain't bringin' me anywhere. Been locked up once already, it ain't my scene, know what I mean? So I'll tell ya what, Skippy. You an' your friend, the Human Bug-Zapper over there, can go find an old lady to help across the street or someth-"

Suddenly a bolt of lightning was headed right for Jack. His Shadow formed a misshapen shield in a hurry and absorbed the bolt, though there was a residual tingling the Shadow Rider felt in his arm. He peered over the shield and saw the redhead running at him. "Whoa-ho-ho," Jack guffawed at the man's shot. "Well look who's fightin' dirty now." With a push, he extended the black mass straight at his opponent. A black chain kept it tethered while the solid Shadow hurtled through the air.

Dr. Schwertner

"Thank Dr. Schwertner. I will come by occasionally for further input. If there are any design problems you'd like fresh eyes looking at, send me the draft and the problem to be solved and I'll see the engineers and scientists take a look. In the mean time, I'll see about expediting your special equipment. Now, unless there's anything you need from me. I have other meetings and projects to attend to."

"Und sank you, Ms. Fukao," Vinzenz nodded. "Sis meeting vas...refreshing. If I should sink of anysing, I vill be sure to send a request. But for now, please, don't let me keep you from your duties."

Tom and George

"Also, before I forget, I think I had a question... oh, yeah, the two of you, how'd you become friends? With George being all quiet and cute, and Tom being a noisy comic-book fanboy, you've got to have something in common."

"Uh, I think we met in a class or something?" Tom said, trying to remember "we go to the same university after all."

"Y-you weren't watching where you were going and knocked me over," George said "you were really sorry and since I was new offered to show me around campus."

"Oh yeah! That was it!" Tom said "then we met again in line for a movie right?"

"Y-yeah I think so," George said, then paused suddenly realizing he had been called cute by Tim and looked away awkwardly for a few moments.

"S-so how did you two meet?" George asked, mainly directing the question at Tim "like did you learn you had a brother from the adoption agency or something?"

____________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

"And I'm not a hero, so I don't need a title,"

Oh better and better, though really he sorta is a hero given that he's jumped to help people every time I've seen him. And yet he's emotionless, sorta, why does he do it then? Might have to ask him later. The villain Sirius was fighting suddenly went on the offensive, flinging out a shadowy chain though, somewhat surprising Tess who turned to see how Sirius and Crick would react.

The villain was outnumbered after all, at this point it would be smartest to run away. Crick would be able to pursue but at least one of them would stay to help the victim, evening the odds again. Man some villains are just as stupid as heroes huh?

Tim Merridy

"S-so how did you two meet? Like did you learn you had a brother from the adoption agency or something?"

"Hah, no," Tim grinned. He hadn't noticed George looking away, but the idea of getting to know about it from an adoption agency seemed ridiculous, considering how it had happened.

"We just ran into each other. Or rather, we both ran over to a certain famous individual, and met, a couple of weeks ago. Then, we met as friends, but I couldn't help but think that something was off, so I asked my parents, and bam, we're twins. It was the weirdest coincidence ever," he explained, not taking his eyes off the sky. He spoke almost absent-mindedly, it was a good effect.

"Of course, then that happened, and a weird coincidence turned out to be more like a destiny, as if we were supposed to meet again like this. Odd, right?" He chuckled. Tom would get the latter part, but George wouldn't, and he liked keeping it a bit secret. After all, he was a villain and a criminal, but that didn't mean he'd break the special rules around a secret identity.

Not even I would stoop that low.

Revealing someone's secret identity was beyond morals and the law, it was the "code", to be unbroken. Besides, it removed a lot of the fun.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"Well look who's fightin' dirty now."

"I never said I was aiming for a fair fight," Sirius replied, and stepped away. He used small movements to get out of the way, and around the villain, trying to grab him. As he did, he sent electricity out around them, it would be unsafe to step closer, and the stranger could definitely feel some of it, stinging and hurting. Sirius himself didn't feel it, but according to his father it was not that bad. Then again, Sirius no longer aimed to harm the stranger.

I think it should be safe to try to take him in unharmed. Especially if a trained hero is here.

"Come on, give up," he finally said. "You're just wasting everyone's time by now." What he didn't mention, however, was that he was trying to make sure the villain didn't go after the hurt driver or Coil.

Theodore

"I'm sure she, as well as us, are concerned about a repeat of the festival." Rias said, drawing a nod from Theodore. "Take your time; just let me know regardless." he said. Given how crazy things had been lately, he could hardly fault their caution. The business with the last festival and Psyclone in general had been utterly unmanageable; even for the heroes. Hence, prudence.

However, what Rias said after got him thinking. "By the way, why is Coil getting so much attention? I mean it's not even 'cause she's new' it's more like 'she's the only one anyone talks about' and I KNOW Unicorn is out there doing stuff. Had to take her to the hospital after the Blimp exploded." It was a fair assessment... but why? Thedore quickly responded with a "I don't really know; not my shows.", but the point stuck to him. For the remainder of the meal, the comment hung in Theodore's mind even as the conversation moved to different topics.

Toward the end of the meal, it hit him. Coil WAS the point! Psyclone and everything that happened served to build up Coil as a true hero even as the others failed in the public eye. Even The Crick who a week ago would have been untouchable was now tarnished. So, the question was really "who benefited from Coil succeeding while other heroes failed?". The answer was obvious... but unprovable.

When the bill came, Theodore put his money (plus a very generous tip) on the table and turned to the group. "Thank you for coming Ms. DeDannan." he said, before similarly addressing the rest of the small group. "Let's do this again sometime. The conversation was quite enlightening." he said, smiling slightly. "Now, if you'll excuse me; I have a great deal of research to do."

Once the pleasantries were done, Theodore made his way onto the street. He hardly made it a block before sending The Crick a message. "C, it's T. I think I've made some progress into the Psyclone investigation. I'm heading to track down some leads and see what I can dredge up. There's nothing solid yet, but do me a favor and keep an eye on Coil. I don't know for certain, but I think she's very near the center of all this whether she knows it or not."

Pulling out a pack of cigarettes, Theodore took a short smoke before making his first move.

"Siri, google 'Mina Fukau'"

The Crick

The Crick watched in as electricity arched around Sirius, keeping 'Shadow Man' (as The Crick had decided to name him) at bay. This guy was getting more interesting by the second...he hadn't used any of those powers at the festival though. He needed to have a word with him sooner or later.

"Come on, give up," he finally said. "You're just wasting everyone's time by now."

"I'd listen to the man." The Crick said, releasing his fiddlers and having them silently rotate around the man.

"It's two against one, you're out-manned and out-gunned."

The Crick could hear the haggered, faint breathing nearby, Shadow Man's victim, but he could also hear someone else's breathing attending to them.

"But if you want to discuss these terms, we can gladly take this somewhere else."

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