The Super Hero RP Deluxe! (Closed, Started)

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Devil Psyclone/Pilot Light

Psyclone stared at The Crick, rather bored and irritated. He'd never really liked the guy. A bit too "by the book", the goodiest of two shoes around. So seeing him angry and tired, well, that was interesting to Psyclone. It was fun. It was exactly what he loved about people. Watching them bend and break and spiral out of control. But The Crick was regaining himself, trying to control his composure. Psyclone had to give him props. But he wondered how far he could push em'. Maybe another day, Psyclone had bigger things to think about.

"Listen man, for the next few minutes we might be on the same side. Whoever Al worked for tried to kill me and the more I think about it, the more I sort of realize that killing Al regardless of their moral standing and above all other things probably didn't put their 'good graces' so just sit back and relax. I'm sure I've made enough noise to-"

Psyclone's eyes focused on the alarmingly fast object that had seemingly appeared nowhere. He made out a feminine shape and then one of a male. A male with white hair. And in those few seconds as the figure reached out, a familiar sensation began to creep in on Psyclone.

"No! Not again!" Psyclone said as he quickly slammed the ground with a vortex around his wrist and sent shattered glass flying towards the two new targets.

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The Crick

The Crick watched the blur fly by him and towards Psyclone when the room exploded once more, this time with shards of glass. The Crick was really testing this shield he'd built in today. As he stood taking the onslaught, he felt something clamp and against his leg, slight sparks arching across it. The watch didn't find any actual "leg" since The Crick didn't have any to spare, but it managed to find a servo line and shorted it out.

"What the hell-" The Crick turned to watch Coil in a full on sprint.

"Someone stop Coil! She's working with the enemy!" The Crick quickly fell to his knee.


Specter?

The Specter had been powerless to return an attack on Psyclone. What could he do, while there was fire, it was also apparent that Psyclone had kept the rest of his abilities. To Specter, that made one thing clear; he couldn't attack without being responded to. For a while, he let Crick deal with Psyclone, though he kept waiting for an opportunity to strike. Vengeance was the only clear thought in his mind.

Soon. There will have to be an opening in his supposedly perfect defence.

Then the solution arrived. The girl that he had happened upon a couple of weeks ago, though the more interesting party was the guy sitting on the staff behind her. The red-haired man with the ability to cancel Psyclone's powers on close hold.

That's just what I need.

"No! Not again!"

While Psyclone was distracted, the Specter decided to attack the villain with more . He grabbed a bench with telekinesis and used his power to throw it towards Psyclone, making sure to let go of it before it got too close to the red-hair for it to get cancelled.

Try to dodge that, you bastard.

As for the pieces glass... well, he attempted to flick them away so that the two young people wouldn't get hit by glass, but he might have acted a little too late. He did manage to clear out the worst of them.

That's not my responsibility.

Yet, he felt empty inside again.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"Call the bomb squad or something,"

Tim raised an eyebrow -though that was obviously not visible through the armor- was calling a bomb squad really going to happen now?

"They know where this is going on, right? And I didn't really bring a phone, I wasn't exactly expecting to call the police, that's fairly low on my to do list, like, ever..." he trailed off as someone arrived on a staff.

What the...

"Someone stop Coil! She's working with the enemy!"

From the front part of his armor, tentacles appeared to grab at Coil. Getting past Tim would prove rather difficult, though his intention was not to trap her, but to simply propose a little... deal. So, Coil was working with the enemy, huh. Tim wanted to use that for something. As the tentacles wrapped around her and their ends split into small hands, he laughed.

"Don't worry, she's not going to get away," Tim said. "I'm not going to let her run off just like that!" He pulled her closer, and spoke, with a much more quiet voice.

"You see, I have something I want to ask you... as a fellow bad guy, I mean."

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

The first part of plan went well, they got inside and got close enough to Psyclone to cancel a lot of his powers. That much was simple enough. However, when it came to grabbing him, that was not quite as simple, and Sirius got a bit distracted.

"Someone stop Coil! She's working with the enemy!"

Coil? She's... working with the enemy?

If he had been more emotional, perhaps there would have been a feeling of shock, something to throw off his abilities. For once, he was glad he didn't have that.

I'll have to talk to her later, though.

"No! Not again!"

He tried to reach for Psyclone to stop what might happen, but he was too late, and Psyclone sent pieces of glass flying towards them.

"Dodge!" Sirius said and jumped off the staff, in front of the pieces of glass. He shielded his face as he landed, though the familiar feeling of glass -less glass than it had looked like before, oddly enough- hitting his flesh. If only it had been the first time that happened.

At least I didn't get anything in my eyes... I think.

He didn't open his eyes yet, though he could feel the damage it had done on his arms and body, blood running down his arms. Hopefully he had managed to shield the young -but not really- girl, if nothing else. The landing went okay, it was a couple of feet from the floor, and he rolled as he landed. Trying to get close enough to Psyclone, he ran towards the villain, unaware of Specter's attack.

Mina

As the pair closed the distance, she heard Psyclone yell out "No! Not again!" and blast of glass shards out toward them. Sirius was the first to react as he jumped from the speeding staff to grab Psyclone.

For her part, Mina dismissed her fly spell and threw a barrier spell in front of the oncoming glass in front of both her and Sirius. The wall of force only lasted a second before she dismissed it, but it captured at least some of glass headed there way. From there, she hit the ground with a bit too much force. She rolled to a stop, but the glass left her bloodied and cut. The wounds weren't particularly serious, but they weren't good either.

Pushing herself up, she transformed her staff into a scythe and pushed forward toward Psyclone; a fair ways behind Sirius.

Devil Psyclone/Pilot Light and The Crick

"Don't you fucking dare-" Psyclone was struck by the bench with enough force to send flying across the room and away from Sirius and the witch girl. But not by much. He slammed into a wall as the bench splintered on impact, many of them flying into Psyclone body. He laid there, un-moving. Silent. Gradually, the splinters began to rotate, came a flame, and fizzled into ash.

"...okay. That's it. Killing you all. Even you fuckin' Casper!"

Psyclone, still sitting in a heap swung his arms out. Multiple vortex rocketed away from Psyclone's body. He didn't care if Sirius cancelled his powers, he could only cancel the one heading for him. And even that didn't matter. Psyclone wasn't trying to hit anyone.

The vortexes reached the water around the island and gradually grew into water spouts, rotating around the island itself.

[color="Okay, here's MY game. In a few minutes, those tornadoes are gonna make one big tornado around this island. Either Al's boss shows up and I get what I want, you leave me alone, or we all get end up in one big water shitty logged blender? You fuckin' cool with that?" Psyclone yelled as a thunder crack shook the sky.

The Crick walked past Sirius and the Witch girl. The timer in his helmet was at down to the last few seconds.

"...you know those are actually pretty fair demands. I just don't think 'Jiminy' is gonna be okay with that."

"Who the fuck is Jiminy-" The wall behind Psyclone exploded as he a mechanical a large mechanical something slammed through it and sent him flying across the room. Psyclone skirted across the floor and towards the middle of the room. The Crick jumped through the air and landed on the back of the large brown and black mechanical figure. Its back opened up and and The Crick stepped into it, the mechanical figure combining with The Crick's armor.

"Integration complete. Cicada armor online" a synthesized voice said.

"I'm done playing games today. I. Am. Done. Sirius, Witch Girl,Keep his powers at bay-"

"FINE! YOU WANNA FUCKING DANCE" Psyclone yelled, summoning a vortex of flame around his body.

Psyclone began shambling towards The Crick, practically forgetting about Sirius and Witch Girl in his mad rage.


Specter?

"...okay. That's it. Killing you all. Even you fuckin' Casper!"

"You kill me?" the Specter said, finally revealing himself. His tone was angry, not only from having failed again, but more so, he felt bitter. A bitter taste of amusement at Psyclone's anger. A mocking, yet empty laughter arose, and he got closer. There was danger, he supposed, in the wind coming closer, but half of the group could fly, and the other part had enough armor to withstand most storms. Or so he assumed, anyways, he had come to the conclusion that it didn't

"Really? Here's a newsflash, you poor little manchild. You can't, I'm already dead. Throw your hissy fit, who cares? All you're doing is to prolong a miserable life that would be better spent locked up with the key thrown away." He didn't care if Psyclone was busy with his little fight with the Crick, nor did he care about the others, not as much as Frederick would have, at least. The only ones he cared about was he, and the body, what remained of the judge.

It could work.

He hadn't really used it before, why would he? It was dangerous, and foolish, and god knew that it was going to hurt like a bitch. Breathing, that is, it always hurt when he tried to possess someone. Normally it worked, on someone with powers...

It should the very least force him to stand still. Likely to withdraw his powers as well, he's going to need everything he's got to bypass a ghost trying to possess him.

"But fine. I'll leave." It was a ruse, of course he wouldn't leave. Disappearing for a moment, he appeared in front of someone a bit away, in the air. Harder to get seen that way. Besides, she was busy with the hostages.

"You," he said to Karen. "Take this guy with you on your way out. Don't let anything happen to him, or I will haunt you." Leaving his body in her hands -whether she wanted or not- the Specter flew full speed -untouchable even by flames- towards Psyclone and into him. He had never tried to possess someone with powers. But it would certainly be an interesting struggle.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

In the briefest moment, Sirius was in control. He could cancel all of Psyclone's powers, and they could settle this without more fighting. Then, a bench crossed the room, almost hit Sirius, and suddenly Psyclone was a lot further away. It didn't strike Sirius exactly what it could have been before he heard Psyclone mention Casper, and the ghost appeared, mocking the villain.

The ghost? Why?

He had remembered strong and painful emotions from the ghost, something bad had happened, and Sirius had been too afraid to try to enter the connection again. It had to have been horrible to make someone who controlled their emotions as well as the first time they met suddenly be unable to control or even think through his actions. Even just a glimpse into it now made him stagger, barely managed to switch back to stop the tornado heading his way. Sadly, it wasn't the only one.

"Okay, here's MY game. In a few minutes, those tornadoes are gonna make one big tornado around this island. Either Al's boss shows up and I get what I want, you leave me alone, or we all get end up in one big water shitty logged blender? You fuckin' cool with that?"

Sirius didn't like the sound of that. Of course, no one would like the sound of death. Then again, he wasn't sure what he could do, he had no idea who this Al was, or why Psyclone needed his boss. For a moment, it was calm. Then the Crick summoned some kind of armor, trying to look cool, perhaps, though the appeal mostly left Sirius sort of confused.

"I'm done playing games today. I. Am. Done. Sirius, Witch Girl, Keep his powers at bay-"

"FINE! YOU WANNA FUCKING DANCE"

Sirius ran ahead, though was quickly stopped by the fire-wall. He could cancel it, but he knew that even if he did, Psyclone would just get even more upset, perhaps even make his tornado even quicker.

Besides, he was hesitant to do it, what if the ghost threw another bench their way? Sirius looked at Witch Girl, then spoke.

"If the Crick can keep him busy, then I could deal with the tornados outside. I can cancel their energy. I need help, though, I can't move that quickly." Either aid Crick or try to deal with the situation at hand, he decided to let the older of them decide.

Tom

This was bad, very bad. Things were getting out of hand, or maybe they were already out of hand, maybe it depended on whose hands things had been in? Well the detonator was in his now, and Psyclone was spreading fire everywhere so everything else was definitely out of his. I should go. He hated to admit it but he was useless here, fire would burn through his armor almost as fast as he could replenish it, and that was a losing battle. There were other heroes on site, and he needed to keep the detonator safe until things could be defused.

"I'll meet you after this!" he yelled, mostly to Crick, then turned to flee. No, heroes don't run away, its a... tactical thingamagig.

______________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

"You see, I have something I want to ask you... as a fellow bad guy, I mean."

She struggled immediately as the tentacles hit her, what did I stumble into a friggen Japanese porn show or something? In fact she barely heard the blob's words at first, but from his tone she got the sense he was proposing a deal of some sort. It was difficult not to struggle, and she remained tense even as she managed to bring herself mostly under control. It was clear she wasn't strong enough to pull free after all, and she couldn't think of any acceptable ways to slip free.

"Talk then," she said "but make it fast."

Karen

'That's it, kicking his' Karen started thinking before The Specter dropped a body on her and issued a rather sad threat, well sad compared to what she's seen and dealt with in the past. "Uh huh ... You should probably talk to The Cricks old man about me before making another dumb threat like that." She said before carrying the body out while helping the hostages out.

Tim Merridy

"Talk then, but make it fast."

"Of course, of course," Tim chuckled, and held her a bit tighter. "I'm not a moron, and the situation is getting pretty dire as we're talking. For starters, who are you really?" He asked, not really expecting a question. However, he was curious, that much he couldn't deny.

"And, most importantly: Whatever you're doing, and who you're doing it for, I'm in. I won't bomb a city, but if it's really the same person as the one the bomb guy and Psyclone was working for, then they have money and ambition. And I like that. So, what do you think?" He pushed a little more, just enough for Coil to feel how painful it could get.

Tom is really not going to like this if he finds out.

Then again, if this went well, Tim could get his own place and buy something to make Tom forgive him. Lies would be needed, of course, but then again, they usually were necessary to make people less angry. Figuring he had given Coil enough time to reply, he spoke again.

"So, either you tell me what I want to know, or I accidentally break your arms, and tell the others you tried to resist. Given that I helped them willingly, they'll believe me before they believe you."

Devil Psyclone/Pilot Light and The Crick

The Crick watched as the chaotic spiraling mass called Psyclone roared towards him. He was ready for the psychotic villain. He'd built this suit for higher level threats and emergencies. Psyclone was the perfect test run. A set of forward-facing vents emerged on the large suit's arms.

"Pressurized cannons, fire!" The Crick yelled as a loud WHUMPF roared from the large mechanical gauntlets. The burst of air temporarily tore back the ball of fire surrounding Psyclone. Psyclone quickly pulled it closed again.

"Gonna take more than that you shitty fuckin' bug-GAH!"

Psyclone's ears were splitting and his entire body shaking. He looked up to see a set of dark brown disc, about the size of Frisbees and clearly larger than The Crick's usual fiddlers, rotating around. The low-vibrating bone shaking sound coursed all around the villain. But he kept moving. Closer and closer to The Crick, Psyclone's flame spinning faster and growing hotter.

"You keep coming, I'm just trying to give you a fighting chance before I-"

The Crick heard the Specter mover near Psyclone.

No.

INTO Psyclone.

Psyclone felt...something. Something unwanted. Something in his body. In his head.

"Oh, you REALLY don't want to mess around in there!" Psyclone yelled.

Mina

Things had escalated quickly to say the least. Apparently The Crick had a new toy, albeit one she wasn't sure would help much. She didn't like the idea of taking orders from The Crick, but... well, it was the right call. She looked forward to having him under her control, but that was in the future.

"If the Crick can keep him busy, then I could deal with the tornados outside. I can cancel their energy. I need help, though, I can't move that quickly." Sirius said, forcing her attention to him. "Right. Hop on!" She said, casting flight once more and offering the seat on the staff. "I'm going to have to move quickly so be ready at a moment's notice; got it?!" she added, just to be safe.

Once he was "on board", she took to the air, flying toward the closest of the firestorms at top speed. Since they were all moving to a common center-point, the most efficient way to deal with them was in the order they would arrive.

The Factory

Just after Rias began to take pictures of the weapons and realize the shear volume and power of the production, she heard the sound of a door opening up above her. A moment later, a half dozen of people - armed in the same armor she'd found but with substantially different weapons - entered onto the catwalk.

Fortunately, they seemed to be heading toward the computer room from earlier first and hadn't yet spotted her. However, four of them remained on the catwalk, glancing around with their weapons at the ready. Apparently they were prepared for any possibility.


Specter?

"Oh, you REALLY don't want to mess around in there!"

"What if I do?" the Specter replied, though he wasn't entirely sure that Psyclone could hear it. He wasn't going to look through the other's mind either way, he simply wanted to keep the damned villain distracted. The first thing he felt was the resistance from Psyclone's own mind, his... own soul, or whatever. then, as he forced his way into the body, he had some sort of control, and he felt the inability to breathe.

"If you keep resisting," he huffed. "Then we're going to have a problem."

He knew, however, that he would be forced out soon enough. He just hoped the others took the chance to catch -or beat up- Psyclone while he could still hold on.

Because I'm not going to try going further.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"Right. Hop on!"

"Thanks," Sirius said, and got onto the staff. Hopefully the others would be able to hold off Psyclone until the emergency services arrived. It had been a difficult situation, but perhaps now... He hoped he was correct in asking the little girl -still hard to think of her as a grown up woman- to help him deal with the tornadoes.

We couldn't do much either way... I would only have been able to protect myself.

This way, more people could be helped.

"I'm going to have to move quickly so be ready at a moment's notice; got it?!"

"Yes, I'll be prepared," Sirius said. It wouldn't take much for him to be read, but he decided to reach out in front when they got close, to ensure that the entire staff was covered by his ability cancelling.

Rias

Rias, hearing the people on the Catwalk ducked behind cover. 'Oh ... not good ...' she thought as she hid, poking her head out a little to get a look at them. 'really, not good' she thought as she gotta look at the gear they had. She decided for now, to just wait and hope they went away, though she did notice the 'energy' flowing through the suits wasn't nearly as obstructed as she'd thought such hardware would be. She could probably drain the suits dry of she had to, but she would really rather not have to tangle with them.

Tess

"So, either you tell me what I want to know, or I accidentally break your arms, and tell the others you tried to resist. Given that I helped them willingly, they'll believe me before they believe you."

"I'm not telling you who I am," she said, grimacing as the blobs grip tightened "but if you want to meet my employer I can arrange that, it'll be up to her whether or not you get a job."

She had to think fast here, the blob had an ego she knew that much but she couldn't promise anything. Well, not honestly at any rate. She certainly wasn't about to hint at her identity, either her former villain guise or her actual identity, if she could help it. Blobby didn't seem murderous enough to crush her over that, though you could never tell she supposed.

"I'll put in a good word for you," she said "my boss has money to burn, she'll have a use for you I'm sure. Just let me go."

The Crick & Devil Psyclone/Pilot Light

Psyclone could feel something slowing him down, something within. Psyclone mentally struggled to latch onto whatever was holding him in place, but there was nothing to grab. Nothing to tear through. He was trapped. Trapped in his own body. And he didn't like that.

He didn't like that at all.

"You can't end th-this shit like this! I-I-I'm your devil! The fuckin' demon you couln't escape! Meant to be the pilot light to ignite a new fuckin' way for this world! You're not gonna hold me down! YOU CAN'T FUCKING TRAP ME! YOU-FUCK! I-I-CAN'T-"'

He didn't move. Word couln't form.

As Psyclones flames died down, unable to summon his power he did the only action he still seemed to have control of in those few seconds. He shrieked. Loudly. The crick hesitated for a moment but quickly regained his composure. Specter was giving them an opening.

And The Crick was going to gladly take it.

"Yea Psyclone, it's one of those days...switching to max to power!" He said as he leaped into the air, pushed off the ceiling, firing up his jumped jets, and dived straight towards the villain. He drove a pnuematic fist into the side of Psyclone's face. Psyclone was sent crashing to the floor, the ground beneath him shattering with a loud BOOM, kicking up a wall of dirt and dust.

The Crick didn't stop once Psyclone was down. He simply kept hitting him. Again. And again. And again. The pneumatic fist were essentially blurs of movement as he pummeled the downed villain. He couldn't let him get up. This had to stop. This had to stop today. He stared at Psyclone in the crater and even then it was there. A twinge of guilt and regret...and then it was gone. Like that. He'd had this coming. He'd had this coming for a long time now.

"You okay in there, Specter? Hope you couldn't feel that. Seriously, I hit him hard, but I sincerely hope I didn't hit Psyclone THAT hard"


Specter?

"You can't end th-this shit like this! I-I-I'm your devil! The fuckin' demon you couln't escape! Meant to be the pilot light to ignite a new fuckin' way for this world! You're not gonna hold me down! YOU CAN'T FUCKING TRAP ME! YOU-FUCK! I-I-CAN'T-"'

"You killed me, and believe me, I am going to ensure you won't be haunting us anymore," the Specter spat from inside Psyclone's mind. He could feel that it became harder to move, and his arms started aching. Well, his ghost-arms, did, aching and tingling with an exhaustion that came alongside the feeling of holding someone down. Then, the feeling of an impact, and he started letting go, both to limit the damage done to himself, and to get out. It was such a horribly, sickening feeling to be inhabiting the wrong body. Soon enough, the coast was clear, Crick had stopped

"You okay in there, Specter? Hope you couldn't feel that. Seriously, I hit him hard, but I sincerely hope I didn't hit Psyclone THAT hard"

"I'm fine... I'm fine," he said, as he exited the body. The ghost shape appeared to dust off its arms and side, even if he didn't have a jacket. "It's... a bit of a shock, but I'm fine. Really, I'm fine."

I forced myself into someone else's body--- Well, that sounded wrong in every way. Still, it's been so long since I did this, I promised myself not to...

Ever sink that low again. Yet, he thought it was necessary. It had been. Probably.

"Looks like I'm not the only one he managed to piss off," the Specter finally said, remarked in an familiarly cheekishly manner. Dealing with Psyclone had lifted a heavy load from his shoulders. "But I suppose... this is it. Of course, there's still the tornadoes..." he looked outside, trying to see if he could still spot them. He would have to get his body too.

"I'll be right back," he then continued, and flew over to the Unicorn.

"The body I handed you," he said. "Where is it? You can't possibly have lost it like this, right?"
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"I'm not telling you who I am, but if you want to meet my employer I can arrange that, it'll be up to her whether or not you get a job."

Tim sqeezed a little harder, than laughed, yet again.

"Oh? Is that all you can give me?" he asked, surely simply a meeting would not be enough. Besides, if he pushed...

"I'll put in a good word for you, my boss has money to burn, she'll have a use for you I'm sure. Just let me go."

"Hm... I've got a lot to think about..." he remarked, pretending to think it over. To Tim, this was a done deal, if he did as she said, met the boss and got accepted, he could become great, greater than Psyclone or the French guy had ever managed to be. He could terrorize the city, and keep terrorizing it, not try to murder everyone like a trigger-happy maniac, but actually accomplish something.

"Sure." For a moment, he looked like he had been hurt, his tentacles withdrawing defensively... and that was what he gave her. The chance to make it look like she had gotten him and slipped out of his grip, it would be easy enough.

And, if she tries to set me up, I'll have a chat with Tom and his team of super-friends, surely they would be interested in finding out who her boss is.

Removed (accidental repost)

Mina

Shortly after The Crick had dealt with Psyclone, Sirius and Mina finished dealing with the firestorms. With their part of "the plan" complete, Mina made her way back to ground level. She quickly dropped off Sirius with a nod before grabbing a few of the hostages and making her way toward where the hostages were being gathered and, consequently, Karen.

"Well... that was fun" she said to the holy avenger with some obvious sarcasm. "Lev.. er... Unicorn. I'm going to have to miss the after party. I've already stretched my powers well beyond my limits and need to get out of here before transformation dies. Give my best to the others." she said, building off the lie she'd told back when they met out-of-costume. In truth, she needed to finish securing her position following the battle and pay Tess. Regardless, she took off toward the city as quickly as she could.

Factory

As she hid, Rias became increasingly aware of what the guards were doing. They were searching the area for the intruder. For her. IT would only be a matter of time before the pair found her or one of the suits on top spotted her as she tried to flee. There were several doors on her level by which she could "escape" though she had no idea where any of them would lead.

Karen

Karen was kinda surprised to see Mina show up in 'Magical Girl' form. She nodded and gave a little wave as her friend flew off.

"The body I handed you, where is it? You can't possibly have lost it like this, right?"

"It's over there" She said, semi indifferently to the wraiths question and motioning to it with her thumb. She had positioned the body so it looked like he was sleeping as to not have people bothering it. "Also, next time to get the brain dead idea to threat me. Don't. There nothing you can do that can come remotely close to the shit I've seen, fought, and killed in my life time." She said before walking off to continue aiding the evacuation.

Rias

'Ah ... Crap baskets ...' she thought as she watch the 'guards' start patrolling for some one, she didn't need to guess who. She thought for a few moments on what to do. First thing she did was cause a distraction behind the guys on the catwalk, to get them to look that way and also pull the guys on ground that way as well.

Factory

The guards fell for Rias's ploy; quickly turning their attention to the sudden sound behind them. This had the desired effect of turning their gaze away from her, but came with an unwanted side effect. One of the guards brought his hand to where his ear would be and spoke.

"We've found the intruder. She's in section 23. Powers confirmed; lockdown and send backup." Rias heard the man say, while swinging around to try and find her. The other two guards likewise returned to the main catwalk, their guns pointing around erratically, desperate to find the source of the noise.

A few seconds later, the alarms began to blare as metal doors slammed down in front of all the doors save the one on the catwalk.

Rias stop just short of one of the doors slamming her face. "Crap" she said out loud, though by then the alarms where blaring so she didn't know if they heard her. She knew more where coming, and unlike with the thief from the other day she also knew she couldn't bluff her way out with a fake tank. She probably couldn't out run them ether, that really just left hiding and fighting.

And she was already questioning how well hiding would serve her, but she didn't like the idea of fighting ether. For now though she tryied get back to cover.

Though the guards didn't hear her curse, her retreat to cover was much more noticeable. Rias almost made it back into cover when the first blast passed over her head. While it missed her, the resulting frozen spot on the wall behind her was difficult to miss - visually or thermally.

That sealed it, hiding was not going to be an option. That made her sigh, she wasn't a fighter, she didn't even like fighting. She looked at the frozen spot on the wall, sighed again. "Fine ..." She said aloud, and started to pull in energy from the surrounding machinery and electronics, causing the alarms to start sounding strange and the lights to flicker.

The guards looked about in confusion for a moment before laying down a suppressive fire against Rias. They would not allow her to escape.

Rias stayed in cover for the moment, despite what they clearly though, she didn't need line of sight to 'see' them.

A fact that became abundantly clear when a bloody red construct formed in they're line and back handed one into the safety railing and poping another in the back of the head. The construct it self was a bit bigger them the armored men, and resemblemed a great knight, complete with glowing great sword still on its back and a cape.

The remaining two guards, suddenly faced with an unexpected secondary enemy, turned their attention to it and began firing blast after blast into it. at the same time, they began their slow escape toward the door.

At about the same time, the door opened, revealing more such guards to provide further cover fire on both the armored... thing, and Rias herself.

As the door opened Rias knew more where coming, and acted quickly to form a tower shield, that then formed into a second knight, this one smaller, more normal human sized then the first, and whielding a spear. This knight guarded Rias.

The first knight she created reached back for its blade, the Ice Beams not having the effect of slowing it down as they'd have liked due to it being made of pure energy. The Knight jumped up to the catwalked twisted around and cut one gun in two, before thrusting it's sword into the other, destroying both, before then shoulder charging through both.

Back with Rias and her Spear Knight, Rias was 'safe' but they where effectively pinned down. Rias, her powers now working in overdrive, pulled everything she could from the surroundings to form three more knights. A brawny one with a hammer that shoved the wide end of the hammers head into the chest of one of the armored men, another armed with shield and spear, though this spear was forked, to act as back up for her other guard, as she really did need to get going, and lastly one armed with a single longsword.

The Hammer and Longsword Knights pulled the armored mens attention off Rias, while her two Spear Guards covered her as she made her way to the Greatsword Knight, who was covering the entrace at the catwalk so it's 'Princess' could escape.

Seeing man after man fall to the unexpected superhuman display, the guards continued to give ground; falling further and further back until they weren't even in the same room anymore but holding out behind the cover of corners in the narrow hallways of the underground complex.

Once Rias would out of the factory portion direct combat was knocked down the list of priorities and escape was bumped back up to #1. with her Spear Knights covering her and her other Knights pushing through the broken line of guards, she waste no time in getting through the hall ways, and by the time she got back to the main floor, she'd added another Knight, this one with a Lance, to her growing party, bring the total number of combatants the guards had to deal with to 6.

Mina

Mina watched as the Rias rounded a corner and into the chaos of the city streets. With the residual chaos of Aldric's bombs, there would be no way for her to track the energy wielder; particularly given how her powers were supposed to be running on fumes. Instead, she'd just have to leave the matter to others to deal with. Fortunately, Rias and her powers were hardly secret so a proper manhunt would be relatively simple to pull off.

...and this annoyed her to no end. That she'd broken into the building so shortly after Theodore Loveless suggested they were working together on some level. Theodore had seen some rather sensitive information before his untimely death; if she had similar information then she was perhaps the only major threat to her plan left.

To that end, Mina - now in civilian form - made her way to the Neutropolis City Police HQ. With her recent connections to law enforcement, it was a simple matter to meet with the Police Commissioner and the Mayor (present due to the Aldric business). Though she didn't show it, Mina was thrilled to have caught both there; it saved her a trip.

"Mayor. Commissioner." she began as she entered the latter's office. "I believe we have some business to discuss." she added, closing the door behind her.


City Hall: The Next Day

The Mayor slowly approached the podium. On the stage behind him sat city counselors, the leaders of the various emergency services, and a number of important dignitaries - including Mina Fukao. After a short speech regarding the loss of life and the city's pain, the Mayor took a breath and announced the city's decision."The last few weeks have also taught us a painful lesson. Our enemies are becoming more organized and more reprehensible with each passing day. We can no longer rely on 'heroes' who think themselves cowboys in a John Wayne movie. They range from reckless to criminal in the way they behave. And while our city shall always be a home to the greatest collection of superheroes in the world, it has been made painfully clear that the 'status quo' will no longer suffice."

"However, Neutropolis is a resilient and resourceful city and we will NEVER allow such barbaric displays to remain unchallenged. If our enemies have become organized, than so too shall we. We'd already begun this process with the creation of the Anti-Superhuman Task Force. Now, with the cooperation of Ms. Fukao, we are creating a new organization to deal with this new threat. Ms. Fukao has generously agreed to create a service to provide our heroes with all the training, tools, and resources they need to properly address the rising threat. She has already begun to convert one of her buildings into a headquarters for this new organization. To help her in setting this up, we have contracted her services for the entire city and it's outlying areas."

"Unfortunately, this requires a change in city operating procedures. Our heroes have had unlimited authority in dealing with villains and in doing so have put the city at risk time and time again. Their wild antics have been tolerated long enough. As such, the 'freelance heroics' model will no longer be tolerated within city limits. All would-be heroes will be required to contract with Ms. Fukao to continue operation. Under her, they shall receive fair pay and proper training and resources to protect our city. Now, Ms. Fukao asked for a few minutes to appeal to those heroes."

Mina made her way to the center stage. Now was the final stage of her plan. Once this was complete, no one would be able to oppose her. "Thank you Mr. Mayor." she said, taking a deep breath. "I would like to begin by personally offering a position to all the heroes of Neutropolis who've protected this city with dignity over the years. I - perhaps more than anyone - know the difficulties heroes face serving their duty to protect the people of this city. I personally feel the media has been overly critical of the fine work you've done. But, at the same time, I recognize that the old methods will no longer carry us into a brighter, safer future. I can only hope you're willing to work with me as you have in the past."

And then, there on stage, Mina transformed. "I know how hard it is for heroes and I only wish to help you in your noble quest." From there, Mina returned to her normal human form and took her seat.

At last, the police commissioner took the stage. "And now to the hard part. While those heroes that have served with dignity will be welcome within Neutropolis, several have lost such a right due to their actions. I hereby issue a warrant for the arrest of the following individuals: The superhuman known as 'Coil' for Attempted Murder and known superhuman 'Rias Michelle DeDannan' for Breaking and Entering, Corporate Sabotage, and the murder of Theodore Loveless."


Mina; Several Hours Later

Mina sat in a black limo on a corner in the worst part of town. With all that had happened, the streets were empty. There, she waited for the final piece of business; paying her employ's 'severance package'. Tess had played her part perfectly and would be rewarded for her success. On her lap sat a metal briefcase.

Rias

As she made it into the streets Rias changed and compressed her Knights down to energy Crystals. All things considered, just dispelling them seemed like a really bad idea. So she tucked those away for now and headed home. Not that she planned on staying long, she also figured more of Mina's goons would be after her sooner rather then later, so she threw some stuff in a back pack and with no where else to go really, headed for the bar.

Once there she explained to Claire what happened, and even showed her the pictures she took and the Data sent by Loveless. Claire just sighed, and agreed to let her stay the night in the bar. But just for that night, after that though, Rias would need to stay somewhere else.

The Next Day

Rias had already left the bar, and had started wandering town, trying to think of what she could do to get out of the mess she was now in when the broadcast that indited her of murder came over a near by TV. If she was being honest, she expected that, but it still hurt to hear them lie about her like that.

Karen on the other hand was sitting on the couch, ram rod stiff. It all seemed well and fine until the 'Murder' charges came out. How did they know Coil tried to kill the Bomber? She hadn't told anyone, nor did she think any of the other told anyone. The random sounding accusations against Rias sounded really off to her as well, especially the murder charge. Loveless was after all, effectively making her more visible to move her career a long. That'd be almost like a junky making a citizen's arrest on their dealer.

While Karen mulled over what to do, Rias, had decided to force a meeting with a Hero. Hopefully some one like Crick or Unicorn, as they seemed the most open to listen to what she'd have to say, and to that end Rias took to looking for a live news crew reporting on the damage to the city, and the clean up, as those where usually out in force after something like yesterday happened.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

The Next Day
______________________________________________________________________________________________


Specter?

The Specter had been having a lot of visitors this day. His -Frederick's- parents had shown up, worried about him, about the explosion, wanting to move away. They had been shocked upon seeing his powers, the ones he was still pretending had occurred after the impact. If he had been able to hide them, he would, but his brain and mind still wasn't sure about how to use his limbs, perhaps he would be forced to use the telekinesis to do the more difficult tasks, forever. Or so the doctors had said, in between visits. It was also then the Specter had been informed -through a television that shouldn't have been on- that Theodore was dead.

He... still wasn't sure how to react, or feel, regarding that. It certainly left an impact, a numbness, and he couldn't help but curl up for a while, eyes closed, wondering if it was his fault. If he could have done anything. If he should take revenge, or if he should simply live with this terrible feeling in his chest.

The second visit was from his colleagues, the ones he hadn't dared even try to talk about. Many of them had bandages, some were still staying at the hospital, yet they had been more worried about him, asking him if he had made it out of the coma okay, and eyeing him with wary eyes when the telekinesis first surfaced. He had tried to joke about it, a joke he didn't find exactly funny, but it got the others talking, laughing, musing about how he would have to ignore the temptation of lifting up a rude defendant in the middle of a trial. Avoiding the talk of the dead, even if the Specter felt a need to talk about it.

It had been nice. But it had also made it apparent that he could have hindered deaths and injuries. He could have stayed at the police-station, and kept the debris from falling onto his co-workers. Had he not gone to help the others out with stopping the explosion, and left it to Crick and the others, he could have found Theodore, and saved his life. He could have twisted Rias' neck, or possessed her, or even talked to her, try to reason. Then everyone would be fine, Frederick, his colleagues, Theodore...

I don't know anymore. I'm tired of being the one that always survives.

The Specter curled up again, hands covering his eyes as they got wet. He wasn't going to cry, but he felt like he should. What was the point? He was sure that being a hero wasn't a thing for him anymore. Perhaps it never had. He didn't know if he wanted to approach Theodore's murderer, take revenge, even if he was so angry for so much. What if he did, and someone else got injured? Someone he could be protecting? Right now he was alone, but Sofia would return.

I'm... I think I'm afraid.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"Yes yes, mom, I'm fine, you know I'm sturdier than a couple of explosions," Tim said, though the joke was apparently not very well received. "And you do know that dad called yesterday, right? No, yes, I know it's not a race, I'd just appreciate not being pestered." He moved the phone away from his ear, though he could hear his mother's heated voice well enough, seeing as she was yelling. Something about her being worried to death, and calling to check if he was fine was sure as hell not pestering. "I'm just joking mom," Tim said, in a sweet, almost innocent manner. "Love you," he continued, and waited for her reply, before putting the phone down, and turning up the sound of the TV.

"Thank you Mr. Mayor. I would like to begin by personally offering a position to all the heroes of Neutropolis who've protected this city with dignity over the years. I - perhaps more than anyone - know the difficulties heroes face serving their duty to protect the people of this city. I personally feel the media has been overly critical of the fine work you've done. But, at the same time, I recognize that the old methods will no longer carry us into a brighter, safer future. I can only hope you're willing to work with me as you have in the past. I know how hard it is for heroes and I only wish to help you in your noble quest."

"Hah!" Tim said from his seat in the couch. He had been keeping an eye on the text, but he hadn't imagined it being this silly. "This is such a trap it hurts," he continued, and looked at Tom. "Or what do you think? Some corporation head deciding to control everyone with powers, pretending that it's in order to protect everyone, and then trying to make the super-powered audience think she sympathises by revealing her own status as a hero." He chuckled, sound quite different from the convo with his mother.

This is such a joke.

He shrugged. "I bet you poor, naive soul thinks she'll help you out, though. That's so not going to happen. The first thing she'll ask is your real name, the second is your address, and before you know it, we've both got people watching this place, looking for a reason to throw you in jail. Or, perhaps even better, she'll make you into her very own hero, forced to take jobs for publicity, and being unable to help anyone without signing a letter saying you have every good intention, and that you'll be trying your best. Or, she'll just blow this place up, which would be super-bad, because I, you, and George live her. Well, I'm only here for as long as I'm tolerated, but you get the jist. I mean, you've watched movies, right? And you even read comics, it's a classic plot, so obvious."
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"And now to the hard part. While those heroes that have served with dignity will be welcome within Neutropolis, several have lost such a right due to their actions. I hereby issue a warrant for the arrest of the following individuals: The superhuman known as 'Coil' for Attempted Murder..."

Sirius had been thinking about those words ever since watching the TV. He was conflicted, was Coil really a bad person? It was hard to imagine, she had saved people more times than she had hurt them, hadn't she?

I don't think that's how it works.

Perhaps it was just a misunderstanding. Or perhaps she was a dangerous criminal. Even so, he started writing a message to her, as he was walking. He had a certain destination in mind, someone he felt the need to talk to, perhaps even ask for advice. He noted the amount of broken buildings, and it made him frown, he wasn't currently linked to anyone, but as someone who drew buildings and liked to notice shapes, it was so very apparent how dangerous the situation had been. Of course, the sound of his worried father, making sure he was fine. It felt nice, having someone worry about him, especially when he wasn't able to worry himself.

Having written for a while, he looked over what he had written.

"Hi, Coil, it's Sirius. Look, I just watched the news, and they only repeated what I heard yesterday, about you having tried to kill everyone. I don't know if you're a bad person or not, but... I know that you're not evil, I've seen you help people several times, and I hope that if you get caught, they don't hurt you. If you need anyone to talk to, I'm here, you can just send me a message, or call me. I won't ask you where you are, and I won't tell them if you tell me. I'm not going to join the hero-contract project, at least, I hope I won't have to. I don't really want to be a hero.

Anyhow, that's all I wanted to say. I hope you stay well, and that you manage to clear your name, if you are innocent."

As he went around the corner, he pressed the send button, and put the phone away. Before him was a grand hotel, the one Daniel Luxe had been staying at. He went to the doorman, and said that he wanted to meet Daniel Luxe, knowing that he probably should have called beforehand, but, currently, Sirius had nothing to do, so he had no issue with waiting, be it for an hour or for five.

Rias, now in a hooded jacket, made her way to the park with the, now destroyed, statue dedicated to fallen heroes. There she found exactly what she was looking for, and more amusingly, one of the crew pulled her a side, clearly not know who she was, yet, and asked if she'd be willing to say a few things about what happened.

Rias could not have asked for a better set up, and accepted. She waited patently, and once she was called over she calmly walked over and waited for the reporter to ask, the one question she knew was coming.

"So miss, can you tell us your name, and your thoughts on this latest attack, as well as the new ordinance as related to Hero activity's."

"I think this ordinance will end up hurting more then helping. Most the damage is caused by Villains after all and when have they cared about 'the law'. As for my name." Rias said pulling back her hood. "Rias. The same one you all probably heard about yesterday when the lie about me being a corporate saboteur and murdering Theodor Loveless was broadcast." The reporter, clearly was taken a back by this sudden reveal. "Don't worry, I'm not going to hurt anybody. Not here, nor anywhere else. Nor have murdered anyone." Rias said as she pulled an SD card out of her pocket. "The night Loveless was killed he was investigating the Fukao Group, and they're connections to the now disgraced Hero, Coil. This SD card houses the fruit of that investigation, as it contains more then 10 gigs of data relating to the Fukao Groups activity's, things like dummy company's, and as well as addresses of certain sites. Like the Power Armor and Weapons Manufacturing facility they built under the very building the Fukao Group 'so generously donated' to the city to 'combat the growing Super Human threat'. A threat, that, from what I've seen based on the data, they are responsible for." Rias put the SD card back in her pocket while the Reporter and crew just stood dumbstruck.

"I donno why Loveless sent me this data, but, I do know, that when I went where he was last headed he was already gone, ether captured, or maybe even killed before I got there to save him, so he could be the one breaking this to all of you. So I would like to finish with two statements. One) If you are a Hero, and you are thinking of joining that group set up to regulate Hero activity. Don't. I do not believe it would be in yours, or any one else best interest to do so. Least, not while the Fukao Group is pulling it's strings." A pair of wings materializing on Rias back as she spoke. "And Lastly, I would like to offer an invitation to the Hero friends of Theodor Loveless. I have the data he sent me, and picture evidence of the Weapons plant under the city. If you truly want to get the person responsible for his murder, come find me so I can provide both to you, and give you all you need to bring his real killers to justice." Rias having said everything she was going to, lifted off, and flew away.

She wanted to address her fans, but wasn't sure what to say.

Tom

"I bet you poor, naive soul thinks she'll help you out, though. That's so not going to happen. The first thing she'll ask is your real name, the second is your address, and before you know it, we've both got people watching this place, looking for a reason to throw you in jail. Or, perhaps even better, she'll make you into her very own hero, forced to take jobs for publicity, and being unable to help anyone without signing a letter saying you have every good intention, and that you'll be trying your best. Or, she'll just blow this place up, which would be super-bad, because I, you, and George live her. Well, I'm only here for as long as I'm tolerated, but you get the jist. I mean, you've watched movies, right? And you even read comics, it's a classic plot, so obvious."

"Shut up Tim," Tom said, pulling the blanket tighter around himself "just..."

He sighed "Sorry, nevermind. This isn't a movie though, people are really getting hurt, getting killed..."

He hadn't been able to do enough, they had been betrayed by Coil and now Loveless was dead as well. Not to mention those killed by the bombs. Bombs and fire, he couldn't do anything about either, all his power and he had been helpless.He turned to Tim, his 'villain' brother, would he ever cause something like this? No, Tim wasn't a real villain like that, he just played at it, right?

"What should I do?" he said, sniffling "you're a villain, what should a hero do right now?"

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

"Hi, Coil, it's Sirius. Look, I just watched the news, and they only repeated what I heard yesterday, about you having tried to kill everyone. I don't know if you're a bad person or not, but... I know that you're not evil, I've seen you help people several times, and I hope that if you get caught, they don't hurt you. If you need anyone to talk to, I'm here, you can just send me a message, or call me. I won't ask you where you are, and I won't tell them if you tell me. I'm not going to join the hero-contract project, at least, I hope I won't have to. I don't really want to be a hero.

Anyhow, that's all I wanted to say. I hope you stay well, and that you manage to clear your name, if you are innocent."

She stared at the message for a long moment before she put the phone away. Talking about it, yeah that could help. Maybe. Not worth thinking about right now, right now she needed to collect her reward. Still she supposed it was nice knowing at least one person thought she was innocent, she supposed in a way she was, Aldric had killed himself in the end after all.

"Technically correct," she muttered, then laughed out loud startling some random people on the street. She glared at them then kept walking, keeping herself from glancing back at them until she was a ways away.

Getting paranoid, then again if someone does recognize me... no. I'm not leaving this city, I can handle this. She just needed to keep her powers active as much as possible, if Mina tried to dispose of her like she had with Psyclone then she'd have every article on her person leaping to her aid of its own volition. She reached the limo and stepped inside.

"A limo, here?" she said "could you be any more conspicuous?"

She reached for the briefcase, immediately imparting a spark of her energy to it "this the money?" she asked.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

George

George wasn't sure what to make of recent events. Almost as expected he'd blacked out during the emergency situation, he woke up later of course wandering around downtown for some reason feeling exhausted. At least I didn't feel fatter like before. Now there was this news about a betrayal among the heroes, and a call for hero registration under some corporation.

Makes me glad I'm not a hero, he thought to himself, not that he'd ever been brave enough to do what they did, but knowing that one of their own had betrayed them, that the public was turning against them, that was almost scarier than fighting their super brawls. At least in those you could see the threat right in front of you.

Man this city gets worse every day. I wish I could do something.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Gorge

Hadn't been able to do anything, couldn't find any of the bombs, any of the action until it was all over. The heroes had though, even if it hadn't turned out well, because they worked together, shared information. There was something to be said for that after all. He'd avoided seeking a team up before on George's behalf, more exposure meant more danger for him after all, and he (Gorge) had never been good with people.

Now though, with this initiative to register heroes, it could be trouble remaining alone as well as teaming up.

I'll wait until George goes to sleep on his own, this isn't important enough to waste his time with. I'll need a costume too, just eating something and making my skin look like it probably won't be enough, though I can probably get by with something simple.


Specter?

The Specter stared at the screen as he watched Rias explain the situation. He didn't really believe her, but if it was true, that gave him even less of a reason to act. He was done being a hero, he was done trying to make everything better and then, somehow, ending up betraying the people he should be protecting instead. He was done standing in the middle of the crossfire, pretending to be brave when the truth was, there was no real risk to him. The worst thing he could do was to die, and even then he wouldn't disappear, he hadn't disappeared.

Yet... something resonated within his soul. Some sort of determination, brought forth by a former belief in justice. He had a couple of hours before Sofia would get there, and now that his body was in a stable condition, he could leave his body with it still breathing, simply resting. Frederick resting. He thought of one person who could help make his mind up... a person who no longer existed in this world.

But perhaps he resided in the afterlife?

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"Shut up Tim, just... Sorry, nevermind. This isn't a movie though, people are really getting hurt, getting killed..."

"Hey, it's not..." he trailed off. Tim didn't really have a witty comeback this time. He looked at the way Tom pulled the blanket up, covering himself, and felt a tinge of guilt in his stomach, if only because he felt like some of it might be his fault, one way or another.

"What should I do? You're a villain, what should a hero do right now?"

"Are you crying?" Tim asked, and turned off the TV, probably better to get rid of the bad news and distractions. He didn't quite understand why Tom was so upset -people had died, but they had saved most of them- but Tim understood that he couldn't just brush it off. Instead, he pretty much pounced onto the other, embracing his brother caringly. Sure, Tim was a villain, and sure, he hadn't known Tom for more than a few weeks. But they were brothers, twins, even, and he had grown attached. Tom was so naive and kind, but he didn't deserve to even have to think about this mess.

I suppose I should do something.

With a sympathising smile, he moved back a little, so that he could look at Tom, though his arms were still resting on the other's shoulders.

"How desperate do you have to be to ask a villain how to be a hero? I don't know how to be a hero, Tom, I'm a bad guy, you know that. But..." He looked at the TV a little, even with the black screen facing him, he thought of what they had seen on it. "I'll tell you what the heroes in the movies do. They trust their friends, not the corporation, not the mayor. They trust the people they care about. You've got a whole group of heroes who already work together, right? And Rias... I find it hard to believe she would kill anyone, especially not the TV personality who gave her a chance to perform on his show. And if I find it hard to believe... well, you're the nice one."

Looking back at Tom again, Tim grinned. "So, get your Scooby Doo gang all gathered up or try to talk to Rias, just don't sell your soul just yet. I'll even help you out a little, though I'd prefer to keep exactly how a secret. I have a feeling you might want me to as well, though know that I won't let anything hurt my big brother. I quite like you, after all, even if you're a good guy. Come on now, put on some stupidly trusting smile, okay?"

No need crying over spilt blood.

He barely stopped himself from saying it aloud. Given the situation, the joke probably wouldn't have been well received.

Tom

"So, get your Scooby Doo gang all gathered up or try to talk to Rias, just don't sell your soul just yet. I'll even help you out a little, though I'd prefer to keep exactly how a secret. I have a feeling you might want me to as well, though know that I won't let anything hurt my big brother. I quite like you, after all, even if you're a good guy. Come on now, put on some stupidly trusting smile, okay?"

Tom sat there for a moment or two before a smile began to appear, he couldn't just give up. The villains out there certainly wouldn't, and as long as they existed he had to do his part to stop them. As for the whole registration business... he wasn't sure what to think. If he remembered right the side of registration had been the bad guys in the comics, and at any rate corporate executives were villains themselves more than heroes so he would stay freelance for now.

"Thanks Tim," he said "I'm going to try and contact Rias, don't get into any trouble ok?"

With that he got out his phone and sent a text message to Rias.

[Hey are you ok? I heard about the registration thing, do you have time to meet and talk?]

Mina

Tess opened the door of the limo to the sight of Mina working on... something. It was no surprise. With Rias ambushing a reporter, she'd had to retask a fair amount of her time to cleaning up the mess. Fortuitously, her recent "acquisition" at Loveless's expense was already proving it's worth.

Even the dead had their uses.

Still, there was only so much she could do to protect her image. Rias's claim would have to be addressed formally very soon. For now, altering the footage to make her appear more disheveled and disjointed would serve to make her appear desperate to shift the blame.

"A limo, here?" Tess said "could you be any more conspicuous?". To this Mina shrugged, though never looked up from her tablet "I have recently become more secure in my movements thanks to a certain reporter. Even if someone sees this car, there won't be an evidence of substance."

Tess reached for the briefcase, immediately imparting a spark of her energy to it "this the money?". Mina nodded. "Feel free to look it over. Count if you must. You'll find it all in place.". Finally, Mina turned to look at Tess, revealing the magical power in her eyes. "Of course - once you leave this car - your alternate identity is dead. As far as you're concerned, we're strangers. If I hear anything more than hints that "Coil" has returned, you will not live long enough to regret it."

With her warning given, Mina returned to writing her statement while Tess did... well, whatever she wanted.

Neutropolis General Hospital

"Jack."

A voice called from the haze. Distant and ethereal. In the darkness of Jack's conscious there was an incandescent flickering.

"Jack."

The flickering light grew with every word. As did the warmth around him.

"Jack."

He knew this voice. He'd only heard it in a dream but this was more real.

"JACK!"

The malicious voice erupted and flames erupted with it, licking at his legs until it grew and grew, soon engulfing his eyes and he sucked in air to scream-

Jack shot upright and instead of screaming he only released an exasperated sigh. Gone was the crackling fire. Gone was that horrid voice. In fact he couldn't hear much of anything. Until he became more aware of his surroundings. There was the beeping of an EKG machine. He was sitting in a hospital bed. He was hooked up to a monitor. And he had an agonizing migraine.

Whap!

The noise rattled Jack's head fiercely but it certainly grabbed his attention. Groggily, he swiveled his noggin and noted a blonde man in a sharp suit as he unceremoniously dropped the Bible he so noisily shut back into the table drawer it came from. Thankfully for Jack the man had the decency to shut the drawer in a more quiet manner.

"Well, well," Daniel started, clasping his hands and resting them on crossed legs. He offered Jack a beaming smile. "Hope you had a restful sleep. We have much to discuss."

"Right," Jack said plainly, rubbing some of the exhaustion from his eyes. "And uh, just outta curiosity...who the fuck are you?"

"Since I don't have many opportunities to be so straightforward, I'll just put it as simply as I can. I'm your dad. That's who the fuck I am."

"Okay, just...just like that? I mean I guess that's about as simple as it gets."

"What'd you expect? Streamers? Confetti? I can shred up some tissue paper and throw that in the air if you'd like."

Jack snapped back with some sarcasm of his own. "How 'bout a shiny new bike so we can ride in the park together and then we'll play catch."

Daniel cracked a smile at that. "If the news is anything to go by, you've got yourself a pretty neat bike already." The cockiness in Jack faltered and it was visible in his face and the way he shifted in his bed. Daniel's smile grew inwardly at the sight. He uncrossed his legs and leaned forward, sitting at the edge of his seat with his elbows resting on his thighs. "Don't worry, I'm not here to talk about that. In fact, I'm a little proud you've become your own sort of hell-raiser. And if it's any consolation, they don't know who you are." Daniel assured him, nodding towards the door. "No, I'm here to take you home."

"Gee, thanks, but I think I'll have to pass. I'm doin' just fine on my own."

"'Just fine'? Is that what you call that pile of rubble and booze you were pulled from? Tell me, because I really am curious, were you living in a bar or was your apartment actually made of Jack Daniels? Because I honestly couldn't tell what there was more of, bottles or bric-"

"Go fuck yourself," said Jack. There was no humor in his voice. His fists were clenched by his side and his eyes narrowed at the suited man.

"I see I struck a nerve," Daniel admitted. He stood from the chair and took a few steps toward the hospital. "Well, the fact remains that I'm taking you home, Jack. This isn't a negotiation. This is a fact."

"Get the fuck away from me," Jack retreated from Daniel's advances, seating himself as far back on the bed as he could. His unease was crystal clear in his movement and the shaking of his voice. "Hey, go to hell, man!"

Daniel stood at the foot of the bed, his fingers wrapped around the railing on either side. He leaned forward, locking eyes with Jack. The corners of his mouthed turned up as he replied, "After you." His smile turned into a toothy grin as his eyes went completely black. In a flash a cocoon of fire engulfed them both. Jack tried to scream but it was caught in his throat. He felt the searing heat from beneath him and his eyes widened is pure terror as several black, charred hands wrapped around him and began to pull. It was as if he was being drawn into a roiling pit of tar and ash. Finally the sensations were truly setting in and he was just about to unleash a blood curdling scream when blackened fingers covered his mouth and altogether he was yanked into the abyss.

Then the flames vanished. The room looked almost untouched. However, all that remained of Jack was a smoldering pile of ash. Daniel breathed a sigh of finality and straightened up. He withdrew his phone from his pocket as he moseyed to the door, and after a swift swipe and a tap he put the phone to his ear. He opened the door and stepped into the hall, declaring to the entity on the other end, "It's done."


Daniel Luxe

Some time later...

Daniel left his Talisman to the valet and made his way up the stairs of the Winnfield Tower. He was about to walk through the doors when he noticed Sirius standing around, no doubt awaiting his arrival. "Ah, Mr Hamilton," Daniel said cheerfully. "Such a pleasant surprise, I hope I haven't kept you waiting long. To what do I owe the pleasure of your arrival?"


Specter?

Part of him figured he was mad. What else? Asking someone like... well, someone like Gabriel Oakfield, whom he still considered a dangerous criminal for help was lunacy. The other part just wanted an answer. Even if it was just silence, or simply that Oakfield was the fraud he had always known he was.

But he saw me.

That was the only reason the Specter was there. It had taken only a moment to find the hiding place once he focused. The police files were a mess after the explosion, and in his determination, he had only stopped a couple of minutes to honour those who had died. Then he had proceeded forwards. Apparently Gabriel had been moved to an "experimental area", better than the special prison, even more secure. In theory. One where they thought a specter couldn't get through... how ridiculous. He had no issues getting there, phasing through walls that were less ghost-sure than they likely had expected. Or they simply didn't care about the criminal.

"Mr. Rolls." The other spotted him before he spotted him, and the cult leader sat up, more alert than the last time. A little frightened too. "So the walls didn't help. I figured so, even though you're only between the... no, nevermind."

"I'm not here for small-talk, Oakfield." The other shook his head, with a sad smile.

"No, I know. There's only two reasons why you'd be here. One would be to kill me. I'm hoping that's not the one, for... obvious reasons. The other is because you've come to realize that I'm more than a smooth talker. Because, I saw the news. I know that you were a friend of Dr. Loveless. Or is it perhaps your fellow "upholders of the law" you want to talk to? Am I correct, am I not?" The Specter eyed the man.

"And? Do you need me to go turn of a switch or something? Some sort of blocker?" Gabriel shook his head, with a light chuckle.

"A switch? You think they could keep the afterlife out with a switch? They tried building a wall, and here you are, so no. However, I'm not very fond of the method that they do use to keep my powers asleep. To put it mildly, they drug me down to the point of making even concentrating on one thing at a time difficult. It is the most limiting and weakening feeling the entire world, as if I am an animal in captive."

Specter pushed away a sort of guilty sensation in his chest, it wasn't his fault Gabriel had gotten people killed, even if the punishment was unsuitable.

"Ever since I was moved, I've been able to..." he pointed at his cheek; "hide them away. I'll look for the person you want me to find, if, and only if, you promise to listen to me. That's all I want."

The Specter rolled his eyes, but he had been expecting this. Actually, he had been expecting a lot more, so it was easier to accept this.

"Fine. But I'll only listen for a while. I want you to find Dr. Loveless."

Here goes nothing.

"Of course." Suddenly, the warm, if still somewhat alert and even prideful, atmosphere around Gabriel Oakfield changed, and he looked forward, a dull, unfocused look in his eyes.

"Dr. Theodore Lovelace. If you can hear me, please respond. Your friend the Judge would like to have one last conversation. He could need some closure, and, if you are like most other spirits, so do you."

Then, there was silence. Perhaps it would all turn out to be some sort of joke, Gabriel trying to scam him into something. Yet, the Specter couldn't deny that a shiver went down his spine.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Tim Merridy

"Thanks Tim, I'm going to try and contact Rias, don't get into any trouble ok?"

"Have fun." Tim gave a sly wink and let go of Tom. "And I'm not going to lie to you; I am going to get in trouble. But don't worry, it's aaaall part of the plan. See you later, dearest brother."

With quick steps, he left, not even bothering to put his jacket on. This was going to be fun, oh how fun. Luring out the "good" guys, trying to figure out what the real motivation was. The issue was then; should he simply try to create as much chaos as possible? Or would it be better to try to infiltrate the new hero club?

I doubt Tom would appreciate me pretending to be Sir Awesome, though. Although...

He grinned. He had the best idea, something that wouldn't get Tom in trouble -hopefully- and that wouldn't simply be him getting his ass kicked by some heroes. He was sure that unicorn psycho lady had signed up on the evil government plan instantly as it was a "paladin" kinda thing to do, and honestly, she was strong as hell. Letting his goo shape into his armor, he started making it bigger. Bigger and scarier, a lot more attention grabbing. Then he started a riot, hopefully, he would get the attention of someone soon enough. Then, that someone would lead him to a "new and better life".

Or drag me struggling to the nearest prison. One or another.

It was a risk. However, he grinned under his armor.

What's the point of doing everything safely?
______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sirius Hamilton

"Ah, Mr Hamilton. Such a pleasant surprise, I hope I haven't kept you waiting long. To what do I owe the pleasure of your arrival?"

Sirius looked at the other with a blank look. Well, an even blanker look than usual. Right, he had to have a reason to be there. "It's kind of... peculiar, I suppose, but I'm unsure of what to do. I've never been a hero, and I've never aimed to be one. I've helped people on occasions, simply because I can and it would be cruel not to, but..." he trailed off for a brief moment. He wasn't sure if saying that the woman organizing the heroes was ruining it for him was a good idea, but she really had. "I don't think taking a step further and actually writing a contract in order to keep doing what little I have done would be a good idea."

Sirius looked for any kind of indication of a reaction in Daniel Luxe's eyes, looking at the building again. Then, with a sigh, he added; "However I don't know if it would be right for me to simply stand there and do nothing. I have abilities that can save lives, but now there is a rule making me unable to use them. Besides, there's something about this whole thing that doesn't seem... right." He thought of Coil. Hadn't she saved enough people to be excused for trying to kill the bad guy? As much as he wanted to trust the heroine who appeared in the form of a little girl, he simply didn't know what to do. It was all very...

Complicated. Confusing. Odd.

"You're a wise man, right? Do you, perhaps, know what I should do? Or, I suppose, we could just discuss my art-work instead, though I won't bother you further if you're busy either, I just... wanted to get some guidance."

The Crick

The Crick stared at the TV mounted in the corner of the room, protected behind a clear case. Underneath it, a man sat reading a book and occasionally looking over to point out interesting passages to a couple of a dust particles floating near a window. On a couch, two young men debated whether or not it was raining outside as light poured in from the sky-light above them. A few men sat at a table playing cards. Another sat in a wheel chair holding a sock-monkey toy rather affectionately. They were all wearing rather comfortable pajamas. The only man not wearing them was in a police uniform, officer Wilson Willis Wilkins. He stood there cursing silently at the television.

"I feel ya kid...this entire thing is rotten. The bombing of the police station, new police gear, the criminal interviews, Psyclone...there are pieces but no pie. Typically I'd be all for a program like this but, there's something wrong with it. All a bit too, coincidental and convienant..."

The Crick simply stared with his arms folded.

"-Unfortunately, this requires a change in city operating procedures. Our heroes have had unlimited authority in dealing with villains and in doing so have put the city at risk time and time again. Their wild antics have been tolerated long enough. As such, the 'freelance heroics' model will no longer be tolerated within city limits. All would-be heroes will be required to contract with Ms. Fukao to continue operation. Under her, they shall receive fair pay and proper training and resources to protect our city. Now, Ms. Fukao asked for a few minutes to appeal to those heroes."

"Kid...I'm not sure I can listen to this. Either my gut has finally lead me astray or me, you, the city, and every other superhero in the city is being played."

The Crick simply stood there and listened to Ms. Fukao's "olive branch" to all the other active heroes. He listened to her voice and focused. It was sincere. Genuine. But...tainted. Subtlety, but tainted nonetheless. Not by avarice, hate, or ill-intent. But by...righteousness. Righteousness towards misbehaving children you want trick into thinking you're on their side. Maybe she was the source of evil in their city, maybe she and her company were just another pawn, or maybe she was just a very convenient coincidence. Whatever the case it was tied into whatever was going on in Neutropolis and whoever had hired Psyclone.

He thought back to the final moments on the island against Psyclone.

The fire vortexes. Sirius diffusing them. Sir Awesome and Unicorn helping with evacuation. Coil somehow slipping though the chaos. Lord Magnificent seemingly making his exit a few moments later. And the Specter along with them, doing what he does best: disappearing. And that had left The Crick with Psyclone's body...or what by all accounts should've been.

The Crick turned as he heard specific soft foot steps coming from down the hall.

"Hello Officer, Crick, I've had an interesting time with the patient you brought me," Dr. Richard Xavier said with a curt smile on his face, "I believe he's ready to see you now."

As they walked away a specific set of words from the police commissioner rang through The Crick's head.

"-I hereby issue a warrant for the arrest of the following individuals: The superhuman known as 'Coil' for Attempted Murder and known superhuman 'Rias Michelle DeDannan' for Breaking and Entering, Corporate Sabotage, and the murder of Theodore Loveless."

The doctor guided them down a hallway and into his office. He reorganized all the dark blue and grey books on his bookshelf in a specific order using a code only he understood. Ultimately, all the grey and blue books formed an "X" within the shelf and it parted. They stepped on a flat platform and descended. As they did so, smoke bellowed around Dr.Xavier and a moment later Detective X stood next to them, a blue mask with a gray "X" underneath his fedora.

"I gauged his reactions. His eye movement, body language-or rather what little twitches and other bodily function he had left, and wanted to see how much he knew. It's been awhile since I've had to scrounge up some good old fashioned Nazi-knowledge. Nothing occult, is involved which was rather disappointing but basic cover-ups and embarrassments to the Third Reich. The biggest and best kept secret was Aldric Boucher or 'The Butcher.' Rather dramatic, but rather fitting."

"I told Psyclone everything I knew. Only signs of recognition I got were the name. Aside from that, nothing. I mentioned information you gave me about the footage involving his attacks and Coil's heroics: nothing. The name Ms. Fukao only got me a moment of confusion and slight air humping motions. Coil the same thing, but a hint of regret and almost envy. He's no better to you alive or dead...mostly paralyzed is a good middle ground in my opinion. At least he seems to have lost the use of his powers, slight brain damage I suspect. There's not much he can do to help you...though, if it's any consolation he might help me wrap up an old investigation involving missing kids and mental powers."

The Crick absorbed the information or lack of it he was getting...Psyclone was a very small expendable corner of a web and the psychotic psychokinetic knew that. Coil wasn't special, but got to 'live' if the news reports were anything to go by. And then there was...

"Did you ask him about Loveless? I lost contact with him right before everything went down with Aldric. Loveless was a big chunk of where I got my information from and-and he was a friend." The Crick said bowing his head. Detective X nodded.

"I was wondering about that myself. I knew something was wrong when Loveless didn't update his social media pages as usual. I was a rather big fan of his investigation and interviewing style. I relayed my own confusion to Psyclone. All I got were, for lack of a better term, 'angry eyes'. Ill-intent but no actual connection. The situation with Rias is what confuses me the most. I hope it doesn't get in the way of her next album..."

Officer Willis and The Crick stared at the detective.

"What? I've been a fan for awhile. Dynamite Dynamo is still apart of my interrogation routines."

They reached the bottom of the elevator and a series of things clicked for The Crick.

"Theodore Loveless died knowing...something. He wouldn't be dead otherwise. He can't have died over nothing. I wouldn't put it past Ms.Fukao or whoever's the source of all this to have a literal rockstar on their roster-"

"You get television in that suit right?" Officer Willis said as word came in on his walki-talkie. "Cause you won't believe who just showed up..."

The Crick pulled up the feed in his helmet and listened to what Rias had to say. All that information from Loveless, it...it wasn't for her. No way it could've been. But it seemed easily compatible with the storage on his suit. The Crick was essentially hopping in place.

"First day on the job and Ms.Fukao has a conspiracy to deal with. Interesting."

"So what do we do from here, kid? Think she's telling the truth. We may have gotten the rest of the pie and you look like you're about to hop out here."

"X is gonna get out of costume and talk to Psyclone about the weather-"

"Yep you're definitely your father's son..."

"-and perform an actual psych and or medical evaluation so it doesn't look like I simply kidnapped a half-dead supervillain and or domestic terrorist for kicks and or jollies. Officer Willis, you're gonna bring Psyclone in for booking later."

[b]"And what are you gonna do?"

"I've got a choice. Either I go to Ms.Fukao and solidify a working relationship or I go to Rias and take Ms.Fukao down...I know what I gotta do.If worst comes to worst, I might have to do both..."

Theodore and Frederick: Dead Men Tell Interesting Tales

Theodore sat in the void that was his afterlife. He'd spoken to the dozens of souls that shared the void with him over the last few... How long had it been? Time seemed to stretch on eternally here with no changes in heat or lighting to suggest the passing of it. He felt no hunger or fatigue or... Much of anything. The afterlife was boring. So of course he'd spent most of his time talking.

It was while lying down with his eyes closed for lack of anything better to do that it happened. He felt... warmth. At first, he thought it was an illusion. Some trick of his fading sanity. Then he heard a voice.

"Dr. Theodore Lovelace. If you can hear me, please respond. Your friend the Judge would like to have one last conversation. He could need some closure, and, if you are like most other spirits, so do you."

Opening his eyes, he could see a haze of color. It looked almost like the real world. He was going to dismiss it until he saw him; Frederick!

Theodore ran through the haze toward Frederick as quickly as he could. "Frederick!" He called out, his voice hoarse.

Though Theodore could see the Specter, he could not be seen by his friend. However, another pair of eyes became fixed at where Theodore was, and smiled, almost pridefully. "He is here, Judge Rolls." he told Frederick. "Do you see him?" The Specter raised an eyebrow, and though he felt as though there was a presence, he couldn't see anyone.

"No."

"A pity. He called your name," he then said, knowingly, before addressing Theodore again. "Mr. Lovelace, I'm afraid Judge Rolls is unable to sense you, despite his ghost-like properties. I'll act as the medium, whether you are aware of who I am or not. Though, I suspect you do remember my face, it was on the news an awful lot back then."

"Get to the point, Oakfield. If... if you're really there, Theodore, and this nutcase isn't playing me, then I'm sorry I wasn't... wherever you was when you were killed. And I hope you're not in pain. I also have some questions, probably not pleasant questions."

Theodore turned to the man who could see him. He looked familiar but Theodore couldn't place him. For some reason, the further he pushed into the haze, the less he could remember. He forced himself to remember what was important; constantly repeating the facts he'd learned over and over again in his mind.

Turning to Oakfield, Theodore spoke up. "It wasn't your fault. It was mine. I wish you could see me, but I'm glad you can't. It's proof at last you're not dead."

Gabriel looked from Theodore to Specter. "He says it wasn't your fault, and that he wish you could see him, but is glad you don't, since he considers it proof of you not being dead."

"Considers it?" Gabriel shrugged, and let the Specter continue what he was saying. "And Theodore, I still feel like it's my fault. Everything. I was talking to Psyclone before he and his employers blew up the police station. And I'm sure I could have saved you, if I only had been there, if I only had known what you were doing. Which brings me to the questions, because, to be honest, I don't know what to do. For starters... What did happen to you? And, did Rias really do it?"

"Rias... What does Rias have to do with anything? It was Mina Fukao. She's the one who set everything in motion. She was looking to hire flashy villains. She hired Psyclone. She destroyed the police station. She had the Frenchman destroy the blimp. And she killed me when I discovered it. Wasn't all this in the data I sent out?"

"Rias didn't do it, he wonders how she is involved. The person who killed him was Mina Fukao, she's the big bad villain," Gabriel started, with a curious look on his face and a slight head tilt, though he spoke calmly still. "Apparently she's behind Psyclone and the police station and the frenchman who destroyed the blimp. There's some data he sent out. He's confused as to why you don't know about this, since it should have been in the data."

The Specter couldn't help but feel rather surprised. Theodore didn't know? Or rather, everything they knew of was false? What a mess. "Rias has been accused of killing you, Theodore. I don't know about this data, I never received it, and it's the first time I've heard of it. And if you don't know about Rias... Mina Fukao is forcing every hero to sign up with some sort of organisation. I don't know if anyone has already done it, but they'll arrest anyone who tries to be an independent hero." He sighed. "This is such a mess."

Theodore was quiet for a time. "Then it's worse than I feared. No matter what you can't accept it. She's a power mad thief. She intends to use all of the heroes to gain money and influence. She plans to kill any captured villains to take their powers along with the powers of any heroes no longer of my use to her. To her, people are nothing more than resources to be exploited so she can "save the world". She's a monster and she needs to be stopped... By any means."

Gabriel listened intently, trying to find a way to say what Theodore had said without repeating everything. It had no purpose, after all. After a brief moment, he addressed Frederick.

"Ms. Fukao is power mad. Her intention is to use the heroes and captured villains to gain power. She wants to "save the world"," -he made the appropriate gestures as he said those words- "but she only sees people as resources to be exploited, and must be stopped... Excuse me, Mr. Lovelace, but if I may ask a question on my own. How exactly does she intend to save the world? From what danger? And---"

"Theodore, I don't intend to accept it. As a matter of fact, I've made a decision, I'm not going to be a hero anymore. I'll give this and any other info I learn to Crick, but I've come to see that I'm not fit to be any kind of hero." The Specter tilted himself upside down, almost as if to calm himself. Oddly enough, it worked. "Besides, I'm becoming... well. More and more people knows about that Frederick Rolls has powers. Not these kinds of powers, but at the very least the telekinesis. I'd ask you about advice, but I understand if you're a bit occupied."

Theodore looked sadly at Frederick. He wished he could think of something to say or do to show him how great a hero he could be. He was. But Theodore knew he couldn't he was dead and therefore had no right to question the decisions of the living.

Instead he turned to the "translator" and tried to answer him. "I think you misunderstood. She's power MAD. I don't know the fully story, but she was dragged into heroics as a child. Kits-er... one of the souls on this side says that she "needs" to be the hero to feel complete."

"If that is how it is," Gabriel said, not really content with the answer, but unwilling to pry. Newly dead souls were a pain to deal with if you didn't know to back off. "Oh. Right. Judge Rolls, Theodore said that she's crazy and that her trying to save the world is just her being dragged into heroics as a child. There's also something about another soul," he continued only translating after sensing an amount of dismay in the Specter.

"Right. Anyways, Theodore, I've been, thinking, about something. I have powers, and thus I managed to stay on this side. Perhaps... perhaps you could---"

"Don't continue, Judge Rolls. Just... don't. I can't say this in a gentle way, but here I go; he cannot, and you cannot, and attempting to do so would be extremely dangerous and damaging for every part involved. Even me. It's a bad idea, and it won't work, it won't end well, and you should not give people hope where it's none."

"Well, what am I supposed to do then? Just sit here and rely on you to tell me what you feel like telling me?" Gabriel nodded.

"You'd know if Mr. Lovelace thought I misrepresented his words. I get it, it's frustrating, and you'd rather not have the person in the middle. Especially not someone you wrongly accused of something. I know. But just be calm, Judge Rolls."

If he hadn't currently been all ghostly, it would be very apparent that the Specter was rolling his eyes, frustrated. "Ignore all of that, Theodore. The important thing is you. I don't know if I have any questions that would be proper, I thought of so much more to say, only to have it disappear from my mind. You were... are, a dear friend of mine, and I wish you hadn't gotten murdered by that... that woman. I'll miss you, and I know almost everyone else in town will as well. I'd cry, but, it's a little difficult, it feels like there's so much stuck in my mind that I can't process it as I should. I'm sorry." He rubbed his neck, thinking of how to continue. Then, he realized what he still needed to say.

"So, I said I didn't know if I had any more questions, but I suppose I have two more. One is simple, at least in theory. It's if you have any messages you'd like me to bring to your family, or other friends, anyone from work... anything like that. Any last words that I can give them.

The second is... complicated. I'm not sure what to do. I know I'm not a hero anymore, but I'm still your friend. I'm still the Specter. And as the Specter, I can get where no one else can, I can take revenge for you, as painful and cruel as you'd want. I know you didn't want me to do anything like that when you were still alive, but this is different. This is your own shot at payback. Justice. My chance to actually do something for you. It's up to you, but I won't think less of you either way, no matter which you choose, for me to go for her throat, or to ignore her."

Theodore thought long and hard on the questions before answering. "Please tell The Crick what I said. If he doubts you, tell him about how he approached me to be a link for secret society and how I couldn't because my powers wouldn't let me communicate properly. That should prove you spoke with me. More personally... I shouldn't, but please tell my parents I love them." He wanted to say the same words to Sofia but it felt wrong; far better she never know and moved on peacefully.

"As for revenge... I... I want you to arrest her. Make her pay for all the crimes she's done." He said, fighting his urge to ask Frederick to cut her apart - limb by limb - like she had to him. Despite it all, no one would be able to say he didn't practice what he preached.

With a suddenly solemn look on his face, Gabriel told the Specter what Theodore had said. This time with no trace of his own opinion, or even shortening it down. He simply repeated everything, calmly. Towards the end, though, he started rubbing his forehead, and Theodore could sense that he didn't have an awful lot of time left there.

The Specter looked the ground, then up at where Gabriel had been looking when -presumably- Theodore had spoken. For a moment, their eyes met, though only Theodore would be able to tell.

"I understand. I'll do as you want me to," he said, voice noticably shaking. Part of him felt as though the situation felt real. This was the last time he was going to talk to Theodore, his friend, who he had failed to protect, or at least still felt like he had failed to protect.

"I guess.. this is it, then. Unless you want to stay, and chat, have a cup of tea or coffee, or something. Heh." He looked away from the sensation of energy, quiet for a moment.

"Bye, Theodore. I'll miss you, I really will. I hope the afterlife works out for you." An awkward chuckle followed, then more silence.

"Oh god I'd kill for some coffee. The afterlife is the worst." Theodore joked back. It was comforting in a way.

Theodore tried to keep the smile but it was beyond him and so quickly faded. "I'll miss you too Frederick. Take care of yourself and Sofia. And don't do anything reckless. As much as I like you, I don't want to see you on this side of the afterlife for a long long time. And, for the love of all things good, do NOT blame yourself for my death. That's on Mina and Mina alone. Now get out there and be the good person I know you are."

"Oh. And if you keep blaming yourself, I swear to god I will haunt you something fierce."

"Theodore'll miss you too, Judge Rolls. He says to take care of yourself and Sofia, and to not do anything reckless, or die for a long time. And don't blame yourself for his death, if you do, he swears to god that he'll come back and haunt you."

"I'm not entire sure I would dislike that," the Specter joked. "But I'll try not to do so. If only because it'd freak out the people around me. Thanks for everything, Theodore." The medium in the room allowed a few more seconds of silence, for any reply of Theodore's that he could tell the Judge. Then, he spoke, eyes closed, a wrinkled nose indicating some sort of pain, likely headache.

"I'm going to dismiss you now, Mr. Lovelace, and you will return to where you was before I beckoned you here," Gabriel said. "I'm afraid years locked up has made my tolerance for the strain of a session like this fade away. I wish you all luck, however, and may the afterlife be calm and non-threatening for you," he continued, very aware of what could happen. With that, the connection started shutting down.

As Theodore faded, he knew what he needed to do. They had a real chance to change things before everything went to hell; literally in some of their cases. Floating as fast as he could through the void, he made his way to the one person who could help. Well... person was a poor word. Upon finding him, Theodore began to speak.

"I was contacted by the otherside. They're going to try and take Mina down. What can we do to help?" The little spirit-fox looked up at him, smiled, and replied. "Enough."

Rias

Rias having found a decent spot to sit and wait for, some one , to show up, did just that. Sat and waited. She had already called out her knights and was just thumbing through YouTube for something to watch when she got Tom's text.

[I don't think that's a good idea, some idiot might think I've taken a hostage or something stupid like that. You know how people get about supers that 'go bad', no benefit of the doubt, no trying to hear them out, just 'haul in the evil doer'.]

[I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I ended up having to fight some narrow minded moron that believes that cows lies.]

she texted back, wondering if she should have just skipped town instead of trying to clear her name.

Karen

Karen sat and thought about the news cast, and Rias' public statement about her side of things. After a few moments she sent a message to Crick, telling him she was going to go find Rias. After that she took off for the bar she played at, finding one of the employees taking care of stock for a delivery. Naturally Karen was told 'Rias isn't here', though after a short talk she found out where Ivaan was.

Once she arrived where he was she found not only him, but the rest of the band and Claire as well. As they talked, it became very clear very quickly they weren't going to just give her up, Claire apparently having actually seen the proof Rias claimed to have had. That was good, it meant she actually had something. The conversation hit a bit of a pause when the TV replayed Rias' statement, but something was off about the video. Bom pointed it out vocally though, the video had been altered to make her look more 'desperate'. That clinched it. Some one really was trying to set her up, that's the only reason any one would try to discredit her like this.

The conversation didn't last much longer, and while they didn't know where she was they gave Karen a few places to look. After thanking them Karen took off for the first of those locations. "Crick, I got a few places to look for find the girl now. Seems she really has gotten under some ones skin with that little announcement of hers, the just replayed and Photoshopped version of her statement, and it's not flattering. I'll ring in when I find her."

Meanwhile;

Bom wasn't the only one that noticed the Photoshop job of Rias' announcement, and several social media sites exploded with cry's of conspiracy and cover up, with numerous 'side by side' videos getting uploaded not long after the edited feed went live.

The Crick

The Crick made it into the city and looked across it. Things had changed so much in so little time. Psyclone's short yet catastrophic reign of terror hung in the mines of many. Emergency crews were still cleaning up from Aldric's destruction. Ans now Ms.Fukao was offering them the two things people wanted: People to hold accountable and people who could do better. And Rias has something that could tear that all apart.

"Crick, I got a few places to look for find the girl now. Seems she really has gotten under some ones skin with that little announcement of hers, the just replayed and Photoshopped version of her statement, and it's not flattering. I'll ring in when I find her."

"Sounds good. Keep covering the the city. I'll do what I can, but I've got an idea swimming around in my head. I need to contact a few of the others, the Specter particularly."

The Crick tried calling the Specter but stopped, wondering what the incorporeal hero's mental state was with everything going on.

"Eh, nothing ventured..." He called the Specter and gave him a location: A few buildings across from Ms.Fukao's recruiting center.


Specter?

For a moment, the two sat there. From Gabriel's expression, he still wasn't done doing his... thing. Specter had to think about it more clearly.

I think I need some air.

Not that he actually did, he was still in his ghost form, and as far as he knew, it didn't need anything. But he certainly felt like he needed some air. And some time to think. Theodore. He had spoken to Theodore. At least, he thought he had, unless Gabriel was running some elaborate scam, but the Specter had felt a presence, a familiar, warm one. No, Theodore had been there.

"So, what do you think, Mr. Judge? Do you aquit me of all malicious and nonsense charges?" The man's tone of voice was partly smug, and partly... well, actually, it was just really smug. And wholly inappropriate, given the situation that had just gone down. It was an odd change from how he had acted before, though the Specter suspected this was closer to how the man really was than the friendliness.

"Or do you still insist that I am some dangerous cult leader? That I should serve lifetime because I ended up attracting some undesirable individuals?"

"Listen, you insufferable---"

Suddenly a phone rang, a phone he had forgotten he had in the pocket of his coat. The two of them went quiet, and Gabriel motioned for him to take it. From the other end of the line, someone spoke. The Crick. He got an address, and as he spoke up, he could hear the other hang up. Oakfield looked at the phone, then at Specter, then back at the phone.

"I suppose you'll go now?"

"I don't really know. You had something I had to hear, right? Was those passive aggressive complaints the only part? Because I don't care how real your powers are. You still were directly responsible for several deaths." Gabriel frowned.

"Just go. I'd want you to come back as the judge either way, not whoever you are now. Visit me in human form, through the official means, so that I can talk to you without you leaving whenever you want. It's just so... complicated. Infuriating, and depressing, to think that I'll have to go back to that prison at some point, have my mind drowned out again. However, I don't need you to release me, or even like me. I just need you to understand."

The Specter shrugged, giving a half-assed promise of return, and disappeared. The next time he made himself visible, he was already at the location Crick had told him to go to. To those present, he spoke; "I've spoken to Theodore. Don't ask me how, it's just some ghost-thing. He says Rias is completely innocent, and Fukao, the business lady, is the evil mastermind. I believe him. He told us to arrest her. In case you wanted to murder her, or something."

The Crick

The Crick stood on the building watching as videos flooded onto Youtube. Rias had sparked controversy and intrigue into this whole thing. He grinned slightly. Loveless probably would've loved this...

He heard familiar yet almost inaudible noise of the Specter appearing.

I've spoken to Theodore. Don't ask me how, it's just some ghost-thing. He says Rias is completely innocent, and Fukao, the business lady, is the evil mastermind. I believe him. He told us to arrest her. In case you wanted to murder her, or something."

"Uh, wow, okay well glad to hear we got his go ahead...and hey, I figured that with your recent 'existential crisis' I'd have to tell you that." The Crick said, a slight hint of snark in his voice.

"Though I did hit Psyclone really hard. He's alive by the way...kinda messed up but alive...anyway, as for Ms.Fukao, I'm not sure I can just go in there and arrest her. I mean, given the evidence I probably could take her into custody but...I wanna understand first. Psyclone, the bombs, the publicity, Coil. I'm gonna arrest her but I need to understand first, from her mouth. Even if it is nuts." The Crick says as he positions himself for a jump.

"I'm gonna go have a meeting with her, at her conference all heroes were ordered to address themselves to her anyway. I'm gonna listen to her and then I'm gonna arrest her and get her booked. That's what Loveless wanted and I'm not sure if this is worth anything to you, but that's what Frederick Rolls would have wanted too."

Tom

[I don't think that's a good idea, some idiot might think I've taken a hostage or something stupid like that. You know how people get about supers that 'go bad', no benefit of the doubt, no trying to hear them out, just 'haul in the evil doer'.]

[I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if I ended up having to fight some narrow minded moron that believes that cows lies.]

Ha, as if anyone could take SIR AWESOME hostage! Tom thought briefly, before remembering that Rias didn't know he was a hero. Probably better that way, though she'd getting yanked into things regardless...

Frowning he began typing out a new message, then deleted it and wrote a new one, then deleted that and started again.

[We could meet in the park or somewhere open, be hard to say you took a hostage in a public area]

He thought for a second and then added [If you don't want to thats ok, just stay in touch and let me know if you need help]

Since she didn't know he was a hero she probably wouldn't ask him for help with anything of that sort, but he still wanted to make sure she knew he was willing to help. It couldn't be easy with the press turning on her after all. I wonder... ah I'm an idiot why didn't I think of that first?

[I could write another article if you want, give your view on things since people aren't listening]

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

Tess resisted the urge to hit, spit, or otherwise offend Mina. This was it, she was done with the bitch without getting shot or blown up like Psyclone. Not out of it yet, could be a sniper set up outside the car, or a bomb at home or, or something. She shook those thoughts off and stepped out of the vehicle clutching the briefcase tightly.

I need to lie low for a while, somewhere other than my apartment. But where... a hotel maybe? I've got the money for it... no too obvious. Besides she probably owns half the hotels in the city. Hm, what about Sirius? I doubt she cares much about him...

Pulling out her phone she sent Sirius a text [I need a place to crash for a bit]

She put her phone away and began walking quickly down the street, glancing about in a somewhat paranoid manner. If he didn't respond she'd look into other options.

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