The Super Hero RP Deluxe! (Closed, Started)

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Frederick Rolls

"You get the to tell me how many people are trapped in there and their condition. Calm them down, tell them to stand way from the debris. From there, the response crew nearby can-"

It started out sounding like a decent plan, get inside and calm people down, inform the Crick about how people were. However, then the hero that Frederick still wasn't sure should be there, Sir Awesome, asked what he could do. And that's where the plan, in Frederick's opinion, got less viable.

"Yeah, start digging!"

"Wait, what?!" Frederick exclaimed. "No, that's---"

"On it!"

Dammit.

Not going to be easy to forced to stop, the large blob started digging, probably causing the insides to fall together even more. Frederick sighing, tragedy mask back in place. He floated over the debris, though, not going through yet.

"I'm going inside to stabilize the walls there using telekinesis," he told the Crick. Hopefully he'd be fast enough to deal with that. "I... We will handle this, you should probably make sure nothing else is going on. I'll stay inside until they're out, to make sure no one gets a rock in their face."

Speaking quickly -he had to be swift, after all- Frederick then made himself invisible, and entered through the stone wall. It was hard to see just what was going on inside, though, as a ghost he didn't exactly rely on light to see. He wasn't sure what he did rely on, actually, but it was enough for him to gauge the situation a little, the very least. The walls of the debris were unstable, as he had suspected, and several of the people inside was hurt. Not intending to scare them, he spoke.

"I'm the Specter, and I'm here to make sure you're safe." He still didn't appear, however, and instead lifted a rock from someone's foot, as he kept the walls from falling apart. Luckily, no real damage had been done, no one was dead, though some were rather hurt, moaning in pain and asking him if they were going to be saved.

"Yes, soon, we've got someone working on digging you out now. You'll be fine."

I don't like making possible false promises, but I don't think anything bad can happen now.

He hoped that was true, not only because he didn't want anything else to happen to these people, but also because he was rather unused to deal with people as the Specter. He doubted he had it in himself to be inspiring.

Terry

"I'm going inside to stabilize the walls there using telekinesis. I... We will handle this, you should probably make sure nothing else is going on. I'll stay inside until they're out, to make sure no one gets a rock in their face."

"Do as dead men do," The Crick said "We've got a response team helping, so things should move pretty quickly."

He stopped to listen to the sounds in the debris every few seconds. He wasn't a professional rescuer, but he'd come to understand the basic idea of moving at a decent rate and checking to make sure you didn't involuntarily hurt the people you were trying to save. Sir Awesome was moving rather quickly through the debris, removing victims who'd got caught in it before they'd made it to the tunnel.

"I hope you're sorta suspending them with that goo of yours, don't want to hurt anyone with more serious injuries"

His eyes moved towards the heroine who'd arrived a few moments earlier. She seemed to be partially healing who she could. The Crick stared at her, she looked oddly familiar. A hero he'd seen before, months ago, he wasn't sure how long ago. Whatever the case, he was glad to have the help. The Crick leaned in and listened some more. He could hear air passing through a space in the debris, a nice hollow spot. He could actually make a decent path through here.

"Hey guys, I think I've found a nice way through. I'll need help supporting it."

He crouched into the emerging pathway and looked back. He took another look at the destruction left by the tornado.

"Who the hell was this guy?"

Jack

"Jeez, Louise," the Shadow rider groaned, running his fingers through his hair infrustration. "Look lady, it's real simple--just put the money in the bag. None o' those little sleeve things with the ink bombs, I know what you're tryna do. You think you're bein' clever, but I'm watchin' ya."

Meanwhile, as Jack had his eyes on the bank teller, one of her co-workers slowly crawled across the neutral-patterned carpet towards the desk that housed the silent alarm. Quickly and quietly, the man scurried across the floor and pressed the little red button. As he tried to return to his original spot, his movement caught Jack's eye.

"Hey, the hell ya think you're doin'?" Jack exclaimed, raising his sledgehammer menacingly at his defiant hostage. "If ya can't keep still, your knees ain't gonna appreciate it one bit. Got that?"

The man nodded frantically and put his face into the carpet once more with his hands behind his head. All he had to do now was bide his time, see if the police would arrive before the thief made his departure.

Tom

"I hope you're sorta suspending them with that goo of yours, don't want to hurt anyone with more serious injuries"

"Of course I am, I've knocked enough things over to know how they crumble!" Tom said, perhaps a bit too energetically. He was glad for the Specter's assistance though, his goo had been stretching thin to hold up the rubble as it removed it and it had been wearing him out quickly, with the ghostly heroes assistance things were progressing much more smoothly with the Specter doing most of the work holding things up while Tom excavated large chunks of rubble.

"Hey guys, I think I've found a nice way through. I'll need help supporting it."

"On it!" Tom replied, making sure the Specter was holding up the rubble that was left where he had been digging before moving to assist the Crick.

"Who the hell was this guy?"

"Beats me," Tom replied "I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him though. Hey do you know who the new heroine helping the injured is? I don't remember seeing her around the city before..."

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George

George swallowed a bit nervously before knocking on the door to Tom's apartment, Tom had always been friendly enough with him but he couldn't help but feel that he was too energetic sometimes. Hopefully he's home, I really need to borrow some cleaning supplies. The surprise tornado hadn't directly hit their building of course, but George's room was on the top floor and a stray piece of rubble had been flung onto the roof, knocking bits of his ceiling to the floor.

"H-hey Tom, are you in there?" he asked, "I could use your help with something..."

Maybe I should just go, he's probably run off to go hero watching in the storm or something... George had to admit that part of him envied Tom, the guy seemed effortlessly friendly and confident all the time, although maybe he just doesn't know any better, he doesn't seem to think that much...

Frederick Rolls

Frederick couldn't hear much of the conversation outside the rubble, the voices of the two other heroes could be heard every now and then, but he was more concerned with those inside, and keeping the pieces of apartments and stores from falling down. It was becoming increasingly difficult to do that, though, not because it was draining, but because his power of telekinesis didn't really work like that. The walls were visibly being pushed away, and individual pieces that fell was returned straight to the wall again with increasing force.

Basically, the Specter was having difficulties limiting his own powers, and it could be felt by the people inside, them being pushed towards the wall as well, not roughly, but still enough to make some of them notice it and ask about it.

"It's nothing," Frederick replied. "It's soon over." Luckily, it was. Either by luck or something else, Sir Awesome had found a good spot to dig. Light started pouring through the opening, though, not before Sir Awesome got one of the rocks that had fallen during that final lift in the face. It was fairly large, and he couldn't imagine that it was pleasant, but at least the goo should stop something.

And here I said he was bad at controlling himself.

"Oh, sorry about that." Frederick replied, though he didn't move. "You were in the way of something. Just make the hole big enough for people to get through, and we're golden."

The position he was in now was one that'd allow people to get outside as quickly as possible. Soon enough, victims were crawling out. Frederick couldn't do anything but what he had done so far, seeing as he was unable to interact with the material world beyond his telekinesis right now.

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Tim Merridy

Tim was bored. Extremely so. He had considered going outside now that the wind seemed to have died down -had they captured a fellow villain, or had he simply escaped?- but he had decided that it would be a bit too suspicious. Besides, if Tom did get home soon with something for dinner, Tim wouldn't mind staying. He was hungry, after all.

So leaving is a no.

The second idea had been a more long-lived one, though that too had turned to be a bad idea. Tim had even found the best place to put the bucket that would pour ice-cold water over Tom, but he realized that a prank like that might get him thrown out, and he kinda wanted to stay with Tom for at least a couple of days.

Besides, even if he didn't throw me out, he might decide not to make dinner or get angry with me.

Most people certainly didn't react well to getting pranked, after all. Tim wasn't sure how many friends had been lost due to such things, but it was more than he could count on one hand. In the end, he decided not to do anything apart from simply wait. Then he heard knocking. At first, he'd assumed it was Tom and gotten to his feet, exclaiming; "I'm coming!"

However, then he heard an unfamiliar voice, someone sounding rather meek was looking for Tom.

"H-hey Tom, are you in there? I could use your help with something..."

Who is this?

Whoever it was, Tim liked meeting new people. And this was someone Tom knew, probably one of his friends, which meant Tim could surprise them by simply existing. He opened the door, grinning.

"Hello," he greeted the somewhat feeble-looking man. "Tom's not in right now, but he'll be back soon! I'm Tim," Tim continued, tone as friendly as before, and held his hand out, expecting the other to take it. "His very very newly discovered twin-brother! I assume you're one of his friends? It's nice to meet you!"

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Sirius Hamilton

Sirius was pointed in the general direction of an emergency team by the mysterious woman, and nodded.

"Thanks." He noticed that the hero dressed in white had arrived as well, but didn't greet her, she seemed to be rather full of energy and he wasn't. Talking to eager people was difficult when one was tired, after all. At least the villain was gone, though, hopefully not too many had gotten hurt.

"Hello Slender Girl right? I've heard about you, do you need any help?"

Looking between the two, Sirius tilted his head, eyes showing no emotion, but his expression being a bit puzzled.

Slender Girl? Isn't she a woman?

"Why would she need any help? I'm the one bleeding." He staggered a little more. "If you're not tired, could you perhaps help me walk a little, it's a bit... painful." Sirius pointed towards where he needed to go. he supposed he was far too calm for the situation, of course he was, he always was. Instead of explaining, however, he got a little closer to the newly arrived hero. "Over there, please. I'm afraid I'm going to collapse, and I don't really want that, I think that would hurt even more."

Terry

"I'm sure we haven't seen the last of him though. Hey do you know who the new heroine helping the injured is? I don't remember seeing her around the city before..." The Crick leaned out of the passage, taking a quick look at the new heroine.

"She seems familiar, but...I don't know, I can't place her. We've got other things to think about right now." Terry said, getting back to work.

He chipped and shifted the debris in front of him, equipping a drill and using his pneumatic fist, on a low setting of course. He moved carefully, constantly checking his progress and supporting his path. The rescue crew in the area, followed behind, ready to assist any wounded and evacuate the civilians. Finally, the last layer gave way and The crick poked his head into the subway platform..

"Hello everyone, the trains seem to be running a bit late this week. Please move in an orderly fashion and make your back to the surface. We've got emergency crews waiting.

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Gerald

It made sense to him. It finally made sense to him.

The fluttering capes, the menacing scowls, and the news cameras recording it all. The good, the bad, and the ugly were all lining up before him. It was control. It was power. It was money. Tell the superhumans they have a responsibility to "help people" cause of their gifts. Rub it in their face. Make them feel like they should be apart of something bigger. Flaunt the heroes. But don't forget the villains. Discuss their motives. Capture every bit of their monologue. Make em look "good."

Ultimately all this gives people something to talk about. Gossip. Argue. Decide.

Either "motivate" and pressure superhumans into proving their worth or alienate and allure them into the life of villainy.

It didn't matter either way.

The media, the companies, could profit off it all they want. Whether or not they played a direct role in creating heroes and villains was irrelevant. They just kept part of the messy ball turning and got their money from it.

Gerald was ecstatic. He had a plan. A message. It had a few kinks but it was there. He just needed to find a face to his opposition.

As he looked over the screens in the appliance store, of news reports and adverts, his eyes settled on an interview that'd been broadcast earlier that day.

"That'll do, that'll do quite nicely."

George

"His very very newly discovered twin-brother! I assume you're one of his friends? It's nice to meet you!"

"Um, very funny Tom," George said, assuming that something so ridiculous could only be a joke of some sort, though he had to admit he looked different. Great, Tom loses weight while I keep gaining it overnight, no matter how hard I diet.

"Look, my roof is kinda leaking from the storm, do you think you could help me out?" he asked "I just need a mop or something to help clean up the water and debris."

He shuffled awkwardly in place, he always hated having to ask others for help "If its not too much trouble of course..." he added.

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Tom

"Urk!" Tom struggled with the boulder that had landed about on his face, heaving it off of him with tremendous effort. The goo had softened most of the impact, but he wouldn't be surprised to find out he'd gotten a black eye for his trouble. Worse the impact had pulled some of his tendrils back from the rubble, and he had to push himself to get them back in before the thing fully collapsed, his stomach growling ferociously from the effort, and his head pounding, vision swimming from the impact.

"Alright, that should be the last of them," Tom said, double checking what he could sense through the debris, and glancing at the Specter, waiting for his go ahead before he started to pull himself free of the rubble. It would still be a tremendous mess to clean up but at least they'd saved everyone they could.

Hope those buildings were insured...

He turned to the Crick next "So there was something you wanted to talk about?" he said, the Crick had mentioned he wanted them to hang around after they dealt with helping people, though Tom felt his stomach rumble loudly. Man I might have pushed myself a little too hard, I'm starving...

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Tess

"Over there, please. I'm afraid I'm going to collapse, and I don't really want that, I think that would hurt even more."

"Yeah yeah come on," Tess replied, helping the man along "How are you feeling? Looks like you got scraped up a bit."

What am I doing? I should just be out of here already, but then I suppose a hero needs to stay and help people. Maybe pose for a few pictures, get my name in the paper. Bleh.

Frederick Rolls

"Alright, that should be the last of them,"

"Indeed," the Specter replied, making an attempt at pretending he hadn't known about that one stone. To be completely, painfully honest, that had been more than a little shameful.

I don't think I'm needed here either way, and I'd rather not stick around to have it be brought up.

He couldn't even think of a joke about something like that. As much as he had been sceptical, perhaps even annoyed by Sir Awesome's presence, this brought up the issue of the fact that he didn't have much control of his powers at all. If the other hadn't been digging them out, how long would it have taken until the people inside had been pressed against the walls?

I honestly don't want to know.

Such was the painful reality of relying on his ability to go through walls and go invisible, rather than his telekinesis. He normally didn't do this kinda work, after all. Frederick flew past Sir Awesome and the Crick, though he explained why as he did.

"I'm going to make sure no one is trapped elsewhere."

With that, he flew up into the air, then down again, leaving the nearby area for the incident, though keeping his eyes out for any disturbances, though he in reality was simply trying to avoid thinking about his lack of control.

And disturbance did he find, though it wasn't someone trapped beneath concrete walls. Instead it was a bank-robbery, or rather, the start of one, as a youth was standing with a pitch-black sledgehammer, threatening an employee of the bank who had probably been closing shop.

At least a situation like this is manageable.

Frederick thought, and went invisible, then between the two. Pushing against the youth with his telekinesis, hoping to send him flying, he whispered to the woman.

"Get going, now!" the Specter demanded, and she did, horrified. Frederick smirked to himself as he realized how similar to a horror movie ghost he must have seemed then.

I suppose this is why I don't deal with victims.
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Tim Merridy

"Um, very funny Tom,"

Tim grinned. "Here I go for the honest version, and you still don't believe me," he chirped, sounding rather pleased about it.

"Look, my roof is kinda leaking from the storm, do you think you could help me out? I just need a mop or something to help clean up the water and debris. If its not too much trouble of course..."

"Of course not, I'm sure Tom would love to lend it to you, but he's not here yet," Tim replied, still smiling.

I didn't think that Tom would have such a timid buddy.

Tim certainly was more used to the outspoken ones, they tended to be the ones that stayed. Oh well, while the amounts of pranks he could pull on this guy was quite the high number, he figured that he might as well be nice.

"I'll try finding it, though, do you know where he might be keeping stuff like that? Nevermind, this place isn't that big, I'll manage. Oh, and also," he found his wallet and took out his student id. "Here, you can borrow this while I look, I'm not sure Tom would be too pleased about me pretending to be him."

With that he started looking around for this elusive mop, though with him looking inside just about anything that could be looked inside, it became rather clear that he didn't know the place.
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Sirius Hamilton

"Yeah yeah come on, How are you feeling? Looks like you got scraped up a bit."

I don't feel anything.

Sirius replied, sarcastically even, in his head, though he knew what she meant. It was difficult giving a proper reply that wasn't "I feel like I have glass stuck in me." or "I feel like I'm in pain.". He wasn't exactly sure what the hero would expect. Then he remembered that he had indeed felt something similar before, as a child.

"It burns a little, especially my eyes. But I'll survive, and that's the most important thing." Walking over with her to the paramedics, he greeted them with that careful smile of his. He noticed that the tall hero had left, perhaps she had found something more important to do now that he was getting help.

"Could you please get this glass out of me?" he asked them, and added; "I also need some eye-drops." He then turned to the heroine again.

"Thank you... what's your name? I'm Sirius." He held out his hand for her to shake as one of the paramedics was examining how the piece of glass was stuck and how to remove it. He lifted his other arm so that it would be easier for them to access it, and they instantly lowered it, saying something about doing that ripping into his wound. It was an odd situation. He motioned, more carefully than he had lifted his hand, for the heroine to go do something else.

"I'll be fine now, though, these people know how to do their job. So you can leave. Again, thanks."

Karen moved from person to person, healing who she could and who needed it most. She'd kept an eye on where the other two heroes where digging people out, but the people they finally freed seemed to be ok if not a bit shaken up, understandably so. She also saw some kind of ghost or something like it, she paid it no heed though for now though.

With everything seemingly under control she decided it was time to go, and as she left the part of the medical station she was in, she saw the rookie heroine from earlier, but again, paid her no mind. Karen stopped just out side and surveyed the damage "Eleven years ... and nothings changed ..." she said with a depressed sigh.

Terry

"So there was something you wanted to talk about?"

Terry hadn't been sure how he'd really present this to Black Goo. He was sure the hero would be interested in the idea, but aside from that, there was no guarantee he would care enough to really act on any suggestions. Whatever the case, The crick had come to learn that the be mode of action was to be honest...well, as honest as needed.

"Okay, I'm gonna try and make this short. Right now it seems like there are a bit more bad guys then there are good guys, well, "active" good guys at least. Every jerk with a superpower is running amok, robbing banks, doing stuff like this, and...well, we can't keep relying on circumstance to help us out. Reports say that there was some new heroine who was on the scene to handle the situation and our winged friend hopped in as well. What if that hadn't happened? What if they hadn't been there at all? What if it had only been one of them? And even then, you, me, and the Specter didn't even know anything was up until news reports came in or we looked out windows. What if this villain hadn't been so noticeable? It would've been this new hero completely on their own and we wouldn't have noticed the destruction as quickly."

The Crick stopped and took a breath.

"Yeah, none of that was short let me try again. We need to know whats up as soon as its happening and we need to know who we can count on. Cause we're all superhuman, but we're absolutely not Supermen. We can't be everywhere at once and we can't necessarily handle every threat on our own. And there seem to be a lot more threats out there than there are heroes to prevent them. So, I was thinking we, we try and start sort of hero organization. A sorta safety net for heroes, new & old, and our fair city. What do you think?"

Tom

"Yeah, none of that was short let me try again. We need to know whats up as soon as its happening and we need to know who we can count on. Cause we're all superhuman, but we're absolutely not Supermen. We can't be everywhere at once and we can't necessarily handle every threat on our own. And there seem to be a lot more threats out there than there are heroes to prevent them. So, I was thinking we, we try and start sort of hero organization. A sorta safety net for heroes, new & old, and our fair city. What do you think?"

Tom listened intently, or at least as intently as he could manage with the complaining of his stomach. Perhaps if the subject had been something less interesting this would have been bad, but as it was Tom was practically enraptured by the idea.

"Oh yeah! I'm definitely up for forming some sort of superhero alliance!" he said excitedly, mentally wondering which of the founding justice league and/or avengers members they could be compared to "We'll need a team name of course... oh! And some sort of headquarters!"

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George

"Here, you can borrow this while I look, I'm not sure Tom would be too pleased about me pretending to be him."

George took the ID and stood for a few seconds, confused by what was happening before the wheels in his brain finally started spinning again.

"Wait so you were serious?" he said, flabbergasted "Wow, that's... that's just weird."

At least Tom's supposed twin was just as helpful as Tom was, or at least was trying to be. George shook his head in disbelief and set about helping to search for the supplies he needed. It seemed he knew the place somewhat better than 'Tim' as he managed to find the mop and bucket before the other did.

"Ok thanks," he said, then hesitated "you sure Tom's ok with me borrowing this stuff?"

And for that matter how do I know you aren't like a burglar or something? That last thought caught him by surprise and he squirmed uncomfortably for a moment.

"Where is Tom at anyways?"

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Tess

"I'll be fine now, though, these people know how to do their job. So you can leave. Again, thanks."

"Eleven years ... and nothings changed ..."

"No problem," Tess replied, then hastily added "Citizen."

It seemed the other new arrival was bemoaning the nature of the situation, though Tess didn't understand what she meant by '11 years'. Whatever, its just human nature. Heroes can fight it all they want but they'll never actually stop it, that's why you're much better off just being a villain and getting something for yourself out of it. Those thoughts aside she certainly didn't care for the level of destruction or injuries that had been caused, though she brushed off the pangs of conscience telling herself that it was only because causing such things was sloppy.

I've had enough for one night, I'm heading out. At least people should know the name of Coil by tomorrow. Evil beware and all that.

Karen

Karen took one more check around the medical station to make sure she was no longer needed before deciding to pack it in for the day. Earth wasn't anywhere near as thick with Aeatherial energy in the air like Ninahallia was, so she'd need to take it easy far as using her powers went for a bit.

As she started up and away from the scene, she noticed the other two heroes talking, she gave through to introducing her self, but she didn't have a new 'hero name' picked out yet so instead she just flew off and headed back 'home for the time being.

The rest of the evening was spent with Annabelle trying to come up with a good hero name for her.

Terry

"Oh yeah! I'm definitely up for forming some sort of superhero alliance! We'll need a team name of course... oh! And some sort of headquarters!"

Terry grinned from behind his helmet. He was glad to hear sir Awesome's enthusiasm. It helped reassure him that this could actually work and that there'd actually be an eager force of heroes ready to face...well, whatever seemed to be coming. He began reaching into his belt.

"I'm working on it, man. Here, take this." The Crick handed him a cheap used Nokia phone. The sides were chipped slightly and the pound button was missing.

"Yes, it is literally just an old cellphone I spray painted green, but it'll help keep in touch if I need you. I'd give you my number but uh, it's probably not a good idea to make a habit of that. "

Tim Merridy

"Wait so you were serious? Wow, that's... that's just weird."

Tim grinned. "Well, it's a weird world, right?" he said, as he kept looking through Tom's stuff. It struck him that there was a lot of things there that could be used for a prank or joke, and noted the location of some of them. Then he continued. This friend of Tom apparently knew the place better, as he found the cleaning tools first.

"Ok thanks. You sure Tom's ok with me borrowing this stuff?"

"You're his friend, right? He seems like a pretty chill guy. What's your name, by the way, I don't think you told me." He grabbed his ID, and put it back into his pocket. "I mean, I have to have a name to give Tom when he gets back and notices that someone has raided his drawers."

When he gets back from heroing.

That still was the oddest thing, that his twin brother was a hero, while he was a villain.

I'm definitely the evil twin.

"Where is Tom at anyways?"

"He's out watching the heroes deal with the storm-villain," Tim replied, sounding rather disinterested by the thought of a hero battle. He was disinterested, watching the heroes save the day was such a cliché.

"He told me he'd be getting some stuff for dinner, but he's not exactly good at lying. Hopefully, he'll be back soon."

Jack & Frederick


Jack was forced into the polished wood of the vault's backroom counter, his sledgehammer dissipating as he tried to keep himself upright. Sandra quickly ran out of the room and her two coworkers followed suit. The Shadow rider groaned as he picked himself up. "Okay. All right. Someone's askin' fer it." He looked around the room and was confused that he didn't see anyone there. "Hey, c'mon. Ya chicken or somethin'? Just gonna push a guy and run?!"

Frederick allowed himself to laugh at that, as he appeared in the middle of the air.

"I'm a chicken?" he asked, having noticed that the suspect appeared to have the ability to make the sledgehammer disappear.

Summoning or creating?

Either way, he had to be prepared for anything.

"Says the guy threatening people with weapons, there is this thing about throwing stones in glass houses. No, I'm simply a tool of the law, here to ensure that you behave, or that the prosecution has enough proof to condemn you if you don't."

"Right, behave," Jack scoffed. "Here's what's gonna happen--I'm gonna grab my money, walk out the door, get myself a soda pop and cigs, then head home for a relaxin' night in. Ya got that?"

Keeping his eyes on the floating guy that appeared, the Shadow rider moved towards the counter to collect the bag full of hundreds.

Frederick raised an eyebrow underneath the mask. This one seemed both unimpressed by his appearance and intent on continuing the crime.

Also, who says soda pop anymore?

"I'm afraid that's not going to happen," the Specter said, and raised his hand. The bag moved, first slightly, then with a speed of burst, first high into the air, then over to him. It was erratic, at some point he had been sure it would split under the heavy pressure, but luckily it was fine. The bag was hovering next to him now, and he taunted the suspect.

"Man, this is a lot of money, imagine what I could've gotten if I had chosen the life of a villain." He shrugged. "Of course, I have too much self-respect to allow myself to sink to those lows."

Jack watched as the money floated up and over to the do-gooder with a angry glare. Obviously the guy wasn't going to step aside. Fine by me, thought Jack. this was lookin' too easy anyway.

"All right, tough guy," said the Shadow rider, "ya like games? Let's play ball!" Jack thrust his open hand forward as what looked like a cannonball on the end of a chain materialized from his palm. The chain extended with great speed as the ball shot straight for the hovering hero.

Frederick chuckled, thinking that the villain was underestemating him. Not moving, or even attempting to go through it, he relaxed, only to feel the pain in his tummy, throwing him back and through the wall. The bag of money fell to the ground, though not before some of it had scattered.

What the...

Frederick thought, as he went through the wall again, everything aching.

Note to self, this guy can hit the specter form. I'll have to be watchful, then. God, I'm going to feel this tomorrow.

"Well, that's one for assualt, how is this as a punisment?!" he exclaimed, and sent a nearby garbage can towards the suspect at a high speed.

The flying trash bin quickly wiped the smirk from beneath the Shadow rider's scarf. He held up his hands to shield his head but he was still knocked aside from the force and was showered with paper scraps. Again he hit the wooden counter but managed to keep himself off the floor.

Jack managed to reorient himself and lassoed a swivel chair with a shadow rope. With a forceful whip of his arm, the chair was sent airborne at the spectral hero. It served as more of a distraction as the Shadow rider flew in the same path as the chair, his arm cocked back for a punch as an abnormally large set of brass knuckles materialized on his fist.

I'm not going to fall for that a second time.

Frederick thought. Whatever the other threw at him, be it a chair or a fist, he had to go through it. He prepared his powers to do so, and flew through the villain, unharmed but feeling the toll on his abilities. It seemed removing himself from existence, or mostly so anyways, was more tiring than simply being a soul.

Who'd have thought that.

"Listen, you're not going to get me, you can't grab or hit me," he said, pretending that it was not a difficult feat. "I would just give in, if I was you, or just run off like the punk you are."

The Shadow rider passed right through the guy and dropped to the floor. He turned to face the spectral hero as he made his spiel, annoyed at the guy's ability.

Bastard's right, I ain't gonna hit him, he keeps up like that, Jack thought. He looked to the floor a moment and perked up a bit at what he saw. Meeting eyes with the hero again, he summed his motorbike right beneath him. "Not a bad idea, pally. Was gettin' kinda stale anyway. Smell ya later, spook."

The headlamp lit up with a blinding flash at the spectral hero shortly before the motorbike peeled out of the office. Nothing of the Shadow rider was left in the office but a tread mark on the carpet, the smell of burnt rubber and fiber, and the handful of loose bills scattered across the floor.

"No, I didn't mean that you were supposed to take the---"

Bright light blinded him, and he backed off, somewhat wondering how light could affect the eyes of a ghost, but honestly not wanting to start questioning it. Frederick groaned when he saw that the villain had taken off, on a newly materialized motorbike. It was clearly a trick the other had done before, and the Specter made a mental note to search for any villains who were similar to this on the net, before following the youth. If he lost track of him this time, then there were at least the chance to find him in other ways.

I wouldn't be surprised if there was security cameras inside too.

While the Specter could fly at a decent speed, it was hard finding a motorcycle on the roads of a decently sized city, and the villain had already managed to gain quite the advantage.

I'll leave it up to the police, then.

Feeling a bit dejected, but keeping in mind that he had possibly saved the people working there, Frederick started heading home.


Putting distance between him and that ghostly meddler, Jack sped up the road on his Shadow. A couple of police cruisers rushed past with their sirens blaring and lights flashing, on their way to the bank and much too late. "Ha! Bunch-a mooks," he thought aloud. The Shadow rider turned towards his apartments with a tidy sum for a 'decent' night's work. Engine roaring, he pulled in front of his complex and bounced up the stoop stairs, whistling a Bobby Darin tune. Suddenly, the front door swung open fast and out stepped his landlord.

"God damn it, Jack, what'd I-"

"Cool it, Mister Loomis," Jack cut in, fishing a wad of hundreds from the sack under his arm and handing it to the livid lessor. "That should hold me off for a while, eh?"

"How..."

"Said ya didn't care, didn'tcha?"

"Fine. Not even gonna ask. But you keep it down when you come down the street. Sick and tired of hearing that damned bike."

"Bike?" Jack asked, slyly looking around with a hardly-contained smirk. "I don't see any bikes around. You must be hearin' things. If that's it, I'll catch ya later."

Loomis waved him off and stood out front a moment longer. He looked up and down for the motorcycle but it was nowhere to be seen. It was frustrating--surely it had to be parked somewhere. After allowing himself a few more moments of dwelling on the matter, he sneered at the bike-less street and went back inside with a grumble. "Smartass..."

Aldric

As Aldric walked down the street, people paid him no mind. That was his gift. He was a walking example of "the grey man" concept. Come to think of it, he'd been called "The Grey Man" back during Korea... maybe that's where it came from.

Shaking off the thought, he slowly walked down the street, swinging a long, smooth, finished mahogany walking cane in his hands. In his hands, he could kill people with it, but that wasn't it's main use. In his case, it was actually for walking and a little bit of blending in. He was no longer the spring chicken he'd once been so it had some value to play the part of his apparent age.

Of course, despite his slow walk, it was with direction and purpose. He more or less knew where he was going; his target had been less than subtle in his departure. It wasn't hard to follow the swath of destruction the man had left. Why Mina wanted such a... "wild card" was anyone's guess, but he suspected it had something to do with her master scheme. He might have wondered what the plan was were it not for the fun he got out of such missions. Sometimes, he even got to use the cane.

Passing people in the street, he kept an eye open for his target. It was outside an appliance store that he spotted the man. "That'll do, that'll do quite nicely." The man said absentmindedly as Aldric approached. "Indeed it will." Aldric said to the man in a thick french accent. "I must say, your work downtown was quite impressive." he added, tipping his hat and smiling at the super criminal.

Gerald

"I must say, your work downtown was quite impressive."

Gerald quickly turned to face a voice he hadn't expected to hear. He especially hadn't expected to hear praise, well, this soon at least. But that's how networking worked he supposed. He stared at the man...and quickly realized he didn't quite enjoy looking at him. He thought back to Sirius, completely ignorant to the fact he may have killed him. Sirius had interested him. His hair was a neat color, his voice was calm but oddly dominant in a "furthermore" type of way. Aside from the accent, this guy utterly bored Gerald. He just looked like some average guy. If he focused he could make out a few features, but Gerald didn't have nearly enough patience to try any harder. Instead he chuckled and decided to answer the stranger.

"Shit, you think so? Well damn, I was just gettin' started! Just strethin' my legs. Now I'm ready to curb stomp this fucking city. And I just figured out where my boots gonna land first...unless you have other plans for me?"

Gerald grinned monstrously, Gerald summoned a very faint vortex around him and the man. If he was hero, he'd get his shit pushed in. If he was a villain, he'd hear him out...and then maybe summon a cyclone full of sewer shit just for fun.

Tom

"Yes, it is literally just an old cellphone I spray painted green, but it'll help keep in touch if I need you. I'd give you my number but uh, it's probably not a good idea to make a habit of that."

"Sounds good!" Tom said, he started to say more when his stomach rumbled again "Well uh, I need to get going, batteries are running low and all that."

With that he turned and left, darting quickly down the street until he got to an empty area (which wasn't too difficult to find given how the people had evacuated or hunkered down due to the weather) and released the goo from himself. It evaporated quickly into the air leaving him standing hungry and tired in the alleyway with a nasty bruise on his face.

"Ow ow," he said, touching it experimentally "And I still need to pick up food..."

He sighed and made his way towards the supermarket, though it became obvious before he reached it that the weather had closed it up. Oh well, I'll just have to make Tim something good to eat with what I have lying around. So he turned and made his way back towards his apartment. He felt somewhat miserable, especially since the villain had gotten away, but there was one thought that cheered him up. I saved people today, that's what counts.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

George

"He told me he'd be getting some stuff for dinner, but he's not exactly good at lying. Hopefully, he'll be back soon."

"Oh, ok," George said "hope he's ok then, things are a bit rough out there."

He picked up the mop and bucket "Well I need to clean my place before it gets worse, so I'll see you later."

With that he headed out into the hall where he spotted Tom returning from his trip, looking rather beaten and tired.

"Whoa Tom are you ok?" he asked "what happened?"

"Got hit by storm debris," Tom replied, "And the market was closed so don't even have much for dinner."

"Wow, you sure you don't need to see a doctor?" George asked.

Tom shook his head "No, I'm fine, just a black eye. Why do you have my mop?" he sounded curious rather than accusatory.

"Oh, uh your twin brother said I could borrow it, I need to clean my apartment," George said, somewhat hesitant to say 'twin brother' even now it seemed somewhat ridiculous to him.

"Oh sure go ahead," Tom smiled "Just bring it back when you're done."

"Wait so he really is your twin?" George said "How weird is that?"

Tom shrugged and chuckled "Yeah its pretty weird for me too," his stomach grumbled again and Tom winced "Sorry, I really need to eat something."

George nodded "Yeah ok, I'll see you around man."

With that he headed back to his own apartment to begin cleaning, resolving to return the mop tomorrow.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tom

"Hey Tim," Tom said as he entered "I see you met George. Sorry I didn't come back with anything, markets were closed so I'll just have to work with what I have here."

With that he headed into the kitchen and began to dig out various items, simultaneously snacking on whatever was at hand and working to prepare a simple (if large) meal. Hopefully his twin wouldn't ask too many questions, Tom didn't really want to have to think at the moment.

Frederick Rolls

Frederick headed home only to find Sofia in front of his bed, watching over his body. She seemed somewhere between worried and angered, though he didn't want to know why. Honestly though, this was bad, if she had found him unresponsive, she probably was thinking back at the coma, and then, who know how she'd react to him waking up?

Why did she enter my room, though, if not... Wait. Wasn't the Crick in the middle of calling me when I found him?

He really would have to do something about that, while the Crick had said it wouldn't happen again, he had clearly not liked the idea of just messaging when it was an emergency to be very appealing. Regardless, Frederick braced himself as he entered his body and woke up. A relieved Sofia sighed, and spoke.

"So it really was that," she muttered, sitting back and crossing her legs. "Frederick, we need to discuss this whole hero-thing of yours." He sat up, and nodded.

"I suppose you know then," he replied.

"That you are the Specter? I've had my suspicions, but today sort of settles it." She examined him, frowning. "You know, the fact that playing hero is dangerous set aside, I don't like that you're doing it like... that. Do you really need to separate your body from your... well, I don't know what, mind?"

So it really was the coma thing.

Frederick smiled. "You know what? Let's go downstairs and get some tea and snacks," he said, and stood up. "I'll explain as much as I know to you, perhaps it'll be easier to understand then."

I'm horrible at keeping my secret identity secret.

At least he could trust Sofia not to tell anyone else, surely she would see his side of it all.

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Tim Merridy

"Oh, ok. Hope he's ok then, things are a bit rough out there."

Tim shrugged. "I wouldn't worry," he said, not sounding like the idea of that bothered him. "If he's half as sturdy as me, he'll be fine."

I mean, the goo is pretty good protection.

The other seemed intent on leaving, probably because of how twitchy and nervous the other seemed.

I wonder if it's just me, or if he's this timid around everyone.

Perhaps the other could sense how evil he was. A ridiculous thought, but it was possible.

"Well I need to clean my place before it gets worse, so I'll see you later."

"Yeah, I'll see you later, dude," Tim replied. "Hope you get that placed cleaned well up!" Tim yelled, and waved his hands, before stretching.

Well, that was something at least, I wonder when Tom gets here.

However, just as he thought that, his twin-brother arrived, with no food but having clearly taken a hit. The other didn't seem to worried about that, though. Tim felt a sting of guilt, having let Tom walk out when he knew what the other was intending to do, but in the end, they were both adults, and he'd certainly hurt others worse than that.

"Hey Tim, I see you met George. Sorry I didn't come back with anything, markets were closed so I'll just have to work with what I have here."

"Well, you did bring something back," Tim replied, grinning, and pointed at Tom's face. "You know, you'd look pretty awesome with an eye-patch, ever considered that? Regardless, start making the food, and I'll find a decent movie to watch in your collection." Tim wondered how long Tom wanted them to keep up the façade, it should be painfully clear that Tim knew about Tom's hero identity.

But that's an argument for another day.

Settling down with an old-fashioned action movie, the food was soon served, and Tim was pretty damn happy about having discovered his good twin.
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Sirius Hamilton

Sirius found himself brought to the hospital rather quickly after they found out how badly the piece of glass was lodged into his side. It wasn't a dire emergency, and he found himself waiting for a doctor who could deal with it, but the experience was surreal. It was far from the first time he had been taken to the emergency for something like that, though. He was quite happy to have been given eye-drops earlier, as it was an interesting sight.

All my sketching tools are gone, though.

That didn't matter too much now, however, he was too busy answering questions about who he was, where he was from, and if he had insurance to cover it. Bringing out his wallet, Sirius asked if it would be expensive, and added that he could just take it out himself, in the same manner he said anything else.

"If it's too expensive, I mean. It's just a piece of glass, it hurts a lot, but I won't die." The nurse talking to him just stared at him, and told the others that he would need a test for his mental state as well. Then it was on his way to the surgeon, though honestly, Sirius hadn't been joking.

Luckily, both that and the test had been covered by his travel insurance, though the insurance company would clearly have to work out what the rules for walking into a tornado was, and if it was covered for the next time. With a couple a stitches and bandages, as well as the larger one, Sirius had no choice but to let them keep him over the night to see that he was well enough.

I wonder if I should call my father.

Sirius looked over at the table next to him, it didn't have his mobile phone, nor any of his stuff. Leaning back, he felt how exhausted he was, and closed his eyes.

It can wait.

Then he fell asleep, even though it was pretty early compared to when he usually did so.

Aldric

"Shit, you think so? Well damn, I was just gettin' started! Just strethin' my legs. Now I'm ready to curb stomp this fucking city. And I just figured out where my boots gonna land first...unless you have other plans for me?"

Aldric just smiled and remained still. "Non, no plans. Just an offer from a VERY interested benefactor." he said in his thick french accent, all but ignoring the wind. He'd fought Nazi super soldiers and communist plots in the worst conditions on the planet; a little wind wasn't a threat. "My benefactor will fund your... "projects" for the foreseeable future. I return, the benefactor only expects you to use your powers to their fullest and in the most public way's possible." he said, keeping Mina's identity close to his chest. "Put on a show." he added, pointing to the TV.

"Of course, if you're not interested, we'll not interfere with your business any further and be gone... like the wind." he said, enjoying the joke slightly. As if to illustrate the point, the man took a step outside the Gerald's powers and, using the obscuring dust in the small vortex, briefly vanished and was - appearance wise - forgotten. A second later, he reappeared, leaning on his cane and spoke again. "So what do you say Monsieur?"

Gerald

"So what do you say Monsieur?" The man asked, leaning on his cane.

Gerald dispersed the vortex and stood extremely close to the man. He'd only stepped out of Gerald's view for a moment but his face seemed immediately...changed. Ye the couldn't see what. Gerald was rather interested in this, thinking back to a kid who could only be noticed when he wanted to. Gerald quickly moved past this thought and got to the topic at hand.

The power that was seemingly being handed to him on a golden platter.

"Let me get this straight. Your 'benefactor' will essentially get me anything I need for any twisted idea that swirls through my mind as long as I am as loud and destructive...in front of cameras and reporters and little doggies that happen to be watchin' and tell sheriff Jim that little Timmy got trapped in the well?"

A grin spread across his face.

"I'm so fucking in. And I have a few demands to make."

Aldric

"I'm so fucking in. And I have a few demands to make."

Aldric smiled and replied. "Wonderful. My employer will most pleased to hear it." Aldric said, nodding slightly. A moment later, he held out a small piece of paper with a number on it. "Feel free to contact me whenever you need something. On behalf of my benefactor, I look forward to working with you." he said before once more stepping away and into a crowd. All at once, the man was - for all intents and purposes - gone, though even now Gerald could hear the rhythmic clicking of a cane somewhere distant.

Time Skip

The next week passed relatively uneventfully, of course minor scraps still happened and rebuilding of the area damaged by Psyclone began in earnest, though it would take some time to finish. However with the arrival of two new heroines and the destruction unleashed by a single new villain there was a sense in the air that something had changed.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tess

Tess spent the week patrolling and stopping mostly minor crimes, trying to build up Coil's reputation as a do-gooder with some success. People knew who she was by now, though the same could be said for many small time heroes and villains. powers got people's attention after all, what she needed to do now was command it. Maybe Mina will have something else to help the plan along, some major villain I can take down or something. She had to admit that while the persona was somewhat annoying to maintain there was certainly some amount of satisfaction to be had in exercising her powers to beat down other criminals.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tom

Tom did his best to adjust to his new roommate and brother, though it wasn't exactly easy. He kept quiet about his suspicions of Tim's powers and did his best to conceal his own powers, though he couldn't help but wonder if Tim might already know. His time was largely occupied with school and work, his article about Rias had proven quite popular so he was handed the job of writing about the recent storm related villain and the destruction he had caused, which kept him very busy.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

George

George's time was also largely occupied by school and by cleaning up his apartment, though strangely much of the mess vanished overnight. Unbeknownst to him Gorge took some nightly outings to help with the rebuilding effort, consuming chunks of rubble to help them get moved out of the way. All George knew was that he woke up every morning feeling somewhat swollen, as though he'd eaten too much.

Daniel Luxe

The sun was shining, not a cloud in sight. There was minimal traffic on the freeway heading into Neutropolis as the morning rush of people on their way to work had passed. The city skyline was gleaming in the sun's light, making for a beautiful view. It was, to put it simply, postcard perfection. It seemed as if it would be the greatest place to live, full of goodness and smiles. But Daniel knew what a load that was. If his pocket book was any indicator, there was plenty of filth that was ripe for collection. Daniel honestly wondered why he hadn't made a trip before. At least he would have an untapped reservoir of spiritual sewage all to himself. Needless to say, he was very much looking forward to his stay.

Daniel drummed his fingers to the music on the radio, smiling wide at the approaching 'Welcome to Neutropolis!' sign. To him, it felt like that first tear of unwrapping a Christmas gift and he was certain he would enjoy everything beneath the city's pretty paper. He turned into the off-ramp and descended onto the streets to get his first peek. Flashy storefronts and skyscraper lobbies passed by but they were paid no mind. What interested the man behind the Tucker Talisman's wheel was what lied between them. The alleys were littered with all manner of trash. There was a bum every few alleys, picking through dumpsters and scrounging for loose change. There were just as many junkies shooting up with who knows what, poisoning their bodies and minds slowly. They were poor, hungry, and most importantly, desperate. Best part was, with the available pickings, no one would even notice once they were gone.

While he could undoubtedly keep himself occupied with his collection, Daniel had other business to attend to. There was the matter of a bastard child of his that happened to be living in the city. It might take some time, but he would find the boy and deal with him accordingly. Meanwhile, there was plenty for him to take in all over town. Oh yes, thought Daniel. There is much, much to do here. And won't it be fun.

Frederick Rolls

It was a pretty nice day for a walk, and despite being tempted to stay inside and not doing anything, Frederick drank two cups of tea to his breakfast and got dressed in a firmly fitting dark suit. He opted for a blue bow-tie and slightly grey shirt, appropriate for simply wandering around the town centre and the festival. It was a rare occasion, after all, once a year. There would be a lot to see, and a lot of people to talk to, though, even better, he had heard rumours about an amateur theatre-group performing around noon.

That's bound to be entertaining.

He didn't mean that in a condescending way, there was always value in honest acting, even bad acting. And, he wouldn't be surprised if they did quite well, some people had natural talents when it came to these kinds of things. Regardless, it would be fun. Leaving his place, he started wandering at a comfortable pace, no need to rush.

Although, it would be fun to go as the Specter too.

He rejected the thought, haunting a play was a little too close to the nickname he'd gotten from the press.

Thanks a lot Theodore.

Besides, he actually wanted to talk a little, discuss things that weren't crime, law, and the fact that Sofia really didn't like the Specter. Luckily, she would be busy all day, as well as the night, since she would perform then.

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Tim Merridy

Tim had been staying over at Tom's place for about a week now, yet the other had not asked him to leave. Better yet, neither of them had addressed the "elephant in the room" and instead spent the time like brothers would. Of course, that was when Tom had been there, when he wasn't, Tim had taken the chance to pull a couple of pranks and explore the... possibilities. Most of all, however, he had been lazying around in front of Tom's TV and watched movies, he'd decided to keep his villain appearance wait a little longer.

Although, I shouldn't get out of shape.

The night before, he had finally sneaked out and taken on the role of Lord Magnificent again, very subtly so. All he had done was to wreck someone's car and robbed someone else, enough to give him some pocket-money outside his parents'. It had been a dark alley with no one around, though the internet seemed to be very aware of that it happened either way.

When he returned, early morning, he was rather sure that Tom didn't know. Adrenaline kept him up, and he didn't manage to fall asleep again. Right now he was sitting on the couch, waiting for Tom to wake up, even though it was only about half an hour since he had gotten back. It was boring, and, eventually, he ended up knocking on the bedroom door, then entering, not caring about privacy issues.

Not like he has anything I don't have.

Besides, EVIL didn't care about privacy! Nor did it care about the fact that Tom probably wanted to sleep in, given that it was like, one of the few days the other didn't have uni or anything else.

"Tom, wake up," he whined, and, in the darkness, wandered over to the other's bed. "Come on, you've been sleeping like, forever." He poked the figured in the bed. "So get up, else I'll appropriate the bed for myself and push you out."

Mina

To say that Mina had a busy week was an understatement. There had been a dozen items on her plate, each more tedious than the last. To start, their were the day to day headaches of running a multinational finance firm. All the decisions about which opportunities to back and which to pass up on, which projects had value and which did not. All of those decisions added up and cost precious time. Still, they were necessary. No matter how much good she wanted to do, she needed the financial ability to do it which required lots of boring work moving hundreds of billions of dollars around.

Then came the finer details of her current plans. She needed to acquire significant assets in relative secret (or, in some cases, absolute secret). Some assets were small - such as materials for a new employee - while others required extraordinary in their size, such as the recent acquisition of an electronics manufacturer known for their battery technology. These tasks had some fun to them, but were all intricate and time consuming.

After that were the photo ops. After "Psyclone"'s attack on the city, their was a great deal of rebuilding to do. Mina was of course on top of it, financing a full 58% of the rebuilding. That meant she needed to be on the ground, showing that she cared and helping rebuild all the mom and pop stores and corporate outlets she now had a majority share in. The Media had a field day with it and she'd even done some of the digging herself for them.

Most significantly, there was the matter of Karen. After watching the footage over and over again, she was forced to conclude it was possible Karen still lived. The name was the same, but that didn't prove anything. All said and done, all she could do was wait and see. Inevitably, Karen would notice Mina's name somewhere. If this Karen was truly HER Karen, than she'd make contact at some point. If and when she did, she'd be ready. All the more, she'd need to keep both her real and super identities clean.

Now however, it was time for the festival. Mina had done quite a lot to cover the costs of the festival and so her company's name was all over the city as a sponsor. She'd stayed out of the public eye for this event however; with all the work she'd done, she needed a day off. Besides that, it was a festival in Neutropolis... with all the villains in this city, the only people who went to those events had a death wish.

Theodore

Theodore awoke with a start at around 11 in the morning. Pushing himself up from the keyboard he'd been sleeping on, he rubbed his face and eyes until he was fully awake. For the last week, his shows had all been either reruns or prerecordings. Part of this was the run up to the festival being something of a long slog what with the festival itself and it's many entertainment events.

That said, most of that was left to his interns and administrators. He personally liked that work, but he'd had something of a more important task on his plate: a full blown investigation. His looking into the media control had lead him to an astoundingly deep and broad conspiracy. Whoever was behind this was powerful and wealthy which didn't help to narrow it down. With so many businesses started or expanding into Neutropolis, there were almost too many possibilities.

Because of this, he'd spent most of his vacation digging through records as quietly as possible. He'd even neglected shaving in favor of his search; something he hated doing. He'd survived primarily on coffee and takeout and secondarily on irregular six hour blocks of sleep. For all of his effort, he'd come up with almost nothing. There were just too many possibilities and too many false leads and dead ends. He'd keep digging, but already despair was setting in.

He considered contacting The Crick to spread the word to keep an eye out for evidence but resisted the idea. This was supposed to be his kind of situation after all; a good old fashioned investigation into corruption on a massive scale. Breaking these kinds of stories was every investigative journalist's dream after all.

Today however, he'd have to put it all on the back burner. For now, he'd need to get back in gear to keep up appearances. He had a show to put on after all. Pushing himself up, he showered and shaved and dressed in his festival best. He had a few hours before the concerts and live shows began, but he needed to get down there first which meant traffic. Endless, unbearable traffic.

Suddenly, the investigation was less daunting.

Aldric

Aldric walked the streets of the city, moving from food stand to food stand with ease. While most people felt uncomfortable in crowds, Aldric had spent the better part of his life hiding in them. Today, he was tasked with three goals; one personal and two business. The personal one was easy: enjoying the festival. On that front, he was going great. Already he'd filled up on wonderful foods, heard some great musicians, and brutally slaughtered a dozen muggers in back alleys

It was his kind of day.

The first business one had yet to come up. Mina had tasked him with keeping an eye out for any potential recruits. So far, the festival had been remarkably quiet. No super villains had tried anything yet and the heroes were largely on standby (except when they found the results of his earlier fun). He knew it would only be a matter of time though; the city had something of a reputation for it's inability to go a week without some kind of superhuman mischief.

The second business goal was already complete. He'd just finished dropping off their newest "contractor's" new super suit and equipment. Well, minus the last request. That was done but... well it was something he'd need to pick up. It was just a little too large for Aldric to fit it in his bag... just a little. Still, he'd dropped off the location where Psyclone could pick it up so it was, for all purposes, complete.

He wondered if any of the other villains could top Psyclone's show. It would be impressive if they could, partly because Psyclone was just crazy enough to make it work and partly because all the stuff he'd requested brought him back to his Nazi-killing days. God he missed those days; so much simple fun.

Rias

Rias had a busy week following the interview on Loveless's show. She had the perpetuation for the coming festival, something Claire and William where adamant about being a part of this year due to Rias growing popularity. Rias was a bit apprehensive about it, she'd be playing to a much larger crowd then before, but Claire, William 'Bom' and Ivaan all said she'd be fine. Sorting out the tract list helped a bit, and so did rehearsals.

The over all reaction to her stance on the 'hero/villain' conflict and her refusal to pick a side hadn't really come into play yet. Some people called her out on it, some where all for a Super not busting up the town every other week, but for the most part she got the feeling the town as a whole didn't know what to think of her and her opinion just yet. She figured she'd have a better idea of how every one felt after the festival.

Karen

Karen spent the week since Psyclone's attack on patrol, and generally punching thugs in to face when they started something near enough for her to do something about it. While she and Annabelle never did come up with a name the media did. a few reporters had taken to calling her 'The Unicorn' partly because her look with the single horn, and partly because she was rather elusive, she'd stick around just long enough to make sure everything was taken care of and then take off again.

When she wasn't looking for trouble to stop she was ether a sleep or helping Annabelle take care of Anthony. It was heart breaking for Karen to see him like that, but Annabelle reassured her he was getting better as he used to not be able to walk at all. It was during one of these 'down times' Karen caught a news report about the clean up effort, which was progressing nicely, but it was the presence of Mina that made her almost choke on her drink. She'd not expected to see any of her original team in town, let alone see one on TV heading a clean up and rebuilding effort. She'd thought about getting in contact with the others, but it felt like a couple life times ago since they saw each other, and she had no doubt the others knew she was 'dead' due to the link they all share via Kitsu.

She thought on it a couple days before finally deciding to to go let her old friend know she was alive, and made her way down to the corporate HQ Mina seemed to have, to see about meting with her, though she was sure she'd be asked to leave by security. She walked right up to the receptionist stated her name and business and waited to see which door she'd bee shown.

Mina

Mina was at her desk doing some basic work when her phone buzzed. Almost as soon as she picked it up, Mina's secretary spoke up. "Ms. Fukao, a Karen Krieg is here to see you." Mina's lips pursed. So it was true; Karen somehow survived. Was this Kitsu's work from beyond the grave? Was she here to take vengeance for the mad little fox after all these years? Or had she somehow managed to find her way back to life or survive by some other power? Certainly other powers existed in this world; the city proved that.

"Send her up." Mina replied as she closed her books and prepared to put on an impressive performance.

Karen

Karen was a little surprised when she was buzzed through and escorted by a security guard to Mina's office. She assumed this was normal, Mina did seem to be a person of great import here, and given the types that live in this city it'd bee silly for them not to have such an escort. Karen thank the guard for showing her the way and entered Mina office, Mina would notice things different about her friend, first, Karens hair was no longer brown, but a silver/white, though still worn in the same 'un-tameable' style she was know for, second, Karen's eyes where also a different color, her once blue eyes, now a faintly glowing gold, lastly, Karen looks to have not really aged a day since they last saw each-other.

"Hey, long time no see" Karen said as she closed the door behind her and approached Mina's desk"Or so I've been told anyway." there would be one last thing of note Mina would notice as Karen removed her jacket and tucked it under her left arm, the golden gem embedded in her right arm.

Mina

Mina remained seated in her chair, elbows on her desk with her hands crossed in front of her mouth when Karen entered. As soon as the door began to open, Mina began to speak. "I don't know who you think you are, pretending to by my dear passed friend but I'll r-" she started to say before stopping.

It really was Karen. She'd honestly never believed it was possible Karen survived. Throughout it all, she'd maintained a belief that it was really just someone with a sick and cruel sense of humor. However, one look at the woman's face, and she knew it was her. Her hair and eyes were different and she hadn't aged a day, but there was no doubt. She was Karen and she was, somehow, still alive.

"Karen..." Mina said, still in total disbelief. "You're alive... and you're so young... how is this possible?" Mina asked as she stood. She took a few steps toward Karen, intending on embracing her but paused partway through. It wasn't proper. "Hey, long time no see. Or so I've been told anyway." Mina just stared for, as she'd spoken, Karen had removed her jacket and revealed a gem embedded in her right arm.

"Is it some advanced version of Kitsu's gift?" she wondered, but said nothing. It wouldn't do to make such a risky question. "How... how did you survive. Kitsu told me... told us you'd died. All of us felt it too." Mina said, masking her fear with her concern and her happiness for her prodigal friend's return.

Karen

Karen set her jacket on the near by chair, then gave her friend a hug, as Mina had gotten up and moved toward her, though stopped. "Reports of my death where exaggerated." she said as she let Mina go from the hug "I'm not surprised you all thought I was dead though, I almost was, and with where I was and what I am now, and the shattering of my pendant, the link to Kitsu is gone, there'd have been no way for him to know to tell you I barely survived" Karen said as she took a look around the office impressed by who far Mina had gotten."It's kind of a long story though, you free for a bit or do you have some important meting or appointment coming up soon? Karen asked, she knew Mina would want to hear what happen but she did want to make sure she wasn't interfering with something important.

Alex/Blink

The day had arrived. All this week, Alex had been shadowing the Ditelli members and confirming they were to attend the festival and with the Doctor's listening devices, he knew for certain they would be there. Around noon, the Ditelli clan would roll up and attend the festival maybe drink a few beers along with some mingling. They would bring security but nowhere near as heavy as it usually would. This would be a public event with police and cameras everywhere. What firearms they would be packing would be pistols and the like which Alex could work with. Eve though Anthony himself wouldn't be there, he only needed one of the wretched clan.

"For her Alex... do it for her." Alex said to himself as he wrapped his fists and readied himself as he peered from a rooftop but making sure he wasn't spotted by any police officers. Security had gotten tighter ever since a super villain wrecked some buildings awhile back but getting around was relatively easy because of his powers. Alex clung close to the shadows on this relatively clear day. He shot a glance to the sky, temporarily relishing the sky before peering down. Alex saw a group of eight men walking in a tight formation around one of his Anthony's lieutenants. He was tall but a wiry kind of tall. One good punch would knock him out cold but the problem was getting through his eight bodyguards in the middle of the group.

He sent the Doctor a text message, hoping that the Doctor would be able to see it. It read: Ready the warehouse

The Ditellis were passing near him. It was now or never. He donned his balaclava. With a leap, he jumped from the ledge of the two-story building and blinked. In an instant, he was behind the entourage and before they could fully respond, he cracked one of the them in the back of their head with his brass knuckles. The goon was down before he even registered the hit. His buddy next to him saw his buddy collapse but he turned to see fist collide into his face. Alex's haymaker sent the thug spinning towards the rest of the entourage. They whirled around to see why the man's face had suddenly caved in but Alex blinked. He appeared a few feet away and to the side. He delivered a fast jab to a thug's throat before giving a fast uppercut. Blood dripped from the thug's mouth as Alex realized that the thug had bit a portion of his tongue off. Before he could observer any further, he teleported to the opposite side and tried to attack the two guarding the flanks. He grabbed the both of them by the collar and teleported some distance above the group. They were both suspended in the air but Alex teleported back to the ground as the two guards came crashing down onto the rest of them.

People began to scream and shout as the fight took place. He heard the familiar sound of a camera going off as he dodged a punch from one of the three remaining bodyguards. Alex was beginning to tire now as he had some difficulty concentrating but he still was able to deliver brutal punch to the man's ribs. He recoiled in pain but the thug didn't seem to show it in his face. Alex was getting frustrated so he blocked a hook then locked his arm around the thug's before delivering a tazer to the man's throat. The thug screamed in excruciating pain before collapsing to the ground. After seeing Alex's brutal display, the last two bodyguards dropped their weapons and ran, melting into the crowd that now surrounded Alex. The thin man, seeing his options disappearing fast, pulled out a handgun on Alex. His shaky sights were centered on Alex but Alex didn't seem to mind.

"G-get back! I swear I'll-" Alex didn't let him finish his sentence as he teleported to the side of the man, punching him the square in the jaw. The man fell flat on his back as Alex picked up his handgun. Alex scanned the crowd before aiming his gun at the man.

"This man kidnapped my sister and he's probably kidnapped dozens of sisters, daughters and mothers all for the sake of profit." Alex said to the crowd. His body was shaking with adrenaline but his voice sounded somewhat composed. "This man traffics people and he's willing to hurt children. I want all of you to see what this man deserves."

Alex cocked the handgun and raised to the man's scared eyes as dozens of spectators around them began taking pictures and videos. This is what he wanted. The other superheroes might be facing off against the villeins of the world but real change had to start at the bottom.

Terry

"This man traffics people and he's willing to hurt children. I want all of you to see what this man deserves."

"And what does he deserve exactly?" The Crick called out as he landed in front of the crowd.

At events like this, Terry enjoyed making "surprise appearances". Typically The Crick show up, hand out some cotton candy, tell kids not to do drugs, maybe use his Fiddler's to put on a show, and just sorta hang out for the rest of the fair, carnival, festival, etc. He also hung around to make sure no showoff-ish villains showed up to ruin everyone's fun, especially after the "Hornet-Chick" incident a few years back. Overall, he liked seeing families smile and hated seeing kids cry. This, on the other hand, was something a bit more complicated.

The sound of the gun shots sent The Crick rushing over, but something in the distance made him do a double take. The Crick recognized the poofs of red he'd seen from across the fair grounds. Blurry security camera footage and crappy street cams caught glimpse of him but never got a good still image. The best they'd ever gotten was a close up on what seemed to be a skull staring out from a dark corner as the mist dissipated.

This was the Jumper. Red Mist.

"Red Mist, right? Or is there something else you go by? I'd just like to take this moment to say you do good work. Sure you leave you leave your perps...a bit more bruised than necessary, but overall, you do good work man. I mean, these are some horrible men and you just apprehended them in a matter of seconds. Seriously, bravo, that's what I like to see. And I'd like to keep it that way"

Terry slowly stepped closer to Red Mist. He could hear the Red's heart trying to beat its way out of his chest. He had the gun pointed at the man's head and despite the firmness of his voice to the crowd, The Crick could hear the slight wavering in his voice and the ever faint and nearly unnoticeable shaking of the gun in his hand.

"We're going to show the people of Neutropolis what these men deserve. We're gonna hold em until the police arrive and then they're all gonna be thrown in prison for a long time. Maybe you can stick around for a bit, get some hotdogs, mingle a bit."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gerald

Gerald finished dawning his new suit and looked at himself. Psyclone had the same general appearance, except his costume was more textured, more dramatic, more intimidating, and actually seemed combat ready. His poncho rustled in the cool draft that flowed through the upper floors of the condemned building. He felt different as he turned away from the shattered class he used as a mirror and stared out over the city. He felt like he could just reach out...and make the world spin faster. And faster. And faster and faster and faster and faster and faster till every single obstacle in his way was flung from the face of this planet. Leaving him as the winner, the champion, the motherfucker at the top.

And yet...something was missing. Like a void was filling his chaotic heart.

Which he decided to fill by whipping out his bitchin' claymore!

"Okay, lets give this shit a test run before I make my appearance." Psyclone said to himself.

He sliced and dashed and thrust with all his might and came to one obvious conclusion: He didn't have the slightest fucking clue to to properly use a sword but he knew he could fucking wreck house with it. And with his powers, anything could became a weapon really. And actual weapons themselves became fucking harbingers of destruction. He tested this by having the claymore spin like a plane propeller and slice through exposed pipes and torn up walls. Flung it across the room like a flying saw blade and brought it back to himself.

"I feel so fucking fancy right now," Gerald yelled out to the invisible crowd around him. "Now lets do some real damage!"

A vortex surrounded the blade of the sword, increasing in intensity. Gerald pulled back, a monstrous grin on his face, and sliced through the air. There was a loud back and onlookers from across the street watched as the entire floor of the building collapsed in on itself.

And the rest of the building began to fall in on itself.

Gerald hovered towards the ground, ignoring the debris behind him, forming a protective vortex around himself.

"Time for us to be the newest attraction at this years festival." He said in a low voice to the sword.

"Maybe you can stick around for a bit, get some hotdogs, mingle a bit."

"Its not that simple." Alex said to the Crick. He had seen this one all over the news in the stuff he's done. The Crick did lots of work in front of the camera and a textbook definition of what a superhero should be. Sadly, Alex didn't want that. "How can you be so sure that this man won't be released after one or two years? It could be shorter considering his ties to the Ditelli and once he gets out, he's going to do the same thing. He's going to kidnap little girls and sell them like cattle." Alex focused back on the man and a flush of anger began creeping up his neck. Stick to the plan...

"Criminals like him don't learn in prison. They learn through things like this." Alex pointed the gun at the man's leg and fired. The gunshot sent screams into the crowd as the man grabbed at the gaping hole in his leg. Alex focused back on the Crick. "You can take these ones but he's coming with me. Now go back to posing with children, Crick."

He grabbed the man's collar and began walking away from Crick.

Terry

"You can take these ones but he's coming with me. Now go back to posing with children, Crick."

The Crick jumped onto the stage and handcuffed the men to a railing. He glared at them from behind his helmet. Kidnapping. Human trafficking. Child abuse. Enabling rapists and pedophiles. Gang violence. These men were the worst of the worst. He couldn't help but feel the twinge. A voice in his head saying "Red Mist has a point. Let him go. Let him take that piece of human vile. He should take the rest. He should make them suffer. At least let him take one."

The Crick shook it off. He couldn't. He couldn't just let Red Mist walk away and do whatever he had planned with him. The Ditellis had to be punished under the law. And Red Mist had to be stopped. Security ran onto the scene to deal with the men and a couple began making their way to Red Mist, aiming their guns at him. The Crick motioned for them to hold back and jumped ahead, landing in front of Red Mist.

"Heads up, I have no power over the men behind. And something tells me you can't teleport THAT far. If you could, you wouldn't be here right now. Or you're trying to make a point. All I know for sure is that I'm not gonna let you leave. I can't let you just torture and murder him just cause you're capable of doing it. You have all the right to hate these men, to despise their very being but you can't do this. Not like this. Not at all. Look, I'm...I'm sorry for what happened to your sister. I really am. I can't even begin to imagine the pain you feel. But I know there's nothing else I can say to convince you to leave this man in police custody."

The Crick's fiddlers shot from their shoulder mounts and began silently rotating around Red Mist.

"I'm gonna give you a chance to just poof out of here. But the window is closing. So what's it gonna be?"

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