-The Story So Far-
It’s been a year since the combined power of the American war machine, coupled with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fledgling reboot of the Avenger Initiative, defended New York City from the HYDRA terrorist forces ravaging the metropolis. Recognized for their efforts and the tactical edge they offered, the surviving members of the Avengers were honored and acknowledged as heroes; for the first time in years, the limelight once again fell upon S.H.I.E.L.D., drawing it and its mysterious commander Col. Nick Fury out of the shadows and into a position of public defense befitting its original United Nations charter. In response, S.H.I.E.L.D. brass began collecting volunteers, America’s best and brightest soldiers, for another mysterious reboot of a previously successful project - the ARCHANGEL Initiative, a modern day spin on the infamous Super Soldier project that generated Captain America. However, after going through training, wave after wave of these recruits are vanishing into thin air, unable - or unwilling - to establish any further contact with the outside world.
Meanwhile, on the mutant rights front, the wars no longer rage in American cities; they are waged in the courtroom and on Capitol Hill, where it seems every day that alliances, resolutions, and even Congressional views on the mutant issue shift and shatter like fine china - the political climate isn’t helped by the uneasy fact that there is still not a single mutant representative in any branch of government in the world, as protestors on both sides are increasingly fond of pointing out. The Xavier Institute, once a go-to talking point for mutant debates, has faded into relative political obscurity and now takes in mutants at a slightly declining rate. The X-Men had little-to-no representation in the counterattack against HYDRA, and with two of their most known public faces - known mutant rights crusader Dr. Hank McCoy, and Ashlynn Summers, oldest child of Scott Summers and the Phoenix, Jean Grey - apparently dead as a result of the aftermath of the battle, the team is considered all but disbanded, and many members have taken up supporting roles in the Institute itself.
On the flip side of that coin is the increasingly-leftist, always growing Brotherhood of Mutants, which has undergone a seemingly radical shift in tone since the public execution of Magneto’s son and heir Pietro “Quicksilver” Maximoff over a year ago. Heading up the new organization is Dominik Lord, a former lieutenant of Pietro’s who survived the government purge of what Brotherhood forces remained on Genosha. As a charming, new age former thief from the streets of Chicago, he has become the face of the mutant equality movement, and pro-mutant activists have taken to Lord the way Internet freedom activists took to Edward Snowden or liberal arts students took to Che Guevara. Handsome, charismatic and well-mannered, he has utilized video broadcasts, “fireside chats” on Reddit, and public appearances in the mutant underground to garner support for the oppressed and the reviled before using his power of escapism through light sources to slip through the fingers of authorities like sand. Dominik’s movement gains more traction everyday; mutants and their supporters are massing more and more in cities large and small, circulating petitions, demanding change from Washington.
Sitting on the sidelines of the entire conflict is the ubiquitous, powerful Hellfire Club. Over the course of the last year their public activity has boosted now more than ever, gaining more funds, forging more connections, and swaying more allies in a year than the previous Inner Circle could in seventeen. The considerable inflation in power comes courtesy of Alaric and Anberlyn Worthington, children of Warren Worthington III, or Angel, current headmaster of the Xavier Institute. In answer for their father’s real and perceived wrongs they led a coup inside the very power structure of the Inner Circle, assuming the roles of Black King and White Queen respectively as well as all titles and benefits inherent. The twins work as a solid unit, trusting no one else above each other, and have stuck now to biding their time until the right moment; Alaric in particular, as a former team captain of the X-Men thought dead by those at the Institute, has stuck to pulling subtly on the strings of the mutant rights debate raging throughout the country, inflaming and assuaging his political or business contacts where need be while Annie is left to her own devices, plotting her own, darker revenge against the Worthington name.
Lines in the sand are drawn and erased every day; friends and enemies thought dead appear from thin air, and those whose loyalty once seemed unshakable can now be swayed with no more than the light breeze of vague promises and unproven words; mutants and humans are forced to take new sides every day, or even form their own sides.
The conflict is coming to a head at last.
-A Brief Refresher Course-
Though a year has passed since the end of the darkest days, the ramifications from the events during them are still being felt heavily in the world at large. Eighteen years ago, the Phoenix Force returned and wiped out the vast majority of empowered beings, reducing the superhero, and villain, population to a shadow of what it once was. Seventeen years later, Hank McCoy, the then headmaster of the Institute, formed the next generation of the X-Men to counter the resurgence in Brotherhood activity, and the increasing abuse by the Enforcers.
Though their skirmishes made headline news, they did not know that a more sinister threat lurked. Weapon X struck a surprise blow against the Institute, capturing the majority of its residents. The few that remained were forced to flee and hope to fight again another day. Eventually, they joined forces with the Brotherhood against the mutual enemy, storming and razing the Weapon X facility. Meanwhile, the Avengers Initiative began again in secret, it's roster filled with descendants from the original members. Thus, as the Hellfire Club began to reform, began a shaky, two month long peace.
But it was not to last. In response to conflict in Las Vegas, the X-Men's temporary alliance with the Brotherhood, and the assassination of President Binder, MACE was formed to stop the mutant threat. They succeeded. The majority of the mutant population was rendered toothless, a fact that an old enemy quickly took advantage of. Hydra attacked New York City, quickly eliminating the SHIELD forces caught off guard within the city. The Helicarrier quickly fell, leaving the defense of the city to the assorted personnel nearby, including the fledgling Avengers and members of the Pantheon Initiative. Despite their efforts, defeat seemed inevitable, until the military successfully mobilized to give aid.
Following the battle for New York, as it was quickly dubbed by the media, the world has not been the same. The X-Men were decimated, the Avengers sustained heavy casualties, and SHIELD's lack of readiness had been revealed. Hydra was a viable threat once more, the Brotherhood had scattered to the winds, and the United States was in political shambles.
A year has passed since then.
S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division) – Founded to combat technologically advanced threats on world security (specifically the menace of Hydra), S.H.I.E.L.D. has, throughout the years, remained on the front lines fighting terrorism and extraterrestrial menaces as an international intelligence agency. Led by Nick Fury. UPDATE: After the resounding success of the Archangel Initiative in repelling HYDRA, SHIELD is riding a public relations high equal to that of their popularity with the first Avengers Initiative.
Xavier Institute for Higher Learning - A preparatory school in Westchester, New York, the Xavier Institute is a safe haven for any mutant adolescents - or even adults - who feel the need to take refuge, learn to hone their own genetic abilities, and learn to manage themselves in social environments around other humans and mutants. Led by Headmaster Warren Worthington III. UPDATE: In the face of the HYDRA threat, the X-Men reunited for the first time in two years at the Second Battle of New York. The team's future is looking to be at its most solid since their shattering defeat at Las Vegas.
The Brotherhood of Mutants – An increasingly public, but still enigmatic, organization of mutants organized to promote, at the very least, mutant equality, if not outright leadership over society. Their members are often outcasts from society due to their mutant status. They fight against the abuse and hatred of mutant-kind in all its forms, by whatever means necessary. Led by Dominik Lord.
HYDRA - HYDRA is a criminal organization dedicated to the achievement of world domination through terrorist and subversive activities on various fronts, resulting in a fascist New World Order. Its extent of operations is worldwide; always attempting to elude the ongoing counter-espionage operations by S.H.I.E.L.D. At its height, HYDRA was the most extensive, powerful, and dangerous such organization in history. Led by Red Skull. UPDATE: After a final pitched battle with the forces of SHIELD and the resurgent X-Men, Red Skull has been killed. HYDRA is battered and broken, and what remains of the organization is now led by a splinter cabal that includes Ophelia Sarkissian, the Viper, and the resurrected Howard Stark amongst its members.
Hellfire Club - A society for the rich and the prestigious, the Hellfire Club is a seemingly noble and ancient gathering of the world’s wealthiest or most endowed personalities to discuss world events and make connections. Their secretive Inner Circle, however, takes that purpose to a new and often sinister level, maneuvering governments, starting wars, and assassinating figures who pose a threat to their own agendas and interests as singular members or a group. Co-led by former X-Men deputy and Black King Alaric Carlisle and Romulus, former Emperor of Rome and White King.
??? - A mysterious splinter organization headed up by Norman Osborn, CEO of Oscorp. One of its operatives is Daken Akihiro, Wolverine’s eldest trueborn son and world-famous assassin, revived from near-death by mysterious means. Nothing else is known of their influence or agenda at this point in time.
Name: (What your character calls him/herself)
Codename: (Your character’s name on official missions; may or may not be used as a sort of nickname for your characters.)
Gender: (No explanation needed, we’re all informed people here)
Age: (It’s just a number, but try to include it anyway!)
Loyalties/Faction: (One of the factions listed above, other faction, or unaligned. Can also list certain other characters important to your own character’s life here. )
Power(S): (What can your character do? Please try to make your character’s powers within reason and balanced and non-overpowered. No more than three powers per character; don't try and give your character as many powers as possible, because the primary reason we approve characters is not for how many powers they have, it's whether those powers are balanced fairly and able to fit into the game's setting.)
Appearance: (What your character looks like.)
Weapons: (Within reason please.)
Skills: (Things your character is good at.)
Personality: (Your character’s behaviors, how they interact with others, how they think about things.)
Weakness: (Everyone has weaknesses, powers or no. Try to make them clear.)
Bio: (Your character’s history. Can be almost anything really, try to make it at least a couple sentences.)
1. No godmodding. This includes metagaming, autohitting, bunnying, and performing actions your character should be incapable of doing.
2. Use IC (In-Character) and OOC (Out of Character).
3. OOC only posts are forbidden. That’s what the discussion topic is for.
4. Profiles should be posted in the discussion topic for approval. The phrase “Darkest Days” must be included at the beginning of said post to prove that you have read these rules.
5. Respect the staff.
6. This game uses a tier outline for its punishment system. We do, however, reserve the right to skip over a tier if the offense warrants it. The first offense will result in a warning. The second in either in-game character injury/death, or a temporary ban. The third offense will result in a very weighty consequence, while the fourth and final offense will result in a permanent ban.
The Staff's Guide to Common Sense
This RPG is based around superpowered individuals, and there will always be a discrepancy between that and what we would call realistic. However, that does not give you free rein to toss realism aside. First of all, this game's science is the same as the real world unless otherwise noted. That means that fire will not form into a bullet like projectile, you cannot pull off feats beyond a normal human unless noted in your profile, you cannot shrug off attacks, and you cannot simply beat NPCs senseless. Nor are the police and military incompetent. A teenager is not going to easily beat a trained soldier, powers or not, without a good explanation. Especially in the Marvel world, where superheroes are a known occurrence.
Expies and This RPG
Expies are strongly, strongly, strongly discouraged. Don't come in here expecting to make Master Chief, don't come in here expecting to make Mass Effect characters, don't come in here expecting to expy Solid Snake. Don't come in here expecting to make Marvel characters, either. You do not get to play a generations xerox of Wolverine. If you want to do that, go play one of the video games. Which leads me to my next point...
Healing Powers and This RPG
Healing powers are not an insta-heal ticket. This happened a lot in the original game, and it will not be tolerated here. This section is divided into two major portions; Healing powers that target the self, such as healing factors, and healing powers that target others. I will begin by covering the latter, because it is simpler. Healing powers cannot instantly heal major injuries with no effort. This happened a lot last game too, even though the powers were supposed to have limitations to keep this from happening. They can start to heal a major injury, even heal it most of the way, given enough time, but never completely. Not unless you have plenty of time to work and a lot of energy. I expect players to use their judgement, but healing powers will be monitored closely in this game.
Now, healing factors. Last game, healing factors were treated as miraculous powers that could heal anything as long as there was a single cell with intact DNA. And do it quickly. This is not even remotely the case. A healing factor is an increased speed of healing, which means that it cannot heal anything that the body could not heal from normally. It just does it much, much faster. Healing factors are going to be heavily monitored in this game, and their speed must be kept within reasonable limits. As it is most usually associated with healing factors, adamantium skeletons are explicitly forbidden.
Power Levels and This RPG
You may note that the profile sheet reads three or so powers. That is the guideline, but it is not the entire way that it works. Multiple powers will be approved if they are all reasonable, and not too powerful together. But you may be limited to one power, maybe two, if it is an extremely powerful one. We are not looking at numbers, we are looking at power balances. Which means that in addition to the above, if you have a powerful ability that might be approved on another character, but no real weakness, we reserve the right to disapprove it on the grounds of power imbalance.
-Aikuro Mikisugi [Tyler]
-Riku Tryon [Alex]
- Sam Vimes [Nick]
-Lara Croft [stari]
Staff NPC Profiles
The staff control a variety of NPCs important to the plot. Though another staff member may make use of them if necessary, they will primarily be controlled by the named staff member.
Daken Akihiro (Tyler)
Name: Daken Akihiro
Codename: Dark Wolverine
Age: 67, but appears to be around 20 or 21 due to his advanced healing factor.
Loyalties/Faction: Unknown, lieutenant and fixer for Norman Osborn.
Power(S): Daken has an advanced healing factor and bone claws akin to those of his father; he can rapidly regenerate damaged or destroyed body tissues and be none the worse for wear, is immune to all foreign toxins and chemicals, and can handle physical stress far beyond that of a normal human. His bone claws are black and rough like bone, with two protruding from the knuckles of each hand and then one claw jutting from each of his wrists. These claws have been mystically imbibed with shards of the Muramusa blade, rendering them possibly fatal to any mutants with a healing factor Daken encounters. Akihiro’s final power is also his most sinister: he has the potential to manipulate his own smell to make him virtually invisible to even such a skilled tracker as Wolverine. He can also use this ability to alter his own pheromones to those around him, making them feel fear, elation, comfort, rage, or even titillated. Anything that suits his whims.
Appearance: Handsome and chiseled, with broad shoulders and thick muscles that form almost the stereotypical triangle, Daken has a black Mohawk on an otherwise shaved head that once reached down to the base of his spine before he had it trimmed down to the top of his neck and cleaned it up a little. His eyes appear blue in the right light but are actually a steel grey, devoid of emotion or a spark of humanity. He has a pitch black tribal tattoo across the center of his abdomen, his left pectoral, trapezius, and arm all the way down to his left fist, where it circles around his wrist like a bracelet and marks him.
Weapons: He has shards of the Muramasa Blade implanted in place of the wrist claw on each hand; the mystical blade has the power to negate healing factor in mutants. A wound inflicted on mutants with a healing factor with Daken’s claws will take several days to heal, while any mortal wound rendered with the blades would most likely be mortal, as the victim would quickly bleed out before the healing factor could recover enough strength.
Skills: Daken is a master martial artist, tracker, strategist and manipulator, skilled in the art of deception. Also multilingual – he speaks at least three languages, and is practicing heavily in Spanish on his offtime, so make that four..
Personality: Dark, arrogant, and hedonistic, Daken enjoys killing and seduction: the simple cycle of toying with other people’s lives and then ending them is nothing but a game to him, and he is a master at manipulating people to fit into the cycle at any time. He is a clever, wicked funny psychopath skilled in the art of psychological chess and subverting other people’s expectations in him only to use those assumptions against them and gain the upper hand. Akihiro is a master of spinning complicated, seemingly genuine lies off the top of his head and then convincing others they’re true before they think to do any research into them, and as such, it is almost impossible to determine the fidelity of his words at any time in his life.
Weakness: Daken's healing factor can be dramatically slowed if Carbonadium is implanted inside of him, such as swallowing something made of Carbonadium or being wounded by a bullet composed of it. It causes his healing factor to be reduced to a slow crawl, at least in comparison to its normal speed, but doesn't fully suppress it. He can be killed by the Muramasa blade, but he wields shards of it himself.
Bio: Daken was born in 1946 to Logan and his Japanese wife Itsu. While his mother was in the last stages of her pregnancy she was viciously murdered by the Winter Soldier in an attempt to draw Wolverine out and return him to the custody of Madripoor. After Itsu's death, The mutant known as Romulus took the baby, cutting him from his mother's womb and leaving her body behind. The baby survived the horrible incident due to his mutant healing factor inherited from his father.
Romulus left the baby on the doorstep of Akihira and Natsumi, a wealthy, young and traditional Japanese couple. They took the child's arrival as an answer to their prayers and raised him as their own. Though he was named Akihiro by his father, the servants and other families of the province secretly referred to the boy as Daken which meant fatherless dog in Japanese; a slur on his obvious mixed heritage. As Akihiro grew up, he was often teased by the other boys of the village. His harsh treatment over the years caused Akihiro to develop a very cold persona to all except his father.
One night, Natsumi confessed to Akihira that she didn't love their adopted son and that, after long years of trying, she was pregnant. Akihiro overheard this and began plotting. Within a year, sometime in 1957 after the birth of the baby, Akihiro confronted his mother, telling her that he had killed her son. Akihira was furious and disowned Akihiro, who furiously responded that "Akihiro" was not his true name. Natsumi suddenly appeared, trying to run Daken through with a sword, triggering the onset of Daken's mutant powers. With a wave of his arm, he accidentally slashed Natsumi with the bone claws that had sprung from his hands. Unable to force himself to harm his son, Akihara instead committed suicide. Romulus then appeared to the boy for the first time, telling Daken that he was what the boy would someday become.
Romulus sent Daken to a training camp in Canada, the same camp where Wolverine had first trained more than forty years earlier. Daken was also trained by the same man as his father - Silas Burr - who would later become the mercenary known as Cyber.
Years later, Romulus revealed to Daken that his father was still alive, but lied at the same time, telling Daken that it was Wolverine who had killed Itsu with Daken still inside her. Romulus told Daken that Wolverine feared what Daken would become. This lie sowed a seed of vengeance in Daken that Romulus continued to feed in the following decades.
Daken floated around over the years, spending some time at the Xavier Institute to watch over his little brother John in his infancy, before being recalled to Canada on the orders of one Colonel Johnson. On a mission for the man in Germany, he was captured by HYDRA forces and held a captive for two month before being set free by a Weapon-X strike team including many of the same faces he’d come to know in his years at the Institute, including John. He tricked the team into releasing them and pretended to assist them up until the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants attacked the Weapon-X stronghold together and Daken revealed his true allegiance – to nothing, and to no one. Nearly obliterated by the first manifestation of Ashlynn Summers’ powers, Daken was found by Norman Osborn and nursed back to health under as-of-now unknown means.
For the last year and a half, he’s worked as a fixer, doing jobs that Osborn has required done for whatever reason – including the assassination of Pietro Maximoff, the bombing on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Helicarrier during the Battle for New York, and, for no other reason than that he could, the seduction and murder of American hero Noel Rogers, and the theft of her Iron Woman suit.
Daken is currently still under contract with Osborn.
J. Jonah Jameson (Snark Knight)
Name: J Jonah Jameson
ooc: this is gonna be the best game ever
“On in thirty seconds!” reported the happy little camcorder.
“Got a breathmint?”
“Why do you need a breathmint?” Shiloh LeBeau asked him as he stood up from his crouched position, rolling an old bottle cap – Coke!, said the vintage, flowing white script on the top – between his ungloved fingers. “Your breath is great, and no one can smell it anyway.”
“Why do girls need a Tide to-go stick when they’re not even going out to eat?” he asked back rhetorically, and Shiloh rolled her eyes and motioned towards the camera. It nodded happily, lens cap flapping in excitement, and then refocused on the mutant behind the podium. “You always wear three layers and no one sees them anyway.”
Shiloh grinned as she flicked on the final flashlight behind the final camcorder; she mouthed a final good luck, smiled at him softly, and then began her escape from the arena. The speaker knew he’d taken a great risk by asking all of them to come here – it had taken days to accumulate everyone necessary into one central location, and then even longer to bribe, sneak past, and discreetly take care of any guards who would try and dissuade them. Even so, he knew that the brief window of time they had was growing shorter every second, so he held up all ten of his fingers to the camcorder and lowered them in quick succession, signaling it was time for them to speed the process up. The camcorder – Cameron, Shiloh had named him, with Cam for short! – got the message and his screen blinked to life as he began to record and stream the speaker live.
Across the grounds of the Colosseum of Rome, a hundred cameras began to whir, and Dominik Lord smiled.
"People of the world, people of the Internet, Homo sapiens, homo superior...valued friends. I come to you a humble servant live from the Colosseum of Rome. Tourists come here in hordes to march on the tombstone of an empire. This place is a bloody pit where thousands of years ago, poor and common and unremarkable men fought and died for the amusement of the rich and the kingly. They had hand-to-hand combat here. They had chariot fights here. They threw men to the lions in this very arena where I stand now. These decadent boils, they practically drank the blood of these poor, nameless slaves and fighters, and they laughed and bet and toasted to the misery of the masses. Well, today those same men, the rich and the powerful and the leaders, the elite of the world, they'll tell you that things have changed. That they're not that kind of people anymore.Yes they are, my friends. They just got greedier; they just made this Colosseum bigger, and now the lions are in the streets, in the schools, in the hospitals, and even in your homes. In America today, they have lions that wear badges, lions that wear suits, lions that serve you food, lions that give you the news, lions that write the rules, and now the lions want the slaves to walk up to the den and identify themselves.”
Dominik was a sight for the cameras, impeccably dressed and mesmerizingly good-looking; his dark skin seemed to radiate a little under the cobweb of stars, flashlights, and cameras, and his hazel eyes communicated an earnest, lively charisma that spoke the truths of his words in ways that syntax never could; his own comrades, the X-Men, the government, and those caught in between all watched from around the world in a variety of mediums, and he knew it. So he decided to give them a show.
Tonight, the Brotherhood of Mutants breaths through new lungs and speaks in new tongues, and their words reach more ears than Pietro ever dared to dream.
“Now, unfortunately, I don’t have as much time here tonight as I’d like, so I’ll make this brief: a week ago today President J. Jonah Jameson made it public his desire to put the Mutant Registration Act back on the table for the fortieth time in what must be as many years. They call it a right. But where, I ask you, is the right in being targeted? To the cattle, is the systematic branding and butchering of their youth a right? Is the brief taste of cheese on the mouse’s tongue a privilege, before the trap snaps down on its back? What mutant, I ask you, did you consult in determining what kind of mutant rights this legislation proposes? Was it one of the currently zero mutants that serve in a branch of government in any nation in the world? Was it one of the X-Men, who finally and regrettably crumbled under the weight of public backlash and scorn? I know it certainly wasn’t us.”
The sounds of helicopter blades whirring above him beat in his ears like an oppressive drum deep in his ears and soul; the shouts of man and snaps of cocked guns roared of a coming battle.
“They also call this a deterrent against terrorists, but instead it gives them nothing but ammunition to empty on the terrorized! We are not the terrorists; the terrorists are the ones who named us, who shunned us, who beat us outside restaurants or homes or schools and called us names and killed us! And you propose to put a sign on our front yards screaming, “Come on in, I’m a hate crime victim!” in hopes of protecting lives? That’s your master plan to end the violence in the streets? Sixty years ago, you tattooed ‘greatest country in the world’ on the arms of Lady Liberty, and this bill is the needle you use to ink with?
“Ladies, gentlemen, boys and girls of the world who are watching this and feel oppressed or alone, if you are tired of covering your bruises, tired of going to bed as soon as you get home because your parents or your brother or your sister can’t look at you, if you’ve ever gotten dirty looks because of the color of your skin or the tail twitching behind your back or the weird things that happen to computers when you’re around…come to us. We are not animals. We are not would-be emperors. We are simply all we have ever claimed to be – a Brotherhood, and nothing more.”
The roars grew louder. In front of him, and to the sides, men began sliding down on ropes. The footfalls of the slave masters were nearly upon him.
"Mr. President, you have seen my addresses many times before, I have no doubt. You know I am not a violent man, nor a man whose head prefers the weight of a crown; perhaps you even know me as an honest man. So I will be as frank as I can, in front of your God, in front of mine, and in front of the entire world: the world can do without another drop of blood being shed. But by all our Gods combined, if you turn me into a terrorist, I can promise you...I will turn you into a ruin."
On the last word, the bullets ripped through the air, aimed at the center of the arena – Dominik Lord disappeared and then blinked into life again in front of the flashlight by Cameron, Shiloh’s final camcorder. The hapless little sentient electronic picked up bullets ripping through electronics and sand and ancient stone alike, aimed to kill on sight; it heard Dominik say, “And they call us terrorists…” softly and sadly enough to make it sound like a personal regret to everyone watching the feed across the world; then it passed out abruptly as there was a bright flash of light, a strange feeling of stretching out as far as it could and then some, and then nothing.
Dominik had been right, his lieutenants said to itself proudly as they slowly began to filter back to America in the hours and days ahead – in the prolonged judicial chaos that followed of police sirens, helicopter blades, and pointed accusations from authority figures regarding the escape of the world’s most wanted man from one of the world’s most public cities, the Brotherhood’s song reached more ears than ever.
OOC: Name: Dominik Lord
Codename: None; prefers his given name for the sake of connection with the public. Considers codenames just another form of mask.
Loyalties/Faction: Brotherhood of Mutants (leader)
Powers: Dominik’s main power is the non-offensive use of photokinesis, mainly for teleportation. As long as he is standing near one source of light and another is in his range, he can teleport through them in nanoseconds while carrying anyone in the same vicinity. He can also use those same light sources to create vibrant flashes of light that have the ability to stun an adversary for several seconds, long enough to escape again.
Appearance: Pretty. Dominik is about as rugged in the sense that a newborn baby is world-weary, with a light, milk chocolate tone to his soft-as-silk skin, startling hazel eyes with flecks of emerald green, and long, styled deep golden blonde hair with always seems to stretch out to the right, like it's in a game of tug of war with the wind. Tall and lithe with the muscles of a gymnast and the slightly slouching, casual stance of a panther, Dominik looks about as fair as a palm tree; this frail appearance belies his strength and agility in battle, which is on par Pietro Maximoff in his prime. Dominik's clothes are just as well-kept, a fact that stands at odds with his urban warefare-esque upbringing. He sports a deep navy blazer that runs just to his waistline, slim-to-skinny beige leather pants, brown Frye Dorado riding boots that cut at his knees and a deep maroon scarf.
Weapons: Two Glock 9 mms generally, though for larger missions or firefights he has specially trained with a couple larger firearms and is skilled in knifeplay.
Skills: Impassioned, natural orator and leader of men, master tactician. Dominik was Pietro’s go-to escape artist and extractor, and he’s very flighty, quick on his feet. Skilled freerunner.
Personality: Amiable and well-mannered, Dominik is controlled and manages to keep the basest impulses of man and mutant in check without seeming to exert more than an iota of willpower. He is a brother to his Brotherhood - something that, for all their good and bad qualities, no other leader to date had been - and a firm supporter of mutants on any side of the conflict, with several old friends currently fighting for the X-Men that he has worked to reestablish contact with. His demeanor is attractive and charismatic, which he uses to make public appearances that don't involve the deaths of the innocent but can still attract all breeds of mutants just the same. In his free time, Dominik Lord's studies are of the historical, the social, and even the tactical; he carries a pocket autobiography of Malcolm X in his front pocket, before every speech he turns on an iPod for four hours consisting solely of speeches from the Civil Rights Era and famous dissertations from the days of the American and Russian Revolutions, and the final words of John Brown are stitched into his collar. His goal is not to make enemies, though he accepts and acknowledges that making them is a sign that people are still paying attention to his cause. He is ambitious, but does not see himself as an emperor; he has no desire for world domination, despite his personal belief in the science that supports mutants being the next dominant life form. His only wish is equality.
Dominik prefers genuity and truth, and practices Radical Honesty; he writes his own speeches and delivers them himself without prior practice, believing mistakes to be natural and not wishing to come across as too polished or far above other mutants or people. His words are powerful and charged anyway, electric, and each syllable rings with naturally fluid syntax and the truths of the injustice done to mutants as a people.
Weaknesses: Dominik’s power doesn’t have a lot of offensive capability to it beyond startling other mutants or teleporting.
Bio: Raised to admire those who survived the rough streets of Chicago, Illinois, and instructed to emulate the warrior-teens that ruled each corner of every street, Dominik Lord was almost destined from the first day of his life to join with the Brotherhood. His mutant powers revealed at birth, when he inexplicably vanished from the cradle he was stored in at the general hospital and was found across the nursery in another girl’s crib, staring in fascination at the bright light shining directly into his eyes from above. His family, far from being ashamed, was actually proud of the singular status that their baby had given them, and he used his skills as a thief and escapist to help friends get out of tight jams or sneak out of parties when things started to go downhill. Being able to teleport away when you hear gunfire in the distance is always a plus.
He didn't get the chance to finish high school (he later educated himself in the Brotherhood library until you'd be hardpressed to find someone who matched his sheer intelligence and penchant for knowledge, whether it be trivial facts or more college level material) he didn't have many friends that survived into adulthood with him, and he had a small rap sheet for carjacking, B&E, petty theft, and even an assault charge or two by the time he would have graduated. He was serving time in a holding cell at the age of 16 for driving into a port-a-john with a stolen Crown Vic Interceptor and then disappearing into thin air when Pietro Maximoff caught a whiff of his antics while up north. In need of a man who could make speedy getaways that wasn't him, Pietro posted bail claiming to be the young man's godfather and promptly whisked him away. At his guardian’s advice, Dominik took the time to reinvent himself, becoming more dapper and learning to purge the harsh lifestyle Chi-town had bred into him while retaining the lessons and skills he had learned there.
In his time with the Brotherhood, Dominik became a fast lieutenant of Pietro’s, often being paired with Abraham Daniels to bounce strategies or discuss various mutants in the Brotherhood’s ranks. He preferred to stay behind unless needed for someone’s quick escape, as the Brotherhood favored offensive powers in combat and bludgeoning others into submission than more human methods of fighting such as Dominik’s. Upon Pietro’s death – a necessity which Dominik both understood as a lieutenant of Pietro the madman, and quietly grieved, in honor of the Maximoff that had given him a new life – Dominik barely escaped Genosha before the carpet bombing that leveled the island and made his way to a Brotherhood splinter group, led by Abraham. What remained of the once-proud organization had ironically taken root only hours away from the Xavier Institute. MACE found them quickly; the Brotherhood was fallen upon by the United States Military and the Brotherhood was evacuated, with Dominik leaving last only after Abraham’s explicit order to do so. His friend was never seen again.
Over the course of the next year, Dominik took command of the Brotherhood and held together the broken pieces until they stuck together as one once again. From there, he began his own campaign, a different twist on the Brotherhood that borrowed ideals from Magneto, Quicksilver, and Abraham, and then went down their own unique path. He has become something of a hero to mutant rights activists, and under his tenure thus far the Brotherhood has not just become a public force once again, they have taken the role the X-Men once used to as the paragons of “good mutants.”
IC: Feral (Tokyo, Japan)
A lone black garbed figure slid over a sleek metal rooftop. His name was John Howlett, but sometimes John felt like that name belonged to someone else. Someone he hadn't been in over a year. These days John was just another member of The Hand and nothing more. His black Hand uniform fit snuggly over his athletic form as he jumped to a nearby rooftop. John tucked his body and rolled over the rooftop before getting to his feet.
Two adamantium katanas bounced slightly in their sheaths against John's back. Katanas that had been formed from his one adamantium exo-skeleton. John had assumed he'd known pain before. He'd felt blinding pain when hot liquid adamantium had been coated over his bones. But that was nothing compared to the pain he'd felt when that said adamantium had been removed. The Hand had told him he was unfit for training with his adamantium skeleton. It made him too slow and too heavy to be a ninja. They had offered him an ultimatum. They'd remove the skeleton from his bones and create him two new katana instead. It had taken John a entire day to come to a decision.
After the X-Men disbanded John had been without a purpose. He'd stuck around the institute for a few weeks but it wasn't the same. With Beast and Ash dead, John's best friend Dallas away, the school felt more like a prison then home. Then John had discovered data about his father's past in Japan. He'd left for Japan then. To find our more about his father. Once there it didn't take long for the Hand to show up. At first he fought them but then they told him they'd known his father, that they could tell him more.
John lay still on the medical cot while he waited for the procedure to begin. A metal door slid open and then a man began to walk into the room. The first thing John noticed was that he was old. Incredibly old. The man was bald and his face wrinkled with the signs of wisdom. A long white beard fell down from his face and nearly reached where his belly button would be. The old man leaned on an old gnarled staff as he turned towards John.
"Are you ready to begin?"
"I was told that my adamantium skeleton was to be removed by a mutant."
"And it shall." the old man said as his dark black eyes twinkled.
"So you are the mutant?"
"Very observant, American. What I am about to do will undoubtedly give you incredible pain."
"I've experienced plenty of pain. Do it."
"So you have. Then it shall be done." the old man then lifted his hand. John's entire body suddenly went rigid. He tried to move but found that he was unable. He was completely in the old man's grasp. Suddenly John felt the adamantium on his bones begin to morph. Incredibly pain tore through him as the adamantium began to liquefy inside of him and peel off his bones. A line of red dripped from John's nose as he could feel the liquid metal moving through his body. Suddenly his mouth opened and liquid metal began to pour forth. It felt like it went on forever as a waterfall of silver fell from John's lips and nose. John looked down to see that his claws were out from the pain. As he watched in shock the metal coating his claws began to melt away; revealing the bone beneath.
Soon it was all over. John looked up at the old man as the hold on him was released. He then fell backwards as his vision faded to black.
Once his skeleton had been removed John had begun his training. It had taken John an entire year to complete the basic training of The Hand. In that time he had learned the art of swordplay and become accustomed to the adamantium katanas The Hand had gifted him.
Tonight was John's first test. He was commanded to bring in a girl named Dana Kinney to be recruited by the Hand. The Hand had told him that her sensei was an evil and corrupt man and John would be doing the world a service if he ended his life. John would do as they said. They still had yet to tell him anything about his father. John knew he would have to really become one of them if they were going to tell him anything.
IC: Christine Marie
A year had passed in a blink of an eye. For the last moths Christine had lived as a nomad. She'd moved from city to city, state to state, never staying in one place for long. She'd combed everywhere she could think of, turned over every stone, looked in every lake and hospital she could. Still she had found no signs of her younger brother Chris' whereabouts.
Now after an entire year Christine had lost hope. Maybe there was nothing to find. Maybe Chris was really just gone. Maybe he was dead. Christine didn't want to give up. But she was tired. Tired of traveling and being alone. Tired of drunken truck drivers who thought they could take advantage of her and wound up with a broken arm or missing teeth.
Christine wanted to go home. To the only home she'd ever had since she'd turned her back on the Brotherhood and opened her arms to the X-Men. She wanted to go back to the institute. So that's what she did.
The red pickup Christine had acquired, well actually she'd stolen it, but that was besides the point, was slowly approaching the gate of the institute grounds. Christine jumped down and opened the gate before climbing back into the drivers seat and driving down the lane towards the school in the distance. A school that had once been destroyed by Weapon-X and then rebuilt.
She parked the truck and slowly climbed out. She stood in front of the school for a moment. She had been gone so long. She could hardly believe she was back. Christine started up the steps to the school before pushing open the doors and stepping inside.
"Hello? Is anyone around?"
IC:Shockingly, mere minutes after Dominik went off the air, the president went on.J Jonah Jameson stood at the podium patiently, ignoring the flashes of cameras below, listening to his IT specialist lay out what was going on and the status of the broadcast, nodding appreciatively, and clapping him on the back, before directing him away. It was clear that he had been roused from a day of rest, his hair a mess, and his suit untidy, as if out on in a hurry. But nonetheless, when he held his hand up for attention, the chatter died instantly."As much as I'd like not to be standing here giving this talk, I find I've been left with no choice once again." Directing the media's attention to the IT crew below the podium with a brisk arm gesture, he continued on. "My staff tell me that this is being streamed to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Tumblr, and that the blogosphere is abuzz with activity. Frankly, I don't understand what that means. What I do understand is that in addition to those watching at home on their televisions, we have most of America watching us right now.""Many of you have probably seen the Brotherhood's most recent broadcast. Many of you probably agree, and a year ago, I'd have been right there with you. The treatment of human beings in recent years has been sickening." A few people started muttering, clearly not understanding what he was saying. "I can see that few of those in front of me understand what I just said, which frankly, breaks my heart. In fact, I can see a younger me angrily scribbling notes in the back row.""What many have taken to calling mutants are human beings, no less so than you or I. Any animosity towards humans we created, not them." The president scowled, slamming a fist against the podium angrily, causing several of the reporters in the front row to jump, as his voice increased in volume."I have watched high school students on the streets of New York beaten, threatened, harassed, and discriminated against for no reason other than being able to make their eyes change colors. I have seen upstanding citizens turned into desperate crooks because they can't get a job because employers refuse to hire them, and I have documented cases of police brutality for no reason other than that their target was an empowered individual." He held up a fat Manila folder, stamped with red ink that's when the camera zoomed in, read "Classified"."When I came into office, folders like these crossed my desk daily. MACE, the Enforcers, even SHIELD, all had their dirty secrets, abuses that they tried to cover up. When I came into office, mutants were actively being imprisoned and forcibly depowered under directive of the previous president. He sat in his office handing down hate, but when HYDRA attacked New York, it was these so called mutants who held the line while the top brass twiddled their thumbs!""Where was MACE then, you ask? Conducting an illegal raid against a non-hostile target. We as a people have raised Iron Man, Captain America and others to the status of legends, but what was any different about them? We call them heroes when it suits us, and turn against them when they show the slightest sign of being human, and yet, that's the very thing we decry them for not being.""In many ways, Dominik Lord would be correct. But this isn't that same world anymore. I assure you, I'm not a lion in disguise, and I haven't sent anyone to the slaughter lately. What I have done is disband the Enforcers, disband MACE, declassify the records of their abuses, and turn back the clock on the legislation passed by my predecessor."At this, he tossed the folder into the crowd, where it landed among shocked reporters and spectators, who carefully recorded detail after detail."He would decry this country for crushing the X-Men, when quite the opposite, the Binder Adminsitration aided them! He would decry me for bringing back the Registration Act, when I have spent countless nights fighting to keep it down, keep it reasonable! The act now dictates that any records are completely confidential, and leaks are qualified as a federal offense. Employers are not permitted to request information, and any information given will result in the employee in question being promptly ejected from government service.""This is not the totalitarian piece of legislature he would make it out to be. Even in this stage, I despise what it represents, but it is necessary. Empowered individuals are human, and that means they'll commit crimes like one too. But we need to know who can do what, to ensure that those among you who would cause harm cannot bring anger against the rest. I hate this. But it is the best way to keep my country safe, both for empowered individuals and otherwise."He paused, his face red, and he took a moment to breathe. "I take no issue with the Brotherhood as a whole. I am, despite all else, an honest man. I think that they are a valid political movement, but one fact remains; there remain amongst their midst people responsible for the death of hundreds. When Enforcer Tower fell, they didn't just kill their oppressors. They killed civilians. They killed families. They killed innocent members of their own, too. And that is murder.""And as such, they must face justice for murder, no more than the average citizen, and no less. If Dominik Lord were to purge those members from his ranks here and now, as I have done for the Enforcers and MACE, many of whom have already stood trial and been sentenced, with even more investigations still ongoing, I would allow him freedom to move, to act, to protest with no restraint but the limits of the law. I would personally invite him to act as a representative for empowered individuals, and the manhunt would be called off."His face darkened, hands clasping the edge of the podium tightly. "I've held the people of this government accountable for their crimes. So where's the accountability for his side?"A long pause, as he surveyed the silent audience before him."Does anyone have any questions?"OOC: Surprisingly, that is a genuine open invitation to anyone who wishes to have a PC appear to ask questions.
"I have one question, Mr. President." a cute brunnete said as she raised her hand into the air. Jennifer noticed that some of the people in the crowd turned to look at her as she stood and stared the President down with a quizzical look. Jennifers' long brown hair was pulled into a tight brown pony-tail and she was dressed in a markless dark blue female buisness suit. A briefcase sat next to her seat. While she waited a few moments before asking her question she reached up and pushed her glasses upwards on the bridge of her nose, her crystal green eyes flashing slightly.
"And what is to be done to the mutants who refuse to register?" Jennifer herself was registered. She'd worked for SWORD, it was only natural. The registering itself she didn't mind. It was how the government went about forcing it on the mutants. Jennifer didn't want anymore bloodshed. Her father had once worked to combat such things. He'd died for his cause. Now it was time for Jennifer to continue what he started. And that started now.
IC: Behind Jameson, a black-clad figure stood, her eyes blindfolded. Alyssa was watching, assigned to protect the President.Not that he needed it.
Aleksandr René Belikov, as always, struck from the vents.
He carefully scooted a tile away from the ceiling at a sound of a stopped truck and rolled from the vent to the ground behind her, clad in a snug, dull black workout shirt that looked peculiarly like one Christine used to wear, tight-fitting black pants, the TOMS he wore to the dance the night of Weapon-X's assault and a .357 Magnum in his hand, raised to Christine's head. He seemed poised to ask who she was and what her business was here before he recognized the hairdo and voice, and realized that he may have gotten a little too ahead of himself.
"Oh..." he mumbled, surprised enough to use his natural Russian accent for a second before seamlessly switching back to a natural American drawl for Christine to understand. "It's Daisy Buchanan."
Christine heard someone land behind her. Then a familiar accent switch. She slowly turned around to see Aleks English aiming one of his favorite guns at her.
"Is that how you welcome me home Aleks? And is that mah shirt?" she blinked for a moment trying to hold back a laugh. It was her shirt. She remembered when Aleks had been missing a shirt what felt like forever ago and had nothing else to put on except one of her workout shirts.
"I guess its safe to say you missed me."
IC:"And here, we cut to the crux of the matter." Jameson said, his head swiveling to address Jennifer. "While I would love to give you a solid answer, I cannot. The bill, at the moment, is just that; a bill, with wrinkles to be ironed out, and details to be pinned down. Obviously, there must be some kind of repercussion, otherwise, few will register.""What I can say for certain is that the methods will be a far cry from the methods of the past. I personally ensured the dismantlement of every Sentinel known to the United States government, as well as the recall and inventory of MACE and Enforcer technology. The repercussions to refusal will not be violent, that much I can assure you with certainty.""Does that answer your question?"
"Not enough to keep myself from pilfering from your closet," Aleks replied frankly, holstering his gun and smiling winningly. "It's a good thing you've arrived when you have, I was just looking at your yoga pants the other day and wondering how comfortable they were."
"Is that so?" she grinned. "Ah took it as a sign you missed me because you were wearing my clothes. Ah wouldn't try the pants, that would be a tad bit too ridiculous, even for you."
"I suppose you're right," replied the thief without a hint of remorse for his actions. "It came from a good place, though. I have missed you sorely, Dixie."
Aleks reached out with a calculated eye roll and hugged her, closing the door with his foot to prevent a cold draft from blowing in. Such was his life at the school since his arrival - glorified substitute, general enforcer for the teachers, occasional substitute, foreign eye candy. Usual Xavier Institute things.
"Ah missed you too, sugar." Christine said as she hugged Aleks back. She rested her head against him as she hugged him tight. Her words were an understatement. She'd missed Aleks lots.
"I didn't find what ah was lookin' for out there. Thought it was time ah came home. Always felt pretty bad for leavin' without saying goodbye."
"That does answer my question Mr. President." Jennifer smiled. She then lowered herself back into her seat. It hadn't been a solid answer but it was in a positive direction. She approved the dismantling of the Sentinels, especially after the havok they'd caused on DC. Perhaps the new registration bill wouldn't be too bad afterall. Jennifer would have to examine it througouly and look for any hidden clauses.
"Hey, my name is Kristen. Technically, it's Christopher "Kristen" Hailey. I prefer Kristen, as it sounds much more feminine. My life, a summary? I'll try."
"Alright, so try to imagine a child. Typical child... Outside the fact that he's a shapeshifter, who was born with said power active, and never knew what his original form was. Then of course, your average evil telekinetic comes along, learns about said child, takes control of his mind, and forces him to kill his adoptive mother. Then creates an alternate personality of said child that drives him crazier than Dallas Green when he doesn't know where his phone is. Then sets him loose in the world."
"That's just my life prior to getting here. I'm not even to the one-year mark yet. The one year summary thing comes later."
"After that, I wind up in an alternate universe of my own, on a quest to find someone I don't even particularly like (irony of this, look below), which results in the residual memories and personality of my adoptive mother being pulled out of my mind, and placed in a replica body that I fought tooth, nail, and claw for. I find in result of fighting to bring my mother back, I'm stuck in this reality. I don't have much of a problem with that. The other one had gone to anyway. After that, everything's going fine... Until I come back home one day, our former headmaster, Hank "Beast" McCoy, is dead. Guess who's the prime suspect? My mother. The mother that I fought to bring back from the freaking dead. Result of this is that I get into a fight with one of the older residents of the Institute, John Howlett. As anyone who's fought with him knows, it ended poorly. For me. John won, his trophies included my right arm, which he mercilessly cut off, and then of course me."
"This is almost over, I swear. Following this, I blank out. When I come to, I get the following revelation. I'm stuck in the body of a girl. One who's missing an arm too. Needless to say, I was . I still am . John Howlett made my personal list of; 'People I Hate Forever', just under my dimension's version of Ashlynn Summers. Now to get to the ironic part that I mentioned earlier. Said guy who I wasn't very interested in saving? He made me a new right arm. So, after that, I become best friends with 'my' version of Dallas Green, move into the same room with 'my' version of Tali, and is currently a completely useless piece of trash who can't do anymore, and is currently being blackmailed by her supposed 'boyfriend' into doing whatever he wants, which includes being his personal punching bag. That's been my year in a nutshell. My favorite colour is red, I like hard rock, skirts and men's v-neck t-shirts are god's greatest creations, and I have no idea how bras work. I hope we get to know each other well, etc. etc."
Kristen, paused the program, watching as the few straggling words appeared on the screen. She still hadn't gotten used to using her new arm for delicate work, such as typing keys on a keyboard. The last time she tried, she accidentally 'pushed' a new hole into the keyboard. So, she'd requested a different way to type up documents for school. This is what she got. It wasn't half-bad, seeing how it was able to understand all the little quirks in her speech that Kristen didn't know about, and accurately write down what she wanted. Scanning over her work, she decided that was not an appropriate introduction to a high-school level English class, especially the part mention Joey. God Joey Walker, ruling over her life. It was because of that jerk, that she was doing this project the day before it was due, instead of a week prior.
Upon reaching this decision, she held down the 'delete' key with her left arm, her non-prosthetic arm, and watched the work slowly vanish into nothingness. Deciding to send it on a faster route into oblivion, she just hit the red x in the top right corner, and selected 'don't save'. Restraining violent thoughts against the computer, the project, and Joey.
Break for now, find Dallas, try to feel better, and try working on the project again in another hour. Evade Joey at all costs. Kristen thought to herself, exiting the library and waving goodbye to whoever the the current librarian was. They seemed to change like every five days. As she walked past the main entrance in her hunt for the Showstopper, she was Aleks in a tight shirt, Christine, the front door slightly ajar, and a vase full of dying violets. As she carried on, she made the mental note to remind herself to water the flowers to avoid having to tick off some of the more pro-botanical resi- Oh right, Christine!
"Christine Marie!" Kristen declared, heading towards her, her face a mixture of relief at seeing her sister, and what could be anger. She'll deal with the later part after the preliminary tears were out of her system. She rushed her sister, quickly stopping only inches from her with a smile on her face, quickly grasping her hands, "It's good to see you again big sis."
Stanhope stood next to Alyssa, a cheap, Wal-Mart made suit on, and sporting a mustache to rival even the President's. He watched the Commander-and-Chief with a mixture of hope and sadness. If ever a man could solve this mess of a problem, Jameson could. He'd voted for the man, put the campaign sign into the yard, and even wore a tacky 'Elect Jameson' hat to the polls on election day. He had Stan's utmost faith. But then again, the Brotherhood nuts were getting stronger every day. It was always in the realm of possibility that one of them would assassinate the man.
But he tried to keep such thoughts out of his head. They depressed the freak out of him. And hey, he had more arms on him then a warlord. If one of them even entered the room, they'd meet Mr. 45. ACP, seven times to the head.
It was hard to know which of the two incarnations of Dallas Green would be more renowned in the annals of Institute history: there was Slipstream, the blonde heartthrob and X-Man who had helped defend Washington, D.C. from Sentinel attack, helped lead an assault on Weapon-X to retrieve most of the Institute's captured students and soldiers, helped forge a bridge between human and mutant relations that may last for generations to come, and accidentally won the heart of one of the world's most beautiful girls, the First Daughter of the United States.
And thennnnnn there was Showstopper.
"I mean, I'm just saying! I'm a time traveler, and I know other time travelers when I see them! Jay-Z's a time traveler! There can't be two people in human history that look so alike or so ugly!"
"Dal, there's no such thing as the Illuminati, dude. Sorry. Again. For the millionth time."
"Yeah, yeah, whatever. Just you wait until the New World Order gets ushered in here, and then we'll see who's sorry. Card believes me, don't you, Card--Card? Card! Where's my familia?"
Dallas looked around for Kristen bewilderedly, as though he genuinely thought that his Wild Card had been wandering in his wake listening to every word intently; when he didn't find her his eyes narrowed and he diverted his destination mentally from the cafeteria to find Card. God only knows what she's gotten herself into, the troublemaker...
Sometimes, it was hard to believe that this borderline sociopathic dick of a late adolescent had helped to save a universe and survived cataclysm after cataclysm.
IC Tokiomi Next to Alyssa, a man in a suit scanned the crowd. His one good eye darting around, he searched the crowd for potential threats before settling his gaze back on the President. "Can I trust this man?" he wondered. "He seems like a good enough guy at the moment. His relentless slander of Spiderman aside, he seems like a reasonable fellow. But still..." Closing his eye, he listened to the on going press conference. When he saw an opening, he cut in."Mr. President, as an Agent of SHIELD, the question I am about to ask is one that I probably know the answer to already. But for the sake of the crowd, I will ask it. As the act currrently stands, this registration policy will merely serve as a specialized census and all information will be kept confidential. However," Tokiomi continued, clasping his hands, "This act only addresses one of many problems.""While the act is certainly a good idea, it is one with numerous flaws. Many people have interpreted it the wrong way, case in point being Mr. Lord. The stigma attached to such registration acts is a very negative one, and if taken the wrong way, it could very well lead to civil strife. One only needs to consider the aftermath of the superhero civil war to discover how this could go drastically wrong. But the bigger issue here, and the one that I believe the Brotherhood is the most concerned about, is who has access to this information?" Tokiomi turned his gaze away from the President to the crowd. "If an individual-a malevolent Edward Snowden, to use an example-were to leak this information, it could potentially fall into the wrong hands, whether they be a nation or an individual. Yet more concerning is the possibility that an individual inside of our government could use this information to their own ends, unbeknownst to even the NSA or the FBI.""Additionally." Tokiomi continued, checking his watch to ensure he wasn't going on for too long, "The bill does nothing to remove the social stigma surrounding the mutant issue. While support for the mutant cause is growing, those who sympathise with these people are still the minority. Discrimination still abounds, if not pubilically, then in the hearts of the people. Humans do find the strangest reasons to hate each other, after all..."
OOC: Hey guys guess what I just rememberedI have PCs! I nearly forgot about them in the storm! :dAnyway. This early in the game, there aren't likely to be many questions for the Prez, so the conference will continue for five more posts, and then he'll head side, and free up the characters around him. If someone didn't make it into that window, talk to me, and we can work out something either via flashback, or conference later.IC:Ones and zeroes flew through the air, bits of data here and there, an entire network laid out in his mind. It was all invisible, and to most, it would have been incomprehensible. But to the teenager hunched over a keyboard, they'd made as much sense as English. The Institute's basement gleamed, its equipment had, over the previous year, been upgraded to heck and back, both in software and hardware. The Technopath just couldn't help himself. He needed to keep busy, and constant maintenance and repair was the easiest way.He gave a loud sigh as a timer went off, and he stood and stretched, silencing his phone with a thought. He looked at the device to pick it up, pausing momentarily as a picture caught his eye. Unconsciously, his hand closed around the brass locket. Shaking his head, he picked his phone up and headed for the elevator, keying in his access code to allow its descent. He hoped the elevator, situated near the library, wouldn't be spit him out near a large group. That was the last thing he needed.On the other hand, maybe conversation would be good. He mused silently as the elevator rose, taking him with it. It had been a while. Not as long as it had been since he talked with...No, that line of thought was no good. She was in Japan, with no indications that that was changing.It wasn't healthy to ponder it for long.IC:Near the outskirts of the press conference, a man in standard SHIELD uniform patrolled. But at the same time, to some of those present, that unusually tall build was somehow familiar...OOC: Gah, ninja'd. XDIC:"As it stands, I am the only one with complete access, barring certain emergency powers. Most notably, those in the event of my death. Anyone with lower clearance than I has to submit a data request, that has to be approved, every approval of which will be overseen by a carefully selected staff. We aim to keep access as minimal as possible."A pause. "As for discrimination... Regrettably, my attempts to enact legislature to work against that issue have been blocked at every turn. Until that changes, my hands are tied. I find Congress very receptive of laws even remotely restricting powered individuals, but very unwilling to hear about legislature to help them."
IC: The two costumed warriors battled with titanic blasts of destructive energy matched only by the ferocity contained within their punches when they closed with each other. Fists swirled in fire made the air sizzle with their speed, kicks with the power of gods made the ground shake with their fury. The battle had been been raging for some time now but one of the mortal foes, clad only with a pair of sunglasses from the waist up, was done toying with the other. In a stunning move he let his legs slide away, performing a full-split so he was low enough to deliver a breath-taking punch right between the legs of his stricken foe. Stunned and winded the unfortunate victim was unable to resist the flurry of blows that left them a bloody and broken mess on the ground, the victor gloating over the ruins of their carcass...
"Ahah, you just got Trasked!"
Alec watched the continued victory dance of his player character on the screen with avid glee. Even beating the AI on Boneshattering difficulty hadn't been too much of a challenge. Of course, he was probably cheating. He'd fused the controller into his arm when holding it, giving him technopathic levels of control over his character. No need for slow and clumsy fingers to get in the way when he could just think everything he wanted to happen.
Still, with this game beaten he was running out of things to do. There were so few teachers and students at the Institute that there were virtually no lessons, and even less for a senior like him who'd pretty much lived through everything already. He nly had a few more games to run through and then he was out of ideas. It was almost like the universe was telling him to get a real job or something. But that would be terrible. The universe clearly sucked at advice giving.
As the sounds from his game faded away, Alec caught an echo of the sounds from the hall and by virtue of boredom and curiosity listened in.
"Hey, if you're having a touching reunion or something down there," he shouted after a moment or two, "You'd better be making it bloody heartwarming! I'll accept nothing less for interrupting my valuable leisure time!"
IC: Persephone sat patiently in the rows of those allowed to be present during President Jameson's speech. Well, less "allowed" to be present and more "demanded" to be present. SHIELD and the American government had felt it wouldn't hurt to have her around in civilian garb, a pretty face wrapped up in good PR and a little black dress.
She really hated wearing dresses.
They were just so impractical on so very many levels. They restricted her movement, they revealed far too much of her false skin than she was comfortable with, and if she got them stained it was merry havoc to clean them. The first time she'd worn one she hadn't understood that last fact and had simply gone straight to tinkering with her devices the moment she was allowed back to her penthouse. The dress had been spattered with so much oil, battery acid and deionised plasma residue that it had been easier to destroy it. She took more care of them now to avoid having her dry cleaners cry themselves to sleep at nights, but that didn't stop her tugging at the hem of this one, trying to make it go past her knees.
It annoyed her in moments like this when SHIELD treated her like a shop window mannequin they could wheel out for display ad hang clothes off. But she had to cede the point that having Persephone Ellis, generous millionaire, showing her support was a more effective method than having the Titanium Blonde looming in full armour like a hired executioner. They wanted to dazzle, not intimidate. So if it made her bosses happy she'd tolerate the inherent sexism and she'd wear the dress.
But she wouldn't like it
IC: Alyssa blinked behind her blindfold.No. No. He... He died.The gait was the same, the abnormal height... And they had never told her... She nodded to Jameson and stepped off the stage, walking the roundabout way to the SHIELD soldier's side. She grabbed his arm, hauled him through the doors to the foyer, and...Alyssa slapped him across the face, as hard as she could.
OOC: For future reference, Kristen's discussion with Christine is now happening in-flashback for her.
Kristen, world-class moper and competitor with the Hulk for 'most-in-need-of-anger-management-classes', happened to be chilling in her room following her conversation with her sister, legs drawn body, arms wrapped around legs. It wasn't exactly her room per-say, it was the room she shared with Tali. She would've enjoyed having her own room, but for whatever reason there were more female students than male. So she consented to picking her roommate. Since Dallas was totally into her reality's version of Tali, she decided she'd be able to put up living with her.
That wasn't the reason why she was in the fetal position. It was because she was, once again, dealing with her still-unresolved emotions about everything. Especially the ones revolving around Joey, the fact that she was a girl now, and the ones revolving around her inadequacy. Those emotions.
In a small, poorly-lit dojo somewhere in the bustling, rainy city of Tokyo, a gloved fist struck a punching bag, sending the heavy cylinder of canvas and sand careening away on its chain, only for it to swing back and meet a foot that belonged to the same girl as the fist.
Julia let out a breath and wiped the sweat from her brow. Among the reverberating din of her fellow students practicing their techniques, she almost hadn’t noticed the elderly man watching her. Almost.
Sensei Obuzābā merely gave a slight nod and moved on, not expressing an ounce of...well, anything, really, which was his way of saying he wasn’t too impressed. In general, he was a nice guy, but unless he was teaching one of his students, he didn’t talk much. And, of course, when he wasn't talking or watching, he was staring off into space with his pale grey eyebrows slightly knit, as though whatever he was thinking of troubled him.
The punching bag still swung gently back and forth in Julia’s peripheral vision. She smirked, then flew into a whirling kick with a resounding “HIYAH!” that attracted the attention of a few people around her, including her Sensei. There was a slap, then a thud, then the bag was lying on the floor amid a shallow hill of sand. Julia ignored the various pairs of eyes trained on her as she pulled on her sweater and took a firm hold of the duffel bag marked Dana Kinney with sharpie in both English and Japanese. She left the gym in a brisk stride, a small, heart-shaped piece of brass at the end of a chain bouncing against her chest with each step.
IC:No sooner had Jameson finished speaking to Tokiomi, another woman stood up to speak, and he changed the direction of his attention once again."Both MACE and the Enforcers were institutions of a different time, and their methods were geared to fighting super powered threats, not technological ones. That was always SHIELD's duty, though admittedly, they dropped the ball. What remains of the two firmer groups was folded back into existing command structures, and much of that funding has since been returned to the armed forces." He paused, a slight grin on his face."Though I think the beating our armed forces gave Hydra when they did arrive indicates their continued effectiveness, even before the return of that funding."IC:The blow had been expected. In truth, it had been expected ever since he was dragged towards the foyer. Nevertheless, he made no move to stop it, his head whipping to the side with the blow, leaving a large red mark on the side of his face. Wincing slightly, the super soldier attempted a wry grin, though it didn't quite work out."Well, if you were looking for a way to prove I wasn't a ghost, there were better options."
IC (Borte Khan)
"Thank you Mr. President." With that, Borte took her seat again. The answer hadn't done much to comfort her, and by extension her investors. Excellent. She'd be able to push more funding through to security at the very least. Sometimes, low investor confidence in the government really worked out for a woman. They'd taken a beating in the stock market after the attack on New York had more or less wiped out half their office space. They'd bounced back but....well, better safe then sorry.
Stanhope quite easily noticed Alyssa slip away. Feeling that it might be something serious, he let her go in first, then trailed behind. She might need backup, he reckoned. He saw her pull another SHIELD agent to the foyer, and slap him. Very unprofessional. Being her superior, it was his duty to stop it.
So Colonel Stan Park walked behind the two, and said in a commanding voice: "Agent Lowell, stop now."
"Caaaaaaaaaaard! Kristen! Terminator! Caaaaaaard!" Dallas kept repeating as he paced through the hallways, oblivious to the dirty looks he was getting from nerds who were out trying to study in the corridors, or from people who were attempting to catch a little bit of extra sleep. "Card, if you can hear me, tell me how attractive I am once! If you can't, keep telling me how attractive I am until you can hear me, and then say it again!"
"You're about as attractive as an adamantium sword going through John Howlett's skull," A muffle voiced called out from one of the girl's dorm doors. Upon entering, he'd fine Kristen, slowly putting her legs down as she turned to look at him, "Which, needless to say, is one of the most beautiful things I hope to see."
"See? You can always put a smile on my face!" Dallas crowed, grinning like a madman as he walked through the door, without knocking of course, and plopped down on the bed besides Card. "Except that one time in Reno when I stole the bike, and you tried to eat the back tire. Tried to shoot you a couple times and you morphed into...well, best not to dwell on the dark times. Hey there, cutie. I like my shirt that you're wearing."
Kristen blushed involuntarily at the 'cutie' remark, replying with, "Thanks... You should know since you gave it to me, after all."
She swung her legs off the side of the bed, looking up at Dallas and taking a deep breath, "Dal... I need to confess something to you."
OOC text in brackets is translation from Romaji to EnglishIC Tokiomi"Thank you," Tokiomi nodded, bowing in Japanese fashion. He listened to the concerns of a woman in the front row and the President's response. He then returned to his post, however...Both of the agents standing beside him were gone."Ge (!!!)?!" he whispered under his breath. Ever since he-or rather, Vincent-had lost his left eye, Tokiomi had trained himself to always expect the worse. The specialization of his powers meant that mind-mind communication had become harder for him, so he had to be on his guard, especially with half a human's normal field of vision. Then he spotted them in the foyer. "Nandekka (what is this)?" he sighed in exasperation. "Oi! Lowell-kun! Park-san!" he shouted, though not in a way that he would doisturb the conference, as he walked towards the foyer.
"Was it you who up my Fruit Ninja account?"
"... Dal, I don't even own any i-devices. Much less know how to use one."
IC: Alyssa's eyes sparked and she turned to the Colonel. "Don't. Don't call me Lowell. Some of us have lives we want to protect, sir."Truth be told, the sir was unnecessary. Pantheon was an independent unit formed by Fury, so they reported to him.Still."Some of us have to be able to sleep at night without guards. Speaking of which, I left the President in your hands.""Are they protecting him?"NPC: A tall, black haired man with ice blue eyes on the stairs above Alyssa and the Colonel watched the scene below with amusement.He'd let it play out before intervening.
OOC: Jam between me and Varren weeeee!!!
IC: - Unknown location, somewhere in Nebraska, deep underground -
Someone was there, standing over me. They thought I wouldn't notice, as I appeared to be quite asleep. And I would have been, if they hadn't been so clumsy, I could have heard those soft footsteps from…a really far distance!
I debated what to do about it, this was the first time anyone had simply walked into my cell. At least the first time I’d been aware of it. Who knew how times they’d done this before, without me ever being aware of it?
A shiver went down my spine as I thought of what they might do to me. Put some sort of experimental drug into my veins? It wouldn't have been the first time.
I wasn't going to allow it, when they least expected it, I’d jump whoever it was standing over my bed and hold them hostage! I hadn't tried that one before, if I was lucky this guy would be important enough to Hydra that they’d listen to my demands.
There! I could hear them shuffle closer to me, this was my chance. My arm reached out to grab the unlucky soul as I opened my eyes to look at the scien…girl?
I backed off immediately, scooting toward the corner of my bed away from her. She wasn’t a Hydra scientist, it was just a girl! A really short one at that, I’d never seen someone this…young?
Said girl, determinable only by her body posture, and feminine demeanor, smiled at her, green eyes full of spark and curiosity as she gazed at her.
"Hello, Good morning!" The girl said, giving her a warm grin. Unlike me, she was dressed in what could be described as a jumpsuit, colored in the scheme of Hydra's usual fatigues, the symbol of which was emblazoned upon the left collar of said jumpsuit. More than that, there wasn't much about her that was out of the ordinary. Quickly scanning her over, I could see that the girl hadn't gotten much sun, her skin was almost as pale as a white sheet. She was bald, although it was evident by the thin stubble that covered her head that her hair had been shaved off. Other than that, she held every indication of twelve year old girl. Standing at about four feet, the girl gazed up at her still grinning, but in perhaps in the most unhostile way ever.
"How've you been?" The girl asked, arms at her sides, hands empty...or at least as far as she could see.
I continued to look the girl over, unsure what to make of this. My pair of emeralds continued to stare at her as I blew raven hair out of my face, it had nice streaks of green as well, it was getting quite long now. (Last person who tried to cut my hair died, it had been kind of awesome really.)
There were two possible conclusions. One, they sent this girl in here to see if I’d freak out and kill her or not. Or two, she’d snuck in here somehow, and I’d be very interested in learning how she’d done it.
Still, I didn’t’ know if I could trust her, so I choose my next words carefully. “Who the ##### are you!?”
"#####," The girl said, testing the sound of it once, before repeating it several times, then giggling to herself, "That's a funny word. Do you know any more?"
To be honest, the only reason I knew that word was because HYDRA personnel seemed to use it quite often, but I didn’t tell her that. “Sure, I know a few more…” I began to list them all in alphabetical order.
“That’s about all I got.” It wasn't a real big list really, about a dozen or so words, I had to guess what half of them meant, but they were obviously crude. “Oh, and be careful with some of those, they can make people angry.” Personally I didn't mind getting people angry but she seemed like a nice girl.
"'Angry'," the girl said, reciting the word once, "Not as fun as the other words. What does it mean?"
I blinked, this girl was even more naïve than I was! Of course the only reason I didn’t seem to know things I felt like I should was because my memories didn’t go back farther than a year. (At least I think it’s been that long.) I had to learn whatever I could, and HYDRA sucked at being a teacher.
“Well, have you ever felt like hitting something really hard in frustration?” I was thinking of human punching bags in particular.
I sighed, this was going to be more difficult than I thought. “Have you ever been really upset before?”
The girl stroked her chin before speaking, in almost the exact same manner that I could've sworn seeing a researcher do, "Not really. I get... That thing when you do not know what to do."
“Confused? Unsure? Uneasy? Bored?”
"... The one that you said at the start," The girl said, after thinking about it for a good solid minute, "Confused. Is that the same sort of feeling?"
I shook my head. “No, anger is different…you usually feel it when someone is doing something you don’t like….it’s hard to explain unless you’ve felt it before.”
"Oh," The girl said, pursing her lips, "But the first thing you said. The one with the funny word in it. What did that mean?"
I told her.
"OH!" The girl exclaimed, "I'm Project Trinity! But you can call me Project! Or Trinity! Whichever you like!"
“I think I’ll stick with Trinity.” I wasn’t sure, but I didn’t think ‘project’ was supposed to be an actual name. “I’m Aella, but you can call me….Aella!”
With introductions finally out of the way, I asked the next most obvious question, without funny words that would confuse Trinity this time. “So, how’d you get in here?”
"... What do you mean?" Trinity asked, tilting her head to the side, "I have always been here."
I shook my head. “No no I mean how’d you get in my cell? In this room?”
"The same way everyone else got in."
“Could you…show me?” I’d never been able to get out of this room unless the scientists wished it. If she’d gotten in here I had to know how, and if we could get out the same way.
"It is tricky," Trinity said, turning about on her heels to face the door, "They keep... Not changing the door codes. They forget I can get in if they do not do that."
Trinity strode over to the door, gesturing for me to follow her.
“You know the codes!?” I said, a little louder than I meant too, I spoke with a more hushed voice afterwards as I got up from my bed and followed Trinity to the door.
"They are not hard to figure out," Trinity said as she flipped up a panel that I hadn't noticed before, revealing a set of ten-digit buttons labeled from zero to nine. With almost lightning speed, Trinity pressed in a long string of numbers, certainly more than twenty characters long. When she was done, she pressed a small key labeled 'enter', and the door to my cell hissed open.
"Once I learned the guards putting them in, I will not forget," Trinity informed, stepping out of my cell.
I didn’t hesitate to follow her, for the first time I was exiting my cell, by my own free will! It felt pretty good. For such an apparently naïve girl, she certainly was smart, way smarter than me, and I wasn’t a dummy. How could she remember something like that just by watching the guards? My eyes could never follow it.
I don’t know what came over me, but I gave the girl a big hug.
When I hugged Trinity, the little girl jumped in my arms, a shocked expression on her face. The most shocking part was that her breathing had escalated. Not in the good way. She was slowly creeping into panic mode. Great. Now I can say I've scared a little girl.
"What... Is this?" Trinity asked, obviously struggling not to do something about me hugging her.
“It’s a hug…I’m doing it cause I’m…happy.” I wasn’t sure how I even knew what a hug was, it wasn’t like I’d ever done it before. I just did.
"Happy," Trinity repeated, eyes glancing about for a moment before her gaze resettled on me, "Um... Aella? Could you let go? I need to finish something."
I released her slowly.
"I need to finish this... Thing. All the things they have given me are getting more and more... Confusing," Trinity said, gesturing at the hallway that they were in. It was exactly the same as the last time I had seen the hallway. Only for the fact that it was mostly vacant, and there was an unconscious guard crumpled on the ground.
"Oh! Maybe I am to bring you with me!" Trinity exclaimed, drawing my attention back to her, "I never know what I need to do now. It is all very confusing Aella."
My mind was in a million places, I was free from my cell, there was an unconscious guard, and Trinity was going on about bringing me somewhere. I pulled myself together, if I wanted to finally escape this ###### I’d have to be focused.
“What happened to this guard over here?” I asked, approaching said guard, maybe I could take a key card or a weapon off of him.
"Him? Oh, I did that to him," Trinity said nonchalantly, "He has a scar on his right cheek, likes to skip when he walks, can say things nicely with a deep voice, and he now will never be able properly move his left hand again."
I had underestimated this girl…again. I almost smirked as I dropped down and went through his effects, taking a key card of some sort and a weapon that could launch electrical bursts from a distance, I knew from experience, not fun. But now that I had the weapon, I was eager to try it out.
I looked at his hand closely…it didn’t look right. “What did you do to him?”
"Well, I grabbed his arm, and I turned it... Then he made a really loud sound, and his arm made a sharp sound..." Trinity said, recounting the encounter, "And then he fell to the ground. Then, I opened the door, and saw you!"
Things were clicking in place, she had some sort of power that had effected the poor saps arm. I was beginning to like Trinity more and more.
I slowly stood up, as I did so, the guard suddenly started to groan, I yelped and kicked him in the head, he stopped making noise.
“Well Trin, what do you think about getting the ##### out of this place? Seeing what the world looks like outside of this dump?”
"...There is a room outside of this room?"
I paused, she didn’t have a clue that a world could exist outside of what she knew. To be honest I wasn’t sure if there was either. But I’d been put through enough simulations to know there was something out there that was better than here, where I could do what I want and not be forced to take tests, give blood samples, or get haircuts.
“Yeah, there is, I’m sure of it. An entire world where we can do anything we want, and no one to stop us.”
Trinity paused, putting on a poker face as she considered the things I just told her. Faced with continued running of the various tests that she'd been running for the entirety of her life.
"Anything?" Trinity asked, her curiosity piqued.
“Yep...” A guard nearly ran into us from another hallway crossing our’s. Before he could so much as cry out, he found himself flying up toward the ceiling with a wave of my hand, powerful winds blowing through the corridors, he smacked back down onto the floor soon after. I proceeded to taser him repeatedly with my stolen weapon, until he stopped twitching.
“Absolutely anything…” I took his card and weapon as well.
"Then... What are we staying here for!?" Trinity exclaimed, her grin re-appearing on her face, "Where is the exit!?"
“I…don’t know…” I admitted, “They hardly ever let me out of my cell, unless it was to be tested in their simulations.” I grinned however as a plan formed in my mind. “I bet the guards know where it is.” I started to strip the unconscious guard of his uniform.
“I’m going to disguise myself as a guard, they’ll think I’m watching you, like that other guy was.” I had his key card as well, so I figured it would work out just fine. “Let’s lock both these guys in my cell.” I said as I finished putting on the uniform, it was a little bit big on me but it would serve its purpose.
"You know it will not hold them for long Aella," Trinity said as she helped me drag them back into my cell, "We may need to move with speed."
“You’re right…” I threw the last guard into my cell, not gently mind you. As I shut the door and locked it, I got another idea. “Can you affect things that aren’t people? With whatever it was you did to that guard?”
"Oh... That? Sure!" Trinity said jovially, clapping her hands together, "What do you need me to do Aella?"
“Make the door to my cell impossible to open.” I grinned deviously.
Trinity began to grin almost devilishly at my suggestion as she placed her hands on the cell doors, and in a flash of light, the doors turned into stone. She stepped back admiring her handiwork before turning back to me, "Like that Aella?"
I clapped my hands excitedly, “Yes! Great job Trin!” I almost hugged her again, but I remembered the ‘moving with speed’ part of this escape. “At the very least, that will keep the other guards occupied once they discover something is amiss, and hopefully by then we’ll be out of here!” I placed the guard’s helmet and mask over my face, they’d never know it was me.
"We should go in the direction that the other one came from," Trinity said, looking at the direction in which the guard came from, "There will be others like him, but we can get past them if your plan works."
I nodded as we headed toward said direction. “As long as we act like everything is normal…they shouldn’t suspect us…” Hopefully they wouldn’t wonder why I had Trinity with me, or there would be some problems, plus once they discovered the current state of my cell the jig would be up.
Trinity nodded, keeping quiet and waiting for me to lead the way.
I led the both of us down the corridor, following its endless twists and turns and wondering if it would ever end, we passed by some guards once or twice but they didn’t pay us any mind. So far so good.
So far so good lasted for an ungodly amount of time. We walked past guards without a second look from them, same with the scientists too. Trinity was also reacting very poorly to having to pretend to being shuttled about. She'd start smiling every few minutes for seemingly no reason, and then remember she wasn't supposed to do that and resume the stone-cold expression she'd adopted after we started the plan.
“Halt!” We both froze in our places as a guard up ahead approached us from the seal doorway up ahead, I’d seen many of the personal head this direction, it had to be the way out. Unfortunately this guard had singled us out the moment we came into view. Not good.
“Where are you taking this…girl?” I swear the guard had meant to say something other than ‘girl’ but caught his slip up.
Well, I really had no idea what to say, since I had no idea where I was taking her except the heck out of here. “That way.” I pointed at the door.
The guard didn’t seem amused, “You know I can’t allow test subjects into the upper facilities without the proper clearance, let me see your I.D.” I picked at random one of the two cards I had stolen and handed it to him. He turned his back on me and started head toward the doorway where there was a slider and a keypad, there was another guard standing at attention next to it, great.
I moved my head a little closer and whispered toward Trinity. “There’s no way that card is going to work, I’m not even the right gender for it! Just follow my lead…”
Trinity nodded once after hearing my words, keeping her eyes focused upon the guards.
The guard was sliding the card into the slider when he heard me make a sharp cry of pain. When he turned around he saw me collapsed next to Trinity. I was clutching my arm and making quite a fuss about it. I started scooting away from Trinity as if I was afraid of her. “The girl….she…did something to my arm!” I said with labored breathing, I smirked behind my mask.
The guard who’d been standing attention immediately raised his weapon at Trinity, approaching her cautiously, he seemed very much afraid, his body was shaking. The guard who’d been checking my I.D. rushed to my side and leaned down to get a look at my arm.
“Moron.” I swung my supposedly injured arm out and jabbed one of the stolen weapons I had acquired into the guard and turned it on full blast. The guard got the maximum charge from the weapon, spazzing out helplessly. I didn't give him a chance to recover as I pushed him off me and then sent a quick blast of wind into his chest, sending him flying toward the other guard.
"I'll get the door!" Trinity called out jovially as she rushed forward, seemingly ignoring the second guard.
Said remaining guard wasn’t standing for very long as he was hit by his flying superior, who landed on top of him. The guard groaned, and struggled to push his unconscious comrade off of him, unfortunately for him, I was there.
I removed my mask, dropping it onto the floor, there wasn’t any use for it now I suspected, once we got through that door we were going to force our way out of here, at least that was my plan. I leaned down next to the guard and pushed my weapon into his neck. “Tell me…what’s beyond that door?”
He started uttering curses and saying he’d never talk, I started to hit him with my free hand. He was rendered unconscious fairly quickly, ah well. I decided to see how Trinity was doing and walked over, after taking the effects of these guards as well.
Trinity looked quite flustered. She was seemingly randomly pressing buttons, and swiping the dropped card on occasion, but she was unable to get the door to open. Eventually, she repeated the entire list of words that I had taught her, standing back and putting her hands on her hips. After a moment of mental debate, she placed her hands on the door, preparing to change what the door was.
"Is this what being angry is?" Trinity asked me as the door changed from whatever metal it was made out of into a door made out of water, which fell apart immediately.
I smirked. “Yeah, I think you’re starting to get it.” The water rushed past our feet as we stepped through the doorway and into a spiraling staircase, we began to ascend it, as that was currently the only direction to go.
It wasn’t a moment after when a blaring noise sounded throughout the facility, red lights began to flash. “I think they know what’s up now…run!” I started going up the stairs as fast as my legs could carry me.
Once I started to run, Trinity followed along, matching my pace. I wouldn't notice until later, but she was running exactly like me. At the moment, she kept up with me, other than stopping once to try to block the way behind us.
There were many doors we could have taken, but I just kept going up the stairs, I had this gut feeling that the higher we got the better we’d be off, plus I was very curious to see how high they went.
Soon enough we could hear noises coming from below us, they were coming after us from below, I grinned inwardly when I remembered that Trinity had done something to the stairs below.
My eyes widened when I realized there was noise coming from above us as well! I gritted my teeth and prepared for a fight! There was no way in ###### they would stop us.
Then Trinity started to laugh. It wasn't sinister, or maniacal. It was the laugh of someone who was having fun. I couldn't think of a more inappropriately-timed laugh, considering what the guards might do to us if they actually catch us.
I had bigger problems that horribly timed laughs however, HYDRA guards burst through a door just as we were passing it on the steps. I sent a quick blast of air at them to slow and confuse them as we kept on going. We’d gone up quite a few steps now, and while I was quite the athletic one, I was beginning to tire.
More guards came crashing down the steps, they were armed with weapons, but they seemed reluctant to use them. A few fired electrical blasts, they missed me, but I’d felt the tingling sensation of a discharge, way too close. Sent gusts of powerful wind ahead of me, knocking and pinning down anyone ahead of us, as for anyone coming from behind us, I’d let Trinity take care of that.
There was a bright flash of light behind me before Trinity rejoined me. A quick glance back showed that she'd managed to seal off the stairs, right before sprinting to keep up with me.
This continued on what seemed like forever, I wasn’t sure how much longer I could keep this up, having to run up the endless flight of stairs was hard enough without having to use my powers. I skidded to a stop as I suddenly ran out of stairs to follow, leaving a single door…with no one to greet us.
I collapsed onto my knees and breathed heavily, it was much like being in one of those simulations I’d often been put through, instead this time it was for real, and I could actually escape if I succeeded.
What concerned me was that no one was bursting through that door, it stunk of a trap.
"We are here?" Trinity asked, barely pausing to catch her breath, her foolish naive smile still on her face as she reached for the door handle, pushing the door open as I watched on.
“W-wait!” It was too late, she’d already opened the door, I scrambled to follow her, though much more cautiously.
What we found was a huge hanger, filled with all sorts of weapons and vehicles I’d never seen before, even in my simulations.
Oh yeah, and about a hundred or so guys pointing guns than did not look like the non-lethal kind at us.
Trinity clapped her hands together with glee and created a solid wall of concrete between us and said guys.
They began firing as soon as the wall appeared, until one of them began to yell a cease fire very angrily, yelling how they needed to take us alive. I smiled from behind the wall, this made things so much easier.
Before Trinity even knew what was going on I’d picked her up off her feet and began to carry her as I leaped into the air, using my powers to boost myself higher we went right over the wall and over the soldiers. Before they knew what was even happening I was way ahead of them, there were many vehicles stored here, I entered the closest one I could find, something called a Humvee I would later learn. All I knew was it was big, it was bad, and I was going to run people the ###### over.
I placed Trinity in the shotgun and got the engine running, I wouldn’t have known how to work the Humvee if it hadn’t been for the simulations and tests I’d been forced to do. How ironic that what HYDRA had taught me was now helping me escape them.
"Where we gonna go Aella?" Trinity asked jovially, completely ignoring the fact that I had just picked her up and pulled her into a vehicle.
“Wherever the ###### we want!” I exclaimed excitedly before pulling the Humvee into drive and flooring it. The Humvee roared as it went forward at accelerating speeds, the hanger door was closed. Didn’t care.
The Humvee sliced through the hanger door like a knife through butter, clearly not designed to hold back an armored vehicle moving at top speeds, plus this wasn’t an ordinary Humvee, it was a HYRDA one, it was designed to be a lot more…devastating. The majority of the hanger had been sliced through by enormous buzz saws that were fitted onto the bumper.
As we crashed through the massive doorway like an elephant stampeding through a shopping mall a few unlucky HYDRA grunts met the buzz saws, very messy. I was almost taken back by what I could see through the now quite dirty windshields. The sky! Simulations didn’t do it justice, true it was dead in the night, but I wasn’t picky.
Regardless of how awesome it was, I remained focused on my driving. We appeared to be in a massive field, though in the distance there appeared to be fencing surrounding it. I couldn’t help but laugh, that wasn’t going to stop us in a million years.
The other Humvees behind us might have a chance however, I kept driving straight onward, trying to keep my distance. I noticed while they had men mounted on the guns, they were not firing.
They still wanted us alive, we could use that. “Hey Trinity…” I said as quickly as I could. “I’m pretty sure these things have some sort of weapon that fires from the rear, think you could figure out how to use it?”
As if almost on-que, Trinity began pushing random buttons in an attempt to figure out which ones did what.
Most of the buttons she pushed didn’t do anything important, however when she pushed the big RED one some sort of missile was launched from the back of the Humvee, it crashed and exploded just in front of the closest enemy Humvee, which swerved to evade the blast and ended up tipping over, spinning on its side a few times before stopping upside down.
“I don’t know what you just did but keep doing it!”
Trinity then started to repeated press said button.
The missiles began to fire in a straight line from the back of the Humvee, not aimed at anything in particular, I began to adjust the direction the Humvee was going to try to line up the missiles with the chasing Humvees. One missile collided directly with a Humvees windshield, entering it and exploding from the inside.
Then the missiles stopped coming, regardless of how many times Trinity pushed the button, must of used them all up!” Thankfully it had the effect we wanted, the closest Humvees had been destroyed and the others were keeping their distance. I cheered as we crashed through the fence effortlessly and entered a thick forest, I avoided trees as best I could, but some were ripped apart by the buzz saws.
I really didn't care however, I just laughed like a maniac as we drove farther away from the HYDRA base, we'd escaped.
Back in the laboratory, the bearded man smiled. It was all going as planned. Project Trinity once again exceeded expectations, although it's use of the other experiment was unexpected. It mattered little. Everything was all set.
"Is it broadcasting?" He asked to another man in a lab coat.
"Right on cue," The man reported, turning a knob on the radio so that a single voice filled the room.
"Heil Hydra, 37.2350° N, 115.8111° W. Heil Hydra, 37.2350° N, 115.8110° W. Heil Hydra, 37.2350° N, 115.819° W..."
IC:"It's fine, Colonel." The agent replied, carefully reaching into his own pocket, and withdrawing a SHIELD ID card, notably different from the norm in one respect; below SHIELD's own seal was a red stylized "A". "Agent James Rogers."Continuing on, either oblivious or uncaring to the fact that he'd used his real name, he stowed the card back in his pocket. "Agent Nike was delivering a long overdue, and frankly deserved, case of corporal punishment.""Roughly a year overdue, to be precise."
IC: TLAW-001 Vivus
In the Helicarrier, Vivus was watching the President's conference through a TV screen. He opted not to watch the presentation live, as no matter how human his AI was, his metallic exterior certainly wasn't. He didn't want to intimidate the civilians who gathered to see Jameson speak.
Actually listening to the presentation for a moment, as Vivus heard the questions put forth about mutant rights, his mind went back to one of the many videos in his memory banks from his creator, Dr. Walters.
"You originally started as a new type of Sentinel drones, designed to hunt down mutants. However, I will tell you that have evolved far beyond the original technology, and are very much a unique type of robot. Do not let your legacy decide your actions, for you have the capability to decide your own morals and beliefs. All I ask is that your decisions benefit the innocent."
Mutants are just humans with genetic powers, right? Vivus thought. To think that their battle with the government goes this far... I hope that their conflicts are ironed out... Preferably without bloodshed...
IC Tokiomi"Hey, you two!" Tokiomi called out to Nike and the Colonel, in English this time, just in case the two agents didn't understand Japanese honorifics. He walked slowly towards the foyer, looking back every two seconds to check on the President "Can we get back to our posts? I might just be paranoid but standing in the foyer dealing with personal issues isn't the best thing to be doing in an important press conference like this."
NPC: "Normally I'd agree, but... Aren't you not at your post?"The man had finally decided to move, revealing a muscular form in black plate armor. "I suggest you all go back to your posts, strongly. Except for you two." He gestured to Alyssa and James. "We need to talk. Colonel, I'll deal with their punishment. Get back to your place, please."There was no rank on his shoulder, but that was prototype SHIELD armor...
IC:James raised an eyebrow, looking from Tokiomi to the Black Knight, back to Tokiomi, and finally coming to rest again on the Black Knight. "Alright. If only out of curiosity."**********Jameson, seemingly unperturbed by the loss of the more prominent members of his escort, answered a few more questions calmly and to the best of his ability. Once several minutes had passed with no new ones, he stopped, and nodded."Thank you all for coming. If anyone has anything further to discuss, an appointment can be made with my secretary."
Park nodded. "Will do."
He gave a curt nod, and went on back to guard the President.