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Old 11-06-2014, 07:56 AM   #1
Lunaramblings
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Star City- Heroes of Tomorrow IC

OOC CLARIFICATION: I just wanted to put a note in for those about to read. Toward the end of this post you will find a few lines of dialog intentionally written in broken english spoken by an elderly Asian man. I in no way am implying that Asians speak poorly, or anything of the sort. However, the character in question is a character that has shown up in many other RPs that I have done over the years. He is based on a character played by Jackie Chan, and that character did in fact speak in such a dialect. As such, the intention is only to mirror that very distinct dialect that the character, an immortal monk whom is completely fictional, speaks in. If anyone is in anyway offended please send me a PM and I would be glad to discuss the situation.

:::: A man with long scraggly white hair sits chained in a dark room. He clearly has seen better days. He looks weak, hungry, sickly. He looks up as there is a sound. A woosh of air. An older asian man with long hair pulled into a top knot, wearing a monks robe leans down and offers him a peach. The man nods. As if he knows this man. He takes the peach with trembling hands, hands so weak he can barely grasp the fruit. And then he begins to speak. ::::

"The world changed in an instant. One Instant. All because of a man that should not have existed. Harrison Wells is what he called himself. That wasn't always his name. And I let this happen. My name is Max Mercury. I am a traveler. I come from a future that no longer exists. I almost no longer exist because of that one mistake. I didn't expect Hunter Zolomon to do what he did. Hunter was a brilliant scientist. A Profiler. He was faster than I expected too. He gained his access to the Speed Force because of Me. I arrived in Zolomon's time due to an accident. I over shot my target. Hunter became obsessed with me. He got a hold of my journals. The journals I keep about the Speed Force. He found out about the man that I believed, was the key to all of us speedsters. A man named Barry Allen. Barry lived a long time ago. But he was the first man to become infused with the energy of he Speed Force. Since then, there have been a few of us.

Zolomon decided he would take matters into his own hand. He would become one of us. He used the secrets in my journal, he became one with the Speed Force. But it twisted him. He became dark. A Sociopath. He was obsessed with Barry. He was convinced that it was his job to make Barry become better. To become the greatest hero ever known. He used the Speed Force to go back to Barry's time. But he went too far. He arrived when Barry was a child. He arrived at the home of Barry Allen to find that he was a boy. His mother, she saw the twisted nature of the man seeking her son in the dark of night. She tried to fight back, to save her son. Hunter killed her. And in doing so, created Barry Allen. This is what we call a paradox. Somehow, these events were always going to happen, were always meant to happen. But I still blame myself.

Eventually, because of Hunter, the Central City Disaster would occur. He used his knowledge of future technologies and science to create the Collider. He always knew what would happen. He needed it to. He needed more meta-humans. More tests for Barry. To ensure that he would become the greatest hero ever. Or die trying. Hunter eventually was revealed for what he was. And in the fall out the entire world was nearly lost. If Barry hadn't made the toughest choice any man could, we would not exist.

Still, the loss of life that Hunter caused. The Flashpoint Catastrophe, thousands died. More were changed forever. When the prototype Cosmic Treadmill exploded, it took Hunter with it. But it took so much more. The only survivors at ground zero were Barry and Ramon. They managed to save the city. Mostly. But the Flashpoint still engulfed 10 square miles. Thousands of lives. Women, children, all extinguished in a flash.

I arrived shortly after. I found Barry a mess. He was at Arkham. He was a shell of the man I had read about. The man I knew was the crux of our lineage. It took me months to get him to trust me and begin working his way back. Ramon, he had gone a different way. He became hooked on drugs. Nearly died. If Barry and I hadn't found him, been able to super charge his metabolism with a jolt from the Speed Force, he would have died. Well, that and the serum Barry got from The Arrow.

That was a decade ago. Barry and his friends are now the heroes they were meant to be. But there is darkness coming. I have seen what comes next. And it makes the past seem easy. I hope that this new world, this new Tomorrow, is ready. The heroes that Hunter created, along with his villains, are enough.

My name is Max Mercury. I have bounced through time and space all my life. I have seen the black plague decimate the globe. I have seen the dark ages descend. I have watched empires fall. But the worst is still coming. I am the Zen Master of Speed. But even I cannot outrun this. All the meditation, training and calm in the world will not be enough. Because whats coming is Darkness. Is Death. IS APOKOLIPS. Gods help us, its my fault..."


The Asian man nods. "I undahstahn. I am Yu Lian. I am an Agent of Ohdeh. It beyon' my poweh to release you. But I will help as bes' I can." With that the Asian man disappears.

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Old 11-16-2014, 12:53 PM   #2
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meanwhile at the hall of justice... always wanted to say that!

A school bus pulls up to the curb outside the Justice Society Building. 30 anxious tweets await as the bus lurches to a stop. The doors open and John Diggle steps onto the bus.

"Good morning. Welcome. My name is Mr. Diggle and I will be bringing you in for your tour. Please stay together. Don't push and yes, just maybe you will get to meet some of the Team. Is everyone ready?"

The children roar with approval. All except one. Sara Diggle looks at the floor. Mortified her father is leading the tour. Why couldn't it have been anyone else?
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Old 11-16-2014, 10:43 PM   #3
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"Radioactive," by Imagine Dragons. (Rose)

All systems go, the sun hasn't died
Deep in my bones, straight from inside

I'm waking up, I feel it in my bones
Enough to make my systems blow
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Welcome to the new age, to the new age
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive
Whoa, oh, oh, oh, oh, whoa, oh, oh, oh, I'm radioactive, radioactive


Rose sang to herself softly as she sat cross-legged in a wheeled office chair, thumbs darting this way and that on a ten-year-old X-Box One controller, Tokyo-Drifting a Warthog through hordes of Covenant on a search for The Silent Cartographer.

She winced, however, as an Elite got in a lucky shot with a plasma grenade, and she wasn't able to bail out fast enough-- in a flash of blue-white light, the M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle rolled over on The Master Chief, and it was all over but the respawning.

"Well, crap," she decided, as she paused the game. "A little too radioactive."

"Pretty sure SPARTAN IIs had radiation shielding in their armor," Robby noted from across the room. "More likely it was the concussive force of the bomb."

Rose swiveled in the chair and squinted at him. "I thought you said video game physics were silly."

They were in the laboratory at which Robby was interning when he wasn't doing big important college things. This was the local branch-- perhaps ironically enough --of The Halo Corporation, one of many companies who sprung up seeking to fill the void left by STAR Labs ten years previously. Happily, the corporate culture was somewhat easygoing-- treating genius as being a muscle most effective when relaxed. Hence, while there were multiple state of the art terminals-- both stand-up and sit-down versions --for access to the equally bleeding-edge servers, as well as advanced sensory and analysis equipment-- there was also a television with an assortment of game consoles old and new.

Robby turned away from one of those stand-up terminals and smirked a wry smirk to meet Rose's squint. "Video game physics are silly. But since the last decade has been full of one physics-defying event after another, I'm hardly one to judge. What's really silly is obsessing with all that retro stuff. Games from ten years ago, songs from ten years ago, when was the last time you listened to a radio station playing songs from this year?"

Mock-huffy, Rose placed a mock-offended hand on her heart. "Well, I never, Robert Reed. I am an old-fashioned lady, I thought you respected that."

"I respect lots of things about you," Robby chuckled as he wagged an index finger, turning back to his terminal to set that finger and nine others flying over the keys. "Your tireless optimism. Your faith in mankind. Your faith in things unseen-- well, sometimes I respect that. But I have no respect for being old-fashioned. You know what else is old-fashioned? Rape culture. Homophobia. Racism. Human trafficking. Rotary telephones."

Rose snorted. "I do like to think we're mature enough as a species that we can cherry-pick the philosophies that spur us on towards advancement without retaining the abominations of our past. To wit: the good old days weren't always good, and tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems."

Pausing in his typing, Robby craned his shoulders up and then drooped them again. "Aaaaand you just Billy-Joeled me."

Clicking her tongue as she pointed at him, Rose then cackled gleefully: "That's just me Keeping the Faith."

"Always 'the faith' with you," Robby affectionately rolled his eyes.

Rose popped out of her chair, tossing her controller onto a nearby bean-bag, and moved up behind Robby as he worked, slipping her arms around his waist from behind and resting her chin on his shoulder. "You should be nicer to me. I'm a superhero and I can kick your ass. Also I can arrange for you to be able to sleep with nine different women and not get in trouble for cheating."

Robby turned a bit pink at that suggestion, and opened his mouth to laugh a broken, nervous laugh-- but then stopped. "Wait, nine? Are we doing math differently now? Shouldn't it be-- eleven?"

Nodding, Rose half-closed one eye. "You'd think that. But actually The Koan is strictly ace, and Constant-C only likes girls."

Robby blinked. "Wait, your Heroes have different sexualities?"

Rose shrugged, adjusting one arm so that it hugged Robby vertically instead of horizontally, her fingers gently grasping his shoulder. "I didn't really think that was a big deal. Is-- is that a big deal?"

"I guess not in a societal sense," Robby frowned, and switched windows. "But it's just-- here, I've been working on a theory about The H-Dialer with a friend of mine--"

Rose's gaze refocused on the screen. "--is this a trustworthy friend?"

"Trust me," Robby replied. "@SmoakonTheWater is as good people as good people get. And besides, all our discussions are strictly hypothetical-- I told her I'm writing a comic book but I want the science to be good. Her specialty is computer technology, but she's got this fascinating way of picking up any science she's interested in."

"Mm," Rose murmured, unconvinced, extricating herself from Robby and peering closer at the screen. "I dig her handle, but her spelling's a little weird."

"Apparently it's a pun," Robby shook his head. "Anyway. We've been discussing the idea that The H-Dialer App was beamed into your Palmer smart-tech on an extradimensional carrier-wave, and that it still accesses extradimensional energies. Quantum superpositioning and phase-space. By transitioning you into phase-space, you could potentially access any of your conceivable states-- like, say-- if you were never born, or born in a different time-- or possessed a metagene-- or were exposed to some form of mutagen-- the infinite possibilities of you. The H-Dialer App locks in on ten specific superpositions of you throughout The Multiverse and temporarily transitions you into another you that you could have been. Apparently, that also includes where those yous are on The Kinsey Scale."

"Well," Rose grinned a bit. "Kinda appropriately, it does sound like something out of a comic book."

"But the science is good, at least in theory," Robby countered. "It extrapolates from the implications of The Einstein Podolsky Rosen Paradox that--"

"That they're all me," Rose murmured, with awe and sympathy, looking at the watch on her wrist, that eerie "H" rune glowing up at her. "They're just different mes that might have been. Or-- or are, somewhere in a parallel universe."

"What it boils down to," Robby nodded. "It actually makes me wonder if the ten yous that the app's got on file might not be the only ones it can access-- maybe you're just locked out of the rest of the contact list?"

"Ten's good for now," Rose promised, smiling a wobbly smile. "I want a bigger roster than that, I'll play Smash Bros."

"You're on," Robby nodded at her, and clicked "save" on his work.

"Wait," Rose hesitated, gleefully disbelieving. "Mister anti-retro 'Video Game Physics are Silly' is grabbing an antique Wiimote?"

"No time," Robby grinned, "like the present."
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:57 PM   #4
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Smoak Screens and The Goddess of The Hunt. (Felicity/Artemis)

When one is The COO of a corporation like Queen Consolidated, one gets a certain amount of carte blanche when arranging one's office.

Thus-- there were screens. Lots of screens.

Felicity Meghan Smoak's office, in fact, resembled her beloved workstation in "The ArrowCave," as Cisco Ramon had begun calling it and as had, to everyone's chagrin except Cisco's, caught on. This was no coincidence, as Felicity would, in emergencies, cancel her meetings, hold her calls, and run oracular interference for Team Arrow and The Justice Society right from her desk. Just like old times.

And those times were old, now. Ten years.

Catastrophe and heartache-- what had started as an undertaking to foil The Undertaking had twisted and turned-- they'd lost Central City, oh, poor dear Barry and his beautiful city-- had walked hand in hand with hard-won love and triumph.

There was a little more crow-footedness around her eyes, these days. It was harder to keep up the crunches than it used to be-- even with all the extracurricular training she inevitably picked up from all the Olympic-class fighters around her.

Her hair was dark, now. Not as dark as her goth phase back in her Cambridge days, but she'd stopped dyeing it blonde so as to not fry it completely. She might have to start dyeing it dark, soon-- she'd found her first grey hair the other day and had managed to not have a complete meltdown about it. She was way too young for grey hairs, but then again, the life she lived had put some city miles on her.

But frak, what a life.

She loved a superhero, and he loved her.

And she was a part of both of his worlds.

Cooper had once asked her if she wanted to be a hacker, or a hero?

And now-- now she'd gotten to be both.

"What kind of short straw," said the younger woman, breaking Felicity out of her reverie, "did Big Dig have to draw to get ankle-biter detail?"

Felicity glanced up from the IM log she was reading at the short, slender-but-powerful creature who didn't have to dye her hair blonde. Artemis-- a.k.a., uh, Artemis. (Talk about hiding in plain sight.)

Part of Artemis' civilian cover as part of Team Arrow was that she sometimes served as Felicity's gopher and bodyguard. Not unlike John Diggle had once done for Oliver Queen himself.

And, hanging out in Felicity's office while Felicity chased data-node rabbits down Internet sinkholes, Artemis had taken to watching Felicity's innumerable screens-- at present, CCTV exterior footage of The Hall of Justice.

"It's not so short," Felicity smirked softly. "At least, not so short as some of those ankle-biters. His daughter's in that bunch-- Sara."

Artemis narrowed almond-shaped eyes, and pursed her lips. "Ah. That must make it easier? Or at least more entertaining. I'm useless with kids, myself. I know, like, three children's songs, and they all have the same tune so I get the lyrics mixed up."

"Don't look at me," Felicity chuckled. "My mom was always better with kids than I've ever been. At least, any kid that wasn't me."

Artemis immediately went quiet, then, that steely sort of quiet that always reminded Felicity, more than a little, of Ollie when he went away into one of his Lost-style island flashbacks. It meant that Artemis was remembering something-- hard.

And not hard, as Artemis herself might wryly quip in her trademark husky tones, in the fun way.

As hard as Felicity's childhood had been-- abandoned by her dad as a kid, left with a mom that had to scrimp and save and strive to be the hot mom and the cool mom-- as frustrating as that had been-- at least Felicity had gotten a childhood.

On the other hand, there was Artemis Lian Crock.

Thrown into one of the deepest, darkest deep ends of a life of high-stakes violence and crime and murder from practically as early as she was walking and way earlier than she could remember, Artemis had been sharpened to as deadly a point as any of Team Arrow's arrows. Things like being able to relate to "ankle-biters" sort of fell by the wayside in that sort of scenario.

But Artemis, being Artemis, didn't immediately turn around and throw this conversational faux pas into Felicity's face. At least you had a mom instead of a drill sergeant of death before she got put in a wheelchair, she didn't say. Neither did she say: At least when your dad made a clean break with you it wasn't to break your arm so you could learn to handle pain.

Instead, to Felicity's everlasting gratitude, Artemis came back to herself from that faraway purgatory and changed the subject-- and changed which screen she was looking at.

Artemis' attention flicked across to the IM logs Felicity had been perusing, and she arched her eyebrows. "So. What are you working on? And what The Hell kind of Internet handle is '@Sockamagee?'"

Felicity snorted. "He's an aspiring comic-book writer and fellow science nerd. Apparently it was something he used to say as a kid instead of expletives, and then he used it for the name of his first character, 'Sokka McGee.'"

"And this is worth your time, how, exactly?" Artemis wondered, flatly, and not unreasonably. Felicity was, after all, a very busy lady.

"The story he's trying to tell," Felicity shook her head, and nibbled on her pinky fingernail as she squinted through her glasses, "about this girl who can change into ten different superheroines with a magic phone-- it's got this kind of-- specificity to it. It's like-- it's like-- he's writing what he knows. And I wonder if this might not be related to something metahuman. I don't have any proof, really-- just a gut feel."

"You?" Artemis squinted dubiously, "get gut feels?"

"It's not the only aspect of my gut I have to work really hard to suppress at my age," Felicity admitted ruefully. "But it's been known to happen."

Kind of like motherly instincts, Felicity didn't admit, as both she and Artemis glanced again at that monitor and watched Diggle greet his kid.
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Old 11-17-2014, 10:53 PM   #5
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John Denvers

"What am I doing here?"

What are we doing here?

John sat at a desk, that was one of the things he hated. Sitting. It gave him a sharp reminder of his shattered back. It also gave him time to think and that was never a good thing. He was a soldier, not a desk jockey, he was a man of action even if these days his action was facilitated by an alien symbiote, it was what kept him alive...

He

"What?"

He. As I am attached to you, my gender is now male.

"So if we meet a woman with a symbiote, we will get together and make little symbiote babies?"

OK so he was a bit snarky, but he was also frustrated with sitting here.

No. We will have mindless fun. Symbiotes do not require a mate to reproduce. At a certain stage we produce an offspring. Much like your amoeba. Though I must admit that what you do with females of your species seems quite...fascinating. It is but mindless fun

He had to smile. He felt frustrated and even snapped at the symbiote, but the symbiote acted like a counter measure. It took the impact and stayed calm and John could feel that calm settling over him as well. He heaved a sigh and looked at his watch, twenty minutes. He had to do fill in paperwork about the symbiote's actions and reactions during drills and how they impacted him, even after the scientists and doctors had run their tests.

I am bored, let's get out of here

"Our orders..."

Was to fill in two hundred pages. You did that. Let's go.

Well that was true. John got to his feet, stepped out of the small cubicle-like room which housed only a desk, a chair, a windows, ceiling lights and a garish hospital green paint work. He slipped his old leather jacket on, pushed open the door and allowed it to close behind him. The Justice Society. The first and last line of defense, the law on their side and even more groups following the right path... John figured that he was bored because there was nothing to do.

He shrugged and walked down the hallway, maybe a covert patrol, running and jumping over rooftops, will make him feel better. He remembered when John Diggle approached him at A.R.G.U.S., offering him a chance to be more than just a covert soldier, to do good next to other heroes. Since the fight was practically at home and there was not much need to go abroad, John took the offer. Now look at him. Bored and cranky. He chuckled and shook his head, hindsight is at times the worst kind of sight. He rode the elevator to the ground floor and exited, he noticed a group of children outside the building along with Mr Diggle himself.

"Seems like our PRO is hard at work. At least he's doing something."

Stop griping, we need fresh...or relatively fresh, air. If they notice you, just smile and wave and be polite.

"I know how to handle children."

Of course, you're the human. Now go.

John was certain that they would not recognize him, he was after all a new edition to the group and when he was doing the vigilante thing, the symbiote covered his body. He walked towards the main doors and exited the building.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:43 PM   #6
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The children poured out the bus and began filing into the lobby. A few waved at the man that passed. Clearly in a hurry to be elsewhere.

Once in the lobby, Diggle was pointing out statues of various members of the team. Donations from some rich person or another. Sara hated this. She already heard these stories. She was struggling to fake interest. Then she heard the crash. She turned to see a display case behind her in tatters.

"I um... oops? Sorry Mr. D. I was trying to get a good shot of the statues with my camera and.... I.... I um... I guess I tripped."

Billy was literally laying in the display case. The shattered glass all around him. A miracle that he hadn't been cut. Sara shook her head. She surveyed the seen. Saw the two older kids Theo and Adam standing nearby grinning. She wasn't as skilled in detective work as her father, but you don't grow up around The Justice Society and not learn a thing or two. Clearly Bobby hadn't tripped.

Billy was never really a popular kid. He was small for his age. And a nerd too. But he was her best friend. He had saved her life. Sara didn't remember the accident. But she remembered the six months in the hospital. The almost year of physical and occupational therapy that followed. And most of all, she remembered what Billy did.

Her class was told about what happened. That she was in the hospital and may not be coming back. The school decided it was best to bring in the grief councilor and ready the kids. Billy had gone home and begged his mother to bring him to the hospital. He was determined to help her. Turned out, they shared a rare genetic marker. He was the only person that was a match. His kidney saved her life. And he was there every weekend to visit. Sara may have met a lot of heroes in her life, but Billy was the first person she would always think of when she thought of that word.

Sara felt her blood pressure rising. She clenched her fists and began moving toward the two boys...

"That's okay Billy. We can fix that. Let me help you up." Diggle had crossed the room and was picking Billy out of the glass. He just caught Sara out of the corner of his eye.

THWAP! THUP! Sara had reached the boys. Before they knew what was happening they were already on the ground. Her left hand had shot out and chopped Theo directly on his adam's apple. Meanwhile her right foot had shot up into Adam's crotch. "You jerks! You threw him into the case! He didn't trip!" Sara was standing above the two boys. Her eyes glimmering with tears. "He could have gotten hurt really bad! Killed even!"

Diggle gently set Billy on his feet and swooped his daughter into his arms. "Enough. Sara. Stop. Go to my office NOW." Diggle was stern but spoke softly. Sara hated that tone. Why couldn't he yell like everyone else's dad?

Adam was just getting to his feet. "I am gonna tell the teacher when we get back to the bus! Your goin' to get expelled! My dad's a lawyer!"

John Diggle had to work hard to push down his anger. He turned and smiled at the boy. "Lets call him then. You know what, lets go ahead and call Captain Lance. I can give them a copy of the surveillance tapes. I am sure that they will get all the proof they need. Of course, then everyone gets to hear about how you two boys got put down by a 80lb girl. And I am sure there will be nothing on those tapes that show you had anything to do with Billy tripping into the case right?

The two boys glared at Diggle. "Um. Nevermind." Adam looked down a his feet.

"Right then. Billy, you okay?"

Billy nodded. Slightly red in the face. Then sighed as he realized that his camera had fallen to the floor and the LCD Screen was broken.

"It's cool. We can take care of that." Diggle put his hand on Billy's shoulder and leaned down. Softly he whispered, "Listen, maybe on Sunday you can come by with me and Sara. Maybe meet some of the team. You know, The Flash, he loves tacos. Maybe we can score some." Billy grinned and nodded sheepishly.

Sara spent the rest of the trip in her father's office. Curled up in her nesting chair in the corner and reading a book. She knew her Dad was upset. She knew she shouldn't have used the moves Aunt Thea taught her. But she was so mad.

"You did good. Next time, follow through with the chop. You pulled back." She turned and her jaw dropped as her father smiled. "I knew right away what happened. They deserved what they got. Honey, I love you. And I know how close you and Billy are. But you could have been hurt. No more fighting. I mean it. Your friends are loading back on the bus. I'll see you when you get home."

Sara nodded. "I was just so mad. I couldn't let them get away with it."

"Like mother like daughter. You remind me of her. Listen, head out. Pizza for dinner tonight?"

"Sure dad. I love you." Sara hugged her father and headed to the bus.

The trip had been fun for most of the kids. Two hours of hearing stories and seeing artifacts from all sorts of heroics. Sara was glad she got out of it though. She was just settling into the music pounding through her headphones when the bus screeched to a stop. The world went black when she smacked her head on the window as the bus spun out, twisted sideways and came to a stop in the middle of the highway.
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Old 11-19-2014, 08:35 PM   #7
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Suffer the children

The bus driver swerved as the man suddenly appeared in the middle of the highway. A highway that at this time of the morning saw little traffic.

The man strode toward the bus. The sun glinting off the blade of the hunting knife in his hand. It took him minutes to take out the teacher and the driver. The children screamed. Cried. Pleaded. He didn't care. After tossing the driver and the teacher's bodies to the road he calmly boarded the bus once more.

"Right. So, I am now in charge. Any of you that wish to die like they did... keep screaming and fussing. Sit down. Shut up. Your about to make me very rich."

With that he man reached under the dash and cut loose te bus's transponder and tossed it onto the road beside the bodies. He then sits and calmly drives away.

TWO HOURS LATER:

John Diggle was at the middle of a storm of calls. The bus never made it back to the school. Two school officials are dead. And all the children are missing. John was struggling to keep calm. Whoever this was, they had his daughter. Did they realize? Was this to do with his work? Past or present? Or was he over-thinking. Maybe this was nothing to do with his work. But now it did. He took out his other phone, the one he only used for business. He tapped the button to call the office.

In seconds his call went out to any member of the team that had their phones handy. He left a message on the line. "We have a bus missing. Two dead school officials. Sara is with them. I'm moving on this. Meet me at the scene."

John drove quickly to the nearest drop spot. He needed his gear.

John never had dressed this quickly. He secured his gear, turned on the bike and pulled out. The Guardian was on call.

It took John less than five minutes to get to the scene. He wasn't surprised to find Barry there.

"What do you have?"

"Not much. The transponder was cut out. Tossed. This was planned well. No idea where the guy came from. No cars anywhere nearby, nowhere to hide. He must have literally been just standing here. Or we have a crew. But all the cuts are indicative of the same offender. Same knife. Angles fit the same body type. Found the bus a few exits up. No sign of the kids. My guess, he switched to a less conspicuous ride. Listen, your too close. Back off. Let me and the others run this."

"You know I can't do that. But for their sake, they better hope you find him before I do. Not sure there will be much left of the sick bastard. I talked to Lance. They took down a child smuggling ring in Gotham a couple months ago. I sent a message to our friend, he said that if it is the same group, we have 12 hours. After that the kids will be on the way over seas. That means we need all hands on deck. When they took the Gotham group down every man was dead in less than an hour. Some type of suicide pill. Nothing showed up on the tox screens though. Who the hell has that type of loyalty in the crime world?"

Barry shakes his head. "Not sure. But like you said, we need to move." A wiff of air replaces Barry as he speeds off, making a circuit of the nearby area for suspicious vehicles. "Got nothing in a 5 mile radius. Going to spread out. Keep me posted."

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Old 11-19-2014, 11:31 PM   #8
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John Denvers

He was sitting next to a gargoyle, looking out over the city, there was a bustling which he just did not like. He preferred more natural settings, as sniper he gre accustomed to the feel and move of nature, now it felt like he had been cut off from that life. Even the parks inside of the city didn't do much to alleviate that feeling. The symbiote on the other hand didn't seem to care where it was, or at least it never gave any indication...

Phone

"What?"

Then he heard the phone ring. THE phone, there was message, he listened to Diggle, he sounded strange, there was something that John couldn't pin down.

"Suit up."

With an almost gleeful movement the symbiote erupted from under his jacket, the clothes he had been wearing turning into an ink-black suit with silvery web-designs on it, covering the jacket and seemingly replaced it as the feeling of wearing it disappeared. The symbiote once mentioned that it had a place to store things, but after the lab had messed around with its mind, it had no idea what it was, only how to use it. John's face was the last to cover up with the suit, he jumped from the building, he waited for the speed of his fall to pick up enough, then leveled his arm at the nearest building, a black web-like strand shot from the back of his hand and attached itself to the building, using the momentum, he swung towards the building, firing another strand from his other hand.

Soon enough he arrived at the scene, finding the Guardian there. He landed a few feet from the site and looked around.

Deserted. Good point to attack

The symbiote knew what John knew so there was no need to answer, they both shared the same thought. He hunkered down to inspect the transponder, "Sharp. Cut not clipped. Person sure likes his knife." He looked up at Guardian, "I'll wait for the rest to show, no need to repeat yourself."
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Old 11-20-2014, 08:26 PM   #9
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Broadhead Revisited. (Felicity/Artemis)

Felicity Smoak always had one ear to the ground, figuratively speaking.

She was never, as Oliver had once grimly observed, more than five feet from her phone.

And right now she had the raw power of Queen Consolidated's server arrays at her fingertips.

As soon as police traffic-- filtered and tagged by a complex "living" algorithm of Felicity's own tireless design --alerted her to Captain Lance's report of the missing schoolbus, she pinged the vehicle's LoJack. Obviously, she knew this was a dead end as soon as the results materialized onto her leftmost screen, the transponder was almost exactly where the bus had been hijacked-- right near the dead bodies.

From there, she began pulling out stops. Checking for satellite overlook at the time of the incident and rolling on out to now-- she'd do some hijacking of her own if she had to, WayneTech, Halo-- even A.R.G.U.S., who had so many eyes in the sky that they lived up to their mythological namesake.

As those images began piling up on her rightmost screen, Felicity began another search closer to the ground-- any CCTV she could access, gas stations, webcams, Starling National, ATM machines.

In the corner of her awareness, she could detect the ball of ratcheting tension that was Artemis-- wanting to demand what was going on, wanting to demand someone to hit-- but Felicity didn't have answers for her, and Artemis could tell this by looking at Felicity as she hunched forward, fingers blurring, eyebrows scrunched.

The room was tense silence except for the whirring of hard drives and the machine-gun clatter of Felicity's fingers on the keys. A silence that grew ever more tense as Felicity came up empty-- and empty-- and empty--

--until--

--two hours later:

Felicity's aforementioned phone went off. She let it go to voicemail-- a subwindow then immediately opened, displaying an icon of Diggle in his Guardian gear, with his message converted from talk to text-- Felicity could digest it in a glance far quicker than sitting and listening to it, and this way she didn't have to stop working.

Artemis got the call too, but she grabbed her phone out of her pantsuit pocket and listened to the mass call the old-fashioned way.

"Thank fucking Christ," Artemis growled as she lowered the phone from her ear, and then glanced at Felicity. "Ma'am?"

Felicity nodded quickly, half-glanced at her. "Go. If I get attacked by supervillains while you're gone, I've got the office's Firewall Mode prepped. If that fails I can just do some old school Tae Bo at them, maybe they'll laugh hard enough I can run for it." She paused. "Be careful out there."

Grabbing her briefcase from where it rested beside her, Artemis arched an eyebrow at Felicity even as she half-strode half-sprinted to the office's concealed private elevator. "'Careful.' Yeah, I'll have to try that sometime, mix it up."

Artemis slid aside an old framed poster of a Robin Hood movie and pressed her thumb to a biometric scanner-- the wall slid open with an appropriate Glen Glenn Sound wssssh, but Artemis was aboard before it could open all the way.

She had her tie off and her suit jacket unbuttoned before the door could finish closing.

Felicity gazed for a worried moment at the wall, once more blank, at the empty room. "Tashiri kohech," she murmurmed, then adjusted her glasses and went back to sifting pngs of Star City with a digital sieve.

********

Artemis' bodyguard uniform was a navy blue pantsuit with a red tie-- perhaps intentionally evocative of the uniform she'd worn attending Gotham Academy for a couple of years-- though with trousers instead of a skirt, she'd hated that skirt. How she'd gotten, out of the blue, a scholarship from Bruce Wayne to the prestigious private school had been beyond her for quite awhile. She'd been a struggling, often truant student, the daughter of a thug and an ex-con.

Eventually, when she got to the point in her training that Ollie had revealed his dual identity to her, she'd decided that Oliver Jonas Queen must have called in a marker with his fellow one-percenter Bruce Anthony Thomas Wayne so as to keep an eye on her better during her off-hours.

She didn't know the half of it, of course. If she ever realized that she'd actually already met Bruce Wayne, that he'd been in her living room in cape and cowl staging an intervention alongside The Arrow and her mom, well, she might kick herself quite firmly.

For now, though, her awareness was limited to what was immediately before her. The high-speed elevator propelled her downwards, and even as it did so she yanked her blouse open, shouldered out of it, unbuckled her belt--

--snapped open the briefcase--

--this was what she really wore to work.

By the time the lift came to a stop in a secure sub-sub-basement garage beneath QC, Artemis strode out wearing that uniform, a midriff-baring number eschewing the hood of her mentor and his partner but embracing the "green arrow" palette. She had an "A"-shaped chest symbol that evoked an arrowhead, and a look that could kill.

Briskly grabbing a quiver and a longbow and a smaller folding back-up crossbow, Artemis threw a leg over her motorcycle, locked the longbow across the handlebars, and roared out into the daylight.

It was weird, gearing up in the day time, having to squint into the morning sun as the wind whipped her ponytail. The Arrow loved him some all-concealing shadows, and his mentoring her had mostly taken place under cover of darkness.

But crime was a 24/7 kinda business, and then so was crimefighting.

Especially if family was involved.

Big Dig was good people. And, in a weird certain kind of way that Artemis couldn't really process yet, he was family.

If someone was messing with his kid--

Someone was gonna have to stop her from leaving a whole mess of hats on the ground.

She gritted her teeth, leaned lower over the handlebars-- not unlike Felicity hunkering down over her keyboards --and drove harder.

Artemis arrived moments after Venom, rumbled up and nodded to The Guardian. That was it. Just a nod. That was all she needed to convey Chill, Big Dig. We got this.

She glanced askance at the man in the symbiote, however. She didn't judge anyone for having a liquid latex fetish, especially if they were gunning for the side of good, but wearing a paper-trained oil-slick on your body wasn't her idea of a good time. Leaving aside his arachnid motif-- Artemis had fought The Black Spider once with Ollie and she still wasn't entirely convinced that Venom wasn't related to that Assassin --those teeth were creepy as Hell.

Nevertheless, she nodded to him, too. A bit more stiffly. Not so much with the solidarity, there, with the sympathy, just-- 'Sup? --and that was all.

She figured if there was sitreps to sit through, they'd start happening anytime now-- it was in people's best interests to tell her who to pincushion, after all, so if someone knew, she figured they'd volunteer it without her having to ask.
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Old 11-20-2014, 09:01 PM   #10
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:::Star City 6 years ago:::

Lyla was driving faster than she liked with the Sara on board. She had gotten the call twenty minutes ago. The Keystone Facility just went dark. Waller was overseas. Things were bad. She had to get to the safe house. If someone was making a move on ARGUS, things could be real bad. She had been trying John since the call came. No answer.

:::Keystone Facility:::

"Ok. Listen, this is your one chance. We have 10 minutes tops before the facility is back up and locked down. 'Dozer, take lead. Break on through. Get to the supplies room. Get Bolt his gear. He's our way out. Bolt, your with him. Vix, your our eyes and ears."

The team fans out. Moving quickly. Without the death devices the soldiers guarding Squad Two had no chance.

Unfortunately, Bolt had an pther motives. He had no interest in saving anyone. He wanted revenge.

:::Star City:::

Lyla didn't see this coming. Suddenly he was just there. In the car. A sociopath with an ax to grind.

"Hello Lyla. Remember me?"

"Larry... what is this? How....?"

"New guy. Apparently he can control machines. Turned off the devices, disassembled them on the molecular level. You bastards have tortured us, held us, treated us like tools. Now get to use you as my toy. Don't worry Lyla, when I am done with you, I have plans for girl too. Your going to watch what you love taken away, just like Waller did to me."

"Larry, you don't need to do this. You know I have always tried to work for you guys not like Waller."

"You are a liar! You have helped that bitch do what she did. You are just as guilty as her. And since I can't find her, I will have to settle for you. For now."

Lyla saw one chance. She had to take him down. Sara was at risk. She couldn't let that happen. She had one chance. A small EMP device in the steering wheel that would render his suit useless. For 10 seconds. But it would give her the window to take a shot.

The car hit the dividing wall at 75 miles an hour. He was killed on impact. Lyla wasn't so lucky. Sara survived. Severe internal damage, a broken pelvis and 3 broken ribs. Lots of scratches, cuts, bruises and whiplash, but otherwise she was fine. Lyla sustained severe brain damage. She's been in a coma ever since.

:::STAR CITY GENERAL HOSPITAL 1 WEEK AFTER THE ACCIDENT:::

"Mr. Diggle. I am trying to explain, without a new kidney, Sara will not survive. We have tried to match her DNA, however she has a rare genetic marker that is making it nearly impossible. If a donor is not found, there is an option, and I only bring this up because I am aware of your wife's employment. There is a lab. CADMUS. They are doing an experimental organ growth trial. I am confident with your and your wife's history we can get her admitted."

"Doc. Let me be clear. You will save my little girl. She is not going to be some lab rat. I have the sort of things that projects like this do. Never ends well for the people. Save her."

"Excuse me. Mr. Diggle, Doctor, there is a family here. They want to meet with the two of you. Apparently they want to be tested for a match."

:::Star City General Hospital. 3 Days later. Children's Intensive Care Ward:::

"Billy. You are a brave young man to do this. I heard your a fan of mine. I wanted to thank you. Today, you are the hero." Oliver Queen, or The Arrow, sits on the edge of the young boys bed. "You are giving a part of yourself to this little girl. That gift, it is going to save her life."

"I can't believe your here! I have all these stories. About you, about The Flash. About all sorts of heroes. When I grow up, I want to be a hero."

"No need to wait. You are already a hero. Listen, I left a gift in your room back home. A thank you. Doing what I do, helping the city, stopping bad men. That's only one way you can be a hero Billy. Tomorrow you are going to save a life. That makes you as much a hero as me or any of the others that you have stories about. Billy. you are my hero. Never forget that."

Oliver patted the young boy on the head and disappeared back into the darkened hall. Tears glistening in his eyes. This had to work.

:::Star City Hospital two weeks later:::

"It's amazing John, Mrs. Hunkel, I can't believe how well this has all gone. Sara and Billy are both making a great recovery. And the companionship is good for both of them. Sara has a long road to recovery and she will need all the support she can get." The doctor flips through his notes.

"Mrs. Hunkel, I can't thank you enough for letting Billy do this."

"John. I have taken many children in over the years. Billy. He's special. He has an old soul. He knows how to do right. He saw your little girl in need, and I couldn't have denied him the chance to help.".

"It's not everyday a young man is willing to do this. I owe you both. A debt that I can never truly repay."

:::Underneath Star City. Now.:::

A lot of the kids were crying. Or otherwise in shock. But Sara and Billy were just huddled quietly. Sara and Billy had been talked to many times by her father. About what to do if they were every kidnapped. He understood the danger his very public life put Sara in.

"Billy, we have to try to get a message to my dad. To someone." Sara fumbled with the ties that bound her hands and ankles together. [COLOR="(Magenta)"]"I can't get out. Billy. Are you wearing your necklace?" [/color]

Billy smiled as he nodded. "Yeah, you know I don't take it off. But it's under my sweatshirt. And not like I can get to it with my hands like this."

Sara nodded. "Maybe... if you scoot over maybe I can use my teeth. If I can pull the chain out, maybe we can use the arrowhead to cut these ties. I can distract him and you can get away. Find help."

"Sara, I am not going anywhere without you. Even if you did get the necklace out, he's going to notice you gnawing on my neck like a zombie. Then if he finds the necklace he will just take it."


"Ok. Maybe we can get him to undo you to go the bathroom? Sneak the necklace off and get it in your pocket? Then I can get it and cut us loose. Billy, we have to try something. You saw what he did back on the bus. I doubt he is going to let us go. We need to do something."


"I know. I... I guess I am just scared."


"Billy, do you know what my dad told me about fear? He said fear is the fuel that heroes run on. He said that whenever he was on a mission in the army, he was still afraid, but he would use that fear. Use it to push him. Keep him moving and keep him alert. Billy, we are both scared. Everyone is. Even those bullies are over there crying their eyes out. But if anyone can do this it's us. Just try. Believe in yourself Billy."


"Okay. Fine." Billy takes a deep breath. His hands are shaking as he calls to the kidnapper. "UM... 'scuse me.... Killer guy, I... I uh... I need to you know, go to the bathroom. Please?"

The man tilts his head slightly. "Piss yer pants kid. Not my problem."

"It... a... it isn't that one sir. Please? Just two minutes? I really need to go. What am I gonna do? I am 85lbs, and built like a scarecrow. Your a grown man with a knife and more muscles than I will ever have. Not like I am much of a match for you."


The man chuckles as he walks over. "Fine. C'mere." He grabs Billy and unceremoniously yanks him to his feet. He drags him behind a column in the room. A room that appears to have been part of an old underground subway station. He grabs an old bucket and slides it up against the column. "Go ahead," He says as he cuts the bonds and steps back.

Billy hesitates. "Guess privacy is out of the question huh?" Billy shakes his head as the killer just stares. "Fine." Billy slides the bucket away from the column a bit and steps in front of it. He gingerly squats on the buck trying to be as modest as he can. The killer seemingly uncaring. While he makes a show of his attempt to use the bucket he sneaks one of his too small for his age hands under his sweatshirt and pulls the chain, snapping it and tucking the green arrowhead into his pocket as he makes a show of grabbing a had full of old newspaper and cleans up. "Um... Thanks. I guess."

Billy is quickly retied and set back beside Sara. He nods slightly to indicate he managed to get the arrowhead.

Billy and Sara work quickly but carefully. Trying to not draw attention. The arrowhead is dulled slightly so that it can be worn safely, but the edge is still enough to work through the zip ties.

There is a loud bang in the back of the boarded up tunnel. Behind the boards. The Killer quickly moves to the tracks and ducks behind a pile of debris. A bum moves the boards and stumbles into the room.

Sara and Billy nod. Seeing this is their only chance.

As the old scraggly white haired man staggers in, they move away. The Killer is quick. But thorough. They have just enough time to duck into the now open tunnel. It's dark, but they feel their way along the walls. Holding fast to one another.

"CRAP!" Billy whispers. "I dropped the arrowhead back there. I guess that I must have been in such a hurry when we got free, I just lost it."

"Its ok. Not like we have a bow and a arrow shaft to use it. We just need to keep moving."


Coming from the main chamber they hear a scream of pure rage. They start to run through the dark, unsure if the sociopath with the knife is coming or not.

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Old 11-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #11
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Oliver had gotten the call from Diggle. He thought back to when his crusade began. He had initially mistrusted John. And now, he was family. Oliver had once accepted John's choice to walk away. Sara had just been born. Maybe he should have made John stay away. Made him stay out of the line of danger. Oliver couldn't help but feel that this was partially his fault. Sara and her class mates are in danger. Oliver had failed before. But not this time. Not when Sara was in the line of fire.

He had once let down her namesake. He wasn't there when she needed him. He would not allow that to happen again. Oliver grabbed his bow and donned the mask just as he heard the gust of air behind him. The Scarlet Speedster came to a dead stop leaning on his bow rack.

"On my way."

"Yeah. I figured. Listen. We both know how bad it is when people we care about get involved. Listen, you need to keep your cool. Whatever happens.... if it is bad... I... I worry about John."

[COLOR="rgb(DarkGreen)"]"He will be fine. I'll keep an eye on him. Barry, listen... if it is bad... Get Artemis out of there. I know Felicity would have sent her by now. If this is bad, I don't want her to see it."

"You got it. But really. Keep an eye on John. If whoever this is has hurt those kids, I don't know if John will hold back. Not even sure he should."

Barry Allen disappears in a streak of red, Ollie roaring after him on his bike.

:::Back on the Highway:::

John looks around at the team. He nods as Barry returns. And Ollie a few minutes behind.

"I don't have much to go on. Lance thinks it may be linked to a kid slave ring that was chased out of Gotham. No arrests. When they got to the building everyone was dead. Heart attacks, no sign of a known chemical agent. Whoever is running this is good at covering their tracks. So we need to be on point. I reached out to our friends in Gotham but haven't had word back."

"Not likely to either. Sorry I'm late." Ray Palmer materializes beside The Green Arrow. "Took a trip. He's away. Apparently he had to take care of something out of town. Not like him to leave the city. Must be a big deal. We got this." Palmer nods as he begins scanning the area with a device on his wrist. "Interesting... Can't be. Doesn't make sense." Palmer looks to The Green Arrow.

"Want to share what doesn't make sense with the class Professor?"

"I scanned the area with a multiwave radiation detection mechanism. Picks up all sorts of interesting stuff. The signature I picked up... it matches my original design for the belt. Problem is, it was unstable. Never got to the design phase. I trashed the design and reworked it. This signature... it shouldn't exist."

"If someone had a belt like yours, they could have been here waiting in plain sight. Stop the bus. Take out adults. Kids are too scared to fight back. This means we are dealing with a greater threat than we realized. Someone with powers. Everyone needs to be on guard." Oliver taps his ear piece as he surveys the group. [COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]"Felicity. I need you to back track Ray's old files. Find anyone that accessed them since Ray went public."[/color]

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Old 11-22-2014, 11:55 AM   #12
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Martian Manhunter

High above Earth he floated.

Motionless, except for the occasional furling of his cape as it was tugged by unseen eddies of cosmic tide.

His arms were folded across his chest. His eyes were closed.

Sun lit his green tinted face as the great yellow star folded its embrace across the face of the planet below.

Ice crystals that had formed across his brow dissipated instantly to steam as Sol warmed them.

Still, J'onn J'onzz did not move. For deep within his mind he was connected; linked to life below through a telepathic bond few could understand.

Here, in this place, in this perch high above a tiny world, Martian Manhunter waited. And, he watched. And, he listened.

His mind drifted across the southern most polar region of Antarctica, feeling its way through a great chasm and crevasse where it settled for a moment on the ancient Martian outpost of Z'onn Z'orr. There, an AI construct touched his mind for a brief instant and assured him all was well.

He traveled again, this time brushing across the jungle of the Amazon which itself teemed with a thousand variations of life. He moved again touching the populace of a thousand cities at once until he settled on minds of those he knew well.

His friends.

His family.

And he sensed urgency. He sensed apprehension.

He sensed he was needed.

J'onn's eyes opened and their red glow flashed for a heartbeat until, like a great thunderbolt hurled by Zeus, he dropped from his orbital solitude to descend to the planet below.

It was with great speed and the aid of invisibility that Martian Manhunter traversed the towers of the city. He passed through solid brick and mortar to materialize among those he called his own.

"Status?" he requested as he faded into view beside Oliver Queen.
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Old 11-23-2014, 10:09 PM   #13
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Baring Bodkins, Bearing Fardels. (Artemis/Felicity)

John looks around at the team. He nods as Barry returns. And Ollie a few minutes behind.

Artemis gave The Flash a chin-up nod.

She didn't trust a lot of people.

But this guy who could leave her arrows in the dust, him she trusted.

...and then there was Ollie. The Arrow.

Artemis could rarely if ever be described as showing deference. But when Ollie revved up on his own motorcycle, Artemis stood a little taller, a little more at attention, shoulders a little squarer.

She didn't drop what she was doing and go stand like two yards behind him on his left, in his exact posture, she wasn't no goddamn Robin or whatever. But her stance shifted-- she got more professional when he was around.

Even if it was daylight out. (That's still so weird.)

Whoa, whoops, Guardian's talking--

"I don't have much to go on. Lance thinks it may be linked to a kid slave ring that was chased out of Gotham. No arrests. When they got to the building everyone was dead. Heart attacks, no sign of a known chemical agent. Whoever is running this is good at covering their tracks. So we need to be on point. I reached out to our friends in Gotham but haven't had word back."

"Not likely to either. Sorry I'm late." Ray Palmer materializes beside The Green Arrow. "Took a trip. He's away. Apparently he had to take care of something out of town. Not like him to leave the city. Must be a big deal. We got this." Palmer nods as he begins scanning the area with a device on his wrist. "Interesting... Can't be. Doesn't make sense." Palmer looks to The Green Arrow.

"Want to share what doesn't make sense with the class Professor?"

"I scanned the area with a multiwave radiation detection mechanism. Picks up all sorts of interesting stuff. The signature I picked up... it matches my original design for the belt. Problem is, it was unstable. Never got to the design phase. I trashed the design and reworked it. This signature... it shouldn't exist."


It was an age-old story. Secret super-scientific guy makes formidable new technology, locks it in a vault. Thuggish supervillain cracks the vault, uses technology as his new gimmick. More than half the baddies in The Flash's Rogues Gallery could claim that origin story, or at least it seemed that way sometimes.

Though-- yeah-- the fact that the technology never actually got made was a new twist.

"If someone had a belt like yours, they could have been here waiting in plain sight. Stop the bus. Take out adults. Kids are too scared to fight back. This means we are dealing with a greater threat than we realized. Someone with powers. Everyone needs to be on guard." Oliver taps his ear piece as he surveys the group. "Felicity. I need you to back track Ray's old files. Find anyone that accessed them since Ray went public."

********

Felicity's fingers continued to fly over her keys.

"'Good morning, sweetie,'" she replied, acting out his side of a normal conversation with good-natured sarcasm, even attempting to mimic his gruff tones. "'How was breakfast?'"

"Decaf coffee, half a cronut, and companionable silence with myself," Felicity answered with similarly good-natured mock-brightness. "But my driver is friendly and the car's wi-fi didn't crap out."

Wincing, then, Felicity hesitated: "Oh, uh, was that over an open channel? Tell me that wasn't an open channel-- yeah, I've got some macros crawling Ray's archives as we speak, I'll see if I can lift any digital fingerprints off of the access logs."

She bit her lip, and frowned. "But here-- Ollie-- that arrowhead necklace you gave Billy-- the GPS chip you put in it so you could always be a guardian angel for the kid who helped Sara-- I tried pinging it right after I pinged the bus transponder and it came up all-- weird. Scattershot. Like it was showing up in multiple coordinates-- St. Roch, Chicago, Fawcett, Smallville, Gotham, Kandhaq, Egypt, Mount Olympus-- can't tell if it's a software or a hardware glitch--"

Felicity stopped in the middle of her fragmented sentence. "--oh."

An indicator in one of her satellite images was bleating and flashing eagerly at her. "No, wait, it cleared up. Just as suddenly as it-- Ollie, I have coordinates-- he's in The Glades!"

********

He passed through solid brick and mortar to materialize among those he called his own.

"Status?" he requested as he faded into view beside Oliver Queen.


Artemis took a half-step back as J'onn faded into reality, and cursed herself for being so, well, green.

Yeahhhh-- Artemis was a little squicked by the Venom guy's choice of uniform?

And she had managed not to flinch when The Atom did his reappearing act.

But this Martian Manhunter guy was in another class entirely. The heaviest of the heavyweights-- rumor was that he could even hold a candle to The Girl of Steel if no-one held a candle to him.

If Double-J-Double-M was on the scene, this was as good as gift-wrapped.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:29 PM   #14
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"Our Solemn Hour," by Within Temptation. (Rose)

It was the sirens that stuck in her memory most of all.

Ten years ago-- she'd been thirteen, nearly fourteen--

--and they were huddled in emergency fallout shelters as air-raid sirens sounded outside.

It wasn't an air-raid.

The explosions weren't raining from the sky.

It was just one explosion. And it was next door in Central City.

"Flashpoint," everyone called it these days, as if that encapsulated the terror of it all.

Rose and Robby had been clinging to each other in the dark and the panic-- they'd evacuated whole schools-- whole neighborhoods-- there weren't a lot of fallout shelters left over from The Cold War, and they'd started building more of them after the first incident with the accelerators, but that had been less than a year previously and--

--it was crowded, and people were trapped out there, and Rose had shaken like a leaf as Robby trembled in her arms. She had tried to remember prayers. Words of hope. Petitions to-- to The Good in The Universe.

But all she could remember was her Welsh mother's stories passed down from her gran about The Cardiff Blitz, about having to keep lights out lest fiery concussive death fall down on them out of the darkness.

And she had been so afraid.

So afraid.

Oddly, she hadn't been afraid for her life-- that hadn't registered as strange at the time, but sort of in retrospect. She had been afraid for her people-- her mum-- had mum gotten to a shelter? --her species-- oh God, we're all going to die in fire before we get our crap together and save ourselves--

But although Central City had gone up like a nuke-- it hadn't taken Keystone down with it. Hadn't destroyed the ecosystem for miles around for centuries to come. Part of that had been to do with the efforts of people on the ground, heroes whose names Rose still didn't all know.

But part of that had also been to do with a hero called Firestorm-- a young man who could rearrange matter at the subatomic level-- transmute substances into other substances. He'd been out there, pushing his power to the limit-- scrubbing as much fallout as he could, converting irradiated matter to harmless forms. A one-man Philosopher's Stone.

Rose had always wanted to hug that man. She wondered where he'd gotten to, now.

The apartment building where Rose and Robby lived together-- nothing special, just a five-story walk-up --was just across the river from Central City, and Rose sat on the roof of that building, hugging her knees in the mid-morning light, her red red hair wafting in the wind. She gazed out at Keystone's wounded twin sister, and wondered if she'd be as brave as all that if she was faced with a thermonuclear event.

If she could be as brave as those heroes.

She strongly suspected that she couldn't be, come to think of it.

She looked down at the watch that adorned her wrist, felt the weight of the phone in her hooded sweatshirt's marsupial pocket.

There was no way she was as brave as those heroes. As sacrificing as Firestorm. As able to make the tough life-or-death decisions like the people who'd worked on the ground to direct and contain the blast.

But she would do her best.

This ridiculous burden-- these great powersets and their great responsibility.

What else could she do but her best?

"Hey!" a woman shrieked, down below nearby somewhere.

"HEY SOMEONE STOP HIM HE'S GOT MY PURSE!"

The watch came to life like it had been just startled awake, the green light bathing Rose's pale face as that "H"-like emblem materialized at the heart of the dial.

All Rose had to do was touch that symbol and she'd become something other-- someone other-- someher other. All she had to do was nudge it. A swipe of a thumb-tip.

But there were times that required dramatic display-- and this was one of them.

"It's Hero time," she breathed, and slapped her palm down on that watch-face hard.

That green light enveloped her--

--SWOOOSH--

--The Multiverse spun like a Roulette wheel--

--and she became--
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Old 11-24-2014, 02:50 AM   #15
Lunaramblings
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Felicity's fingers continued to fly over her keys.

"'Good morning, sweetie,'" she replied, acting out his side of a normal conversation with good-natured sarcasm, even attempting to mimic his gruff tones. "'How was breakfast?'"

"Decaf coffee, half a cronut, and companionable silence with myself," Felicity answered with similarly good-natured mock-brightness. "But my driver is friendly and the car's wi-fi didn't crap out."

Wincing, then, Felicity hesitated: "Oh, uh, was that over an open channel? Tell me that wasn't an open channel-- yeah, I've got some macros crawling Ray's archives as we speak, I'll see if I can lift any digital fingerprints off of the access logs."

"No not an open channel. At least not your side of this.

She bit her lip, and frowned. "But here-- Ollie-- that arrowhead necklace you gave Billy-- the GPS chip you put in it so you could always be a guardian angel for the kid who helped Sara-- I tried pinging it right after I pinged the bus transponder and it came up all-- weird. Scattershot. Like it was showing up in multiple coordinates-- St. Roch, Chicago, Fawcett, Smallville, Gotham, Kandhaq, Egypt, Mount Olympus-- can't tell if it's a software or a hardware glitch--"

Felicity stopped in the middle of her fragmented sentence. "--oh."

[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]"I know that tone."[/color]

An indicator in one of her satellite images was bleating and flashing eagerly at her. "No, wait, it cleared up. Just as suddenly as it-- Ollie, I have coordinates-- he's in The Glades!"

[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]"Opening the channel. Give us what you have."[/color]

********

He passed through solid brick and mortar to materialize among those he called his own.

"Status?" he requested as he faded into view beside Oliver Queen.


[COLOR="rgb(0, 100, 0)"]Just in time J'onn. Sara and her class have been taken. Apparent super powered person involved. Just about to get the coordinates."[/color]

Artemis took a half-step back as J'onn faded into reality, and cursed herself for being so, well, green.

:: Oliver suppresses a grin at Artemis' response. Good to know something still get through. Oliver takes a fraction of a second to remember how long it took him o get used to J'onn and his manner of showing up.::
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:02 PM   #16
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John Denvers

He stayed in his crouched position as the rest of the group showed up, he listened...he waited. The time would come, they would be given their tasks or task to do. So there was children involved, slavery ring with suicide preferred above talking...

Frail

'Yes we are'

Not you. Them. They have no inner-strength to decide it is wrong. They prefer the coward's way. A true warrior dies fighting, even when he or she is tied up and busy falling from a great height, the true warrior will fight to get even the faintest glimmer of hope. Suicide is weak.

'The Samurai committed suicide if their honor became tainted.'

He could practically feel the symbiote scoff,

Their honor was questionable to begin with...

The symbiote paused, John could feel it prepare for danger, he could feel the vague sense that something was about to happen...and then the Martian stepped into view. John would have started if the suit's unique senses haven't picked up the slight disturbance. More data! Soon it would be time to get going, to get the job done, John could feel the adrenaline slowly pumping, there was no surge, just a steady release, so much better for the symbiote to absorb it and deliver it to him in ten-fold when he needed it.
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Old 11-24-2014, 09:59 PM   #17
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Martian Manhunter looked around the room quickly, noting the others present.

"Taken?"

J'onn J'onzz folded his arms across his chest. "Taken is something one does to the last cookie," he observed. "Not to...children."

Red eyes flashed and their glow lingered.

Martian Manhunter was normally slow to anger. His countenance was usually calculating. Precise. Like a chess master his moves were strategic, his logic without flaw.

"Taken," he repeated softly, his baritone voice low and smooth like red sand shifting across a dune. "Such action does not bode well for whomever this super-powered individual may be," he noted.

Children were especially dear to Martian Manhunter. It was always so ever since he himself lost his own to the psychic plague of fire that consumed his entire civilization.

J'onn J'onzz could not himself bleed. But, he had no qualms about causing others to do so for the sake of a child.

He stood quietly for a moment, giving pause to recognize each who stood with him. He had seen Artemis take a half-step back when he materialized in the room. He unfolded his arms and took from a pocket on the back of his uniform a small, snack-pack of Oreos. With silence and solemn greeting he opened the package and offered to her a cookie.
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Old 11-25-2014, 09:33 PM   #18
ChasNicollette
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Artemis, Phobos, & Deimos: Bad Moons Rising. (Artemis)

Mean J'onn Green had spoken.

Yeah, these guys were screwed six ways from Sunday. Artemis might not even have to nock an arrow for this caper, she could just sit back and watch and maybe not even mind so much.

And then he looked at her with those red pools he called eyes--

--actually looked at her--

--those eyes that could count molecules and see through stone and see the flag fly on The Moon--

--and he offered her an Oreo.

She hesitated. Her eyes went way wide in their holes in her mask.

And with ginger, nimble fingers, she plucked a cookie from the offered package-- and she nodded back to him, as solemn a greeting as she could manage in reply.

"Thanks."

And took a bite.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:00 PM   #19
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Felicitations. (Felicity)

"Opening the channel. Give us what you have."

Oh, good, public speaking.

Be cool, Felicity, treat it like a board meeting.

Right, like you're
so good at those...


She cleared her throat, and launched in, filling in the rest of the team:

"Based on signal telemetry and strength, it looks like they're underground. I can't correlate with digital schematics of the city's crawlspaces, but I've found a historical footnote that seems to match up, something by an old treasure-hunter/conspiracy-theorist-- a hundred years ago, when they were first building subway tunnels, they meant the train system to be private for the rich and powerful."

She smiled faintly. "The original one-percenters. Maybe some of them would have been on The Arrow's list, back in the day."

Back to the sitrep: "But shifting economic tides led to the original rise of The Glades, which meant that the trains would become mass-transit for the less-fortunate, and the moneybags scrapped their idea."

"--hold on-- I'm cross-referencing--"

"--there's a log from repair crews back from The Undertaking's earthquake damage, they sent survey teams in to check it out, looks like they had to cut the line off from the rest of the tunnels so as to prevent underground water damage from the river above, sinkholes, that sort of thing."

"I'm sending specific coordinates and best-guess depth indicators to your smartphones. Go bring our babies home."
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Old 11-26-2014, 12:39 AM   #20
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"Satellite," by Rise Against. (Rose)

--The Koan.

A sense of cool detachment settled over her-- detachment and determination-- she would do what needed to be done.

She was taller, slender-- built like a dancer, a warrior-- a martial artist, the real thing.

She stood up straight, tugged on the collar of her coat and tilted her neck so that it popped, then adjusted the brim of her fedora.

"...hurm."

And she leaped from the edge of the rooftop, arms spread, coat billowing behind her. She'd decide how to land on the way down.

********

There were some cities-- Gotham, New York, darker parts of Metropolis-- where people didn't even bother to cry for help when they were mugged anymore.

But Keystone-Central was different. Any time of day or night, there could be a faster-than-sound guardian angel zipping past, so a cry for help could well go heeded.

And thus this woman had bellowed for assistance as the hulking brute pelted off with her handbag. And she watched, heart in her throat, hobbling on a broken high-heel, unable to give chase after him, as he got further and further away down an alley--

--this time no red streak would stop her mugger, she realized, and her heart sank.

But then a woman in a hat and mask was standing beside her-- leveling a grappling gun-- harrumphing-- and firing.

The cable speared out, snagged the handbag's strap-- the strap snapped-- the cable retracted-- the handbag thudded into the waiting, gloved hand. The mugger swore luridly.

The Koan gave the handbag back to the woman-- who stared in startlement. "Th-- th-- thank you."

Shrugging, The Koan simply shoved the grappling gun into the inside pocket of her coat-- a thing which should never have been able to fit into a pocket, but away it went. She replied, simply: "'My actions are my only true belongings.'"

The woman hadn't the slightest clue what to make of that-- had this masked vigilantess just dissed her for having material possessions? Had-- had she just-- sort of sideways-- said "service is its own reward?" What the Hell?

The Koan, however, was no longer paying attention to the woman.

The mugger had stopped, and had turned.

He was a big guy, long reddish hair, scruffy-jawed, as if he'd looked long and hard at Remy "Gambit" LeBeau and decided he needed that look for himself. He wore a serape, which The Koan denoted as an additional interesting fashion choice. Ostensibly, the billows of the cape would conceal weapons from view, but The Koan was an observant creature, and she saw ripples and shapes and she extrapolated--

--the mugger whipped his serape aside, like Clint Eastwood revealing a makeshift bulletproof vest in an old Western, except instead of a metal sheet, beneath the mugger had--

--cybernetic limbs?

They were folding out, still, coming to readiness. He had two well-muscled human arms, standard bipedal symmetry, but in addition, folding out of a gleaming, circuitry-lined vest, there was a giant metal fist at the end of a giant metal arm, a swiveling cannon of some kind, and a bladed pincer.

The woman whose purse had been snatched decided to take this opportunity to run for her life.

The Koan opined: "High-end for a purse-snatcher."

"Must be hard to make ends meet."


The cyborg mugger snorted. "Chump change is for chumps," he growled, in a voice that attempted to be the supervillain equivalent of Harvey Bullock. "Identity theft is still big business. I feed my tech-support guy rubes to fleece, he keeps me-- heh-- heavily armed."

Tilting her head to one side, The Koan noted: "Confession good for soul."

"Not what you're doing."

"Nope," the cyborg replied, as that cannon aimed and whined to life. "More in th' way o' interductions. Name's Sidearm."

Bluish-purple power punched a hole in the pavement where The Koan had been standing, but The Koan was already rolling into a crouch ten feet away, hands coming out of her coat pockets--

--one hand held a gun, a Colt 1911 9mm.

--the other hand held an aerosol spray can.

Spray-cans were surprisingly useful. You could mist a laser-tripwire, pair it with a lighter for a makeshift flamethower-- or--

--throw it end-over-end--

--it thudded into the barrel of the pivoting cannon just as it whined up to wind up for another shot--

--the cannon fired and the can exploded and violet-blue violent fire roared and echoed off of the walls of the alley.

Human arms and big metal arm flung over his face protectively, Sidearm staggered under the force of the explosion, shards of his ruined energy-weapon raining down around him.

The Koan did not hesitate-- she sprinted at him, feet pounding, arms pumping--

--Sidearm recovered swiftly, squared his shoulders, hauled off with his massive metal fist in a straight haymaker that could have reduced an engine block to an accordion--

--The Koan jumped straight up, landed on the back of the fist at the extent of its swing, and-- gun twirling in her hand-- she pistol-whipped him across the side of his head.

Again crying out, again staggering, Sidearm lurched backwards, and The Koan bounded away from him, bounded off of her perch on the back of his huge robot hand, landing in a crouch before straightening in front of him.

"Goddamn costumed do-gooders," Sidearm rumbled, shaking his head to clear it. "Town is infested with 'em. I ain't goin' back t' jail--"

The Koan's faceless face shifted in such a way that suggested she had jutted her jaw pensively.

"'When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That's the message he is sending.'"

The Koan tugged down on the brim of her hat, and raised a clenched fist and a gun still held in pistol-whip position. "Here. Let me help you."

"Hrrrrrahhhh!" Sidearm snarled, hurling another massive punch at The Koan, but The Koan sort of drifted and spun out of the way-- Bagua-- and when that bladed pincer arm came at her she was ready and waiting--

--caught one of the dual blades in the trigger-guard of her Colt and hauled it aside with a grunt of effort and, stepping into the circle of Sidearm's multiple limbs, broke his scraggly-chin in three places with a single punch of her own.

Sidearm stood woozily for a moment, only kept up by the extra balance afforded by his additional extremities, and then toppled.

The Koan flexed her punching hand.

"Sidearm."

"Glass jaw."

"Figures."


Twirling the Colt to a firing position, she then leveled her gun at his face in case he awoke in a hurry.

There were sirens in the distance. They might take a few minutes to get here.

But she could wait.

She would do what needed to be done.

She was The Koan.
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Old 11-26-2014, 01:31 AM   #21
Lachiyous
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Impulse

[Between the Here and the Now]

This mission will find you with one simple objective, Bart: The goblin king has kidnapped your little baby brother. And taken him to his magical Labyrinth. Go there and rescue him.

3...
2...
1...

GO.


GameOnGameOnGameOn! GonnaBeABlast. GonnaBeSoEasy. It. WaitWaitWaitUp. Whassa...Labyrinth?

Remember your lessons, Mister Allen. A LABYRINTH is a complex network of passages...

OhOhOhOh. LikeALikeALikeA...book!

...no. Nothing like a book. It's physical, something that you...

BooksAreBooksAre, lemme tell ya. BooksArePhysical!

...okay. Yes. A book is a physical item, but while there are passages that you can read through....it is not what I'm referring to. Now pay mind, Bart. In this instance, a LABYRINTH is NOT a book. It's something you walk(or run) through. From start to finish. Like a MAZE. That is, a LABYRINTH is a MAZE.

GotchaGotchaGotcha! Just.......well.....

Yes?

I....HaveAHaveAHaveA....brother?

.....

Let's start from the top, shall we? This mission will find you with one simple objective, Bart: The goblin king has kidnapped your little baby brother. And taken him to his magical Labyrinth. Go there and rescue him.

3...
2...
1...

GO.


GameOnGameOnGameOn!
*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*
========================================================================
[Within the subterranean level of the Justice Building. In Star City]

Justice.

What did that really mean? To be fair. To live life, impartially. To do right. Whenever, where upon ever. One can, always. To....do no wrong? So, perhaps. It meant, specifically. To be PERFECT. Right?

Or.

Mm. Maybe, it called. Upon. Some kind of, virtue. Something, true. Something, strong. Of which, one. Well, they could. Rely....on this. Others, upon them. A notion, a belief. An ideal, even. That things, people -- life -- COULD, be. Better. The, no. Matter. One just had, to. Maintain, the faith. Protect, the weak. Heed, the good. And enforce, it. All.

Please.

Don't stop. People would be....counting on one. On many. To be, their. Heroes.

Justice.

A very beloved, way. Of life!

The extraordinary group of, individuals. Known as, the. Justice Society, have. Operated within, their. Very public, commercial building. Since their inception, some. Three years ago. However, unbeknownst to the many. The real meat and potatoes, of the. Operation, wasn't. Topside...

.

.

.

It was, down. Below! Far, from the surface. And away, from prying. Irises. Scanners, and. Any technology of which, would. Seek to, gain. Advantage. Over them.

It was also, where. One, individual. Had been, spending. The mite, of his. Time. And, the time. Of his, might! That, of course being....

Bart Allen.

Teen speedster. Future boy. Somewhat, to be. Distantly related. To The Flash. And also -- albeit unceremoniously(have these things ever been preconceived?) -- dumped, unto. Said guy's, lap. To teach. To inspire. To....babysit?

Possibly, maybe.

The good news, though. Bart was born, with. A degrading genetic, metabolism. Which was, aging him. At a hyper accelerated level. Barry, and the other heroes. Of this time, cured him. Of the, disorder.

The bad news, then. The eighteen years of his physical being? Yeah....that took, roughly...about....thirty six months. The long and the short, of it -- the boy had, nothing. But everything. To catch up, with. In terms of......childhood. Academic institionalizing. Growing up, in all facets! It was all....just...completely NEW, to him!

So to no, shortcoming( but rather forethought). On the combined smarts, of some. Bart was, 'home schooled'. On a constant basis. Through a simulated Virtual Reality program. It also, sought. To close the gap, betwixt. His mind. His spirit. And, his. Heart. Whilst, keeping him. Centered. With, his. Physical being....
========================================================================
[Upon the surface. Within Bart Allen's room of the Justice Building]

Above. Yes, within the. 'Public' front, of the. Headquarters. Yet, sectioned off. Appropriately enough, for. Privacy. In other words. One didn't, have to. Fret about tours, being. Led, back here. Whilst in one's. Glow-in-the-dark, Thundercat. Underoo's. Old school. From Barry's childhood.

Snarf snarf.

Yeah, no. All was safe. And quiet. Perhaps, even. Boring...

A call -- THE call -- sounded. Earlier. For Barry, which. Had the individual, out. In a....

...well. One KNOWS. But not, before. He left, specific. If not, explicit -- under no uncertain terms -- instructions. For Bart. To stay here. At the base. Keep at, the. Studies. Stay focused. And(if and only then), perhaps. Some tv. And vegg'ing.

Perfect. Ideal. Only...

He....never, made, it. Up, here.
He....never, saw, the. Intructions.
He....never, knew, what. He was 'supposed' to do...

Until(?) it was too late!
========================================================================
[The exterior of the Justice Building]

Bart Allen, most indubitably. Instead, sped. Himself, out. The front door!

Rather significant, truly. Because, in less than. The year that he'd, been here. In this building. In this time period. Not one time. Not once, had he. Been allowed, to venture. Unto the outside world. Nor had he, actually. Accomplished, such the feat.

Until now.

Until now.

Until...

BlinkBlinkBlinkBlinkBlink. SoSoSo--

"Bright!" he adjusted, a visor/half-mask. Around his eyes, which partially concealed the sides. Of his face. His yellows, darted. This way, and that. All, over the place! Face alight. As the piece of equipment, seemed. To work.

NowNowNow, ItWasItWasItWas.....time to---

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*
========================================================================
[7-Eleven Convenience Store. In Coast City]

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

--have fun!

Rockin' Root Beer. Super Big Size. Hm. SipSipSipSipSipSipSipSipSIpSiiiiiiiippppppppppp.
Oooo. Strawberry freeze blast? Slushie. Lick. Ahh. SlurpSlurpSlurpSlurpSlurpSlurpSlurpSluuurrrrrppppppp. OwOwOwOwOwwww! Milky Way. Mike & Ike's. Sweedish Fish. NumNumNumNumNumNumNummmmmmmmmmm!

Deet Deet.

?

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*
========================================================================
[Open farmland in Smallville]

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

Wheat(hay). Cows. Lotsa wheat. Lotsa cows. Cows EATING wheat!

"EatItEatItEatIt -- HereHereHere, have s'more!" gleefully directed, the. Female animals, while. PilePilePiiiiiiiiiiiiile'ing up, a. WHEAT hill. For them, to. Feast upon!

"MOOOOooooo!"

WhoaWhoaWhoaaaaaa.....zoinkzoinkzoiiink! Then...."Ahaha!"

Deet Deet.

WhatTheWhatTheWhaaaaaaatThe---?

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*
========================================================================
[McDonald's in Keystone City]

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

Big Mac. Everything on it. Or several. Everything on 'em. With Fries. Lots. MunchMunchMunchMunchMunchMunchMunchMunchMuuuuunnnnnchhhhhhhh. Ack! CoughCoughCough -- thirrrrsssty! Cooooooooooooca Cola. DrinkDrinkDrinkDrinkDriiiiiiiiiink!
And another.

Ahhh!

Deet Deet.

LookDown. LookUp. LookAllAround. DunnoDunnoDunno. Hm...

Two McFlurry's. To go! Slurrrrrrrrrrrrrp....

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*
========================================================================
[Some nondistinct property within Gotham City]

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

Hm. ReallyPretty...quiet. WonderWhoLives here? ShouldOrShouldn't, ShouldOrShouldn't, ShouldOrShouldn't? Should!

RiiiiiiiiingRingRing the doorbell. KnockKnockKnockkkkk! LookLookLook around. AnyoneNooneSomeone?

"Ahaha!"

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*
========================================================================
[The 'highway' within Star City]

The focal point, important. Enough, in that. The crime, was initiated. Here. Even more so. The location, for which. The Society. Had, collapsed. Together to. Per Mister John Diggle's invite.

He was the one, that. Had made the call. And one -- the any of them -- didn't, tread. Lightly, should. That notion, ever. Become...the necessity.

Alas, it was around the exchange. Betwixt the Martian Manhunter, and the teen archer. Simultaneous, the feed from Felicity that--

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

BlinkBlinkBlinkBlink. Hm?

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

Wait a minute. Did someone...see....something. Just now? Eyes, upon. The Scarlet Speedster. Yep. He was, still. There. It...it wasn't HIM. Right? Erm.

Maybe it was, just. One's own, silly. Imagina--

Deet Deet.

*FFFFSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOooooooooooosssssssssshhhhhhhhhhh*

Deet Deet.

"OkayOkayOkayOkay. IGiveIGiveIGive...UP! Wass'at sound? I..." Bart Allen, suddenly. Realized. He wasn't alone. There were others. A whole bundle, of. Others. Slowly(for him), his gaze. Tagged. One, after. The 'nother. Person to person. Face to face. Eyes to eyes. He lit up, thoroughly. When he saw Barry! And ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipped, on over. To said individual. "Heyyyyyyyyyyy hey hiiiii! CheckMeOut -- DoYouLike? WhatchaThink? DidThisMyself, AllByMyself. It'sTrueeeeeeeeeee!" SuperExcitedSuperSmileyFace for The Flash. As he spun, showing off. His new duds-- a likely 'inspired' outfit, sans. His mentor. All white, with a red. Bolt, up the center. Boots and gloves, to match. And his visor/side-mask to complete, his ensemble!

The beeping, was actually(unbeknownst to Bart) a. Tracking device, implemented. Within his goggles. It triggered, the moment. He left the building's, premises. Felicity and Barry, along with Ray Palmer had the forethought. Since his emergence, within this era. ("If he ever gets out, we need to make sure we keep. A GOOD watch on him!")

The chocolate of the cookie, caught. The youth's attention. Like a bolt, of. Lightning! "Ooooooh!" Ruuuuuuuuuuuuushed over, to. Artemis, his head. Tilting. Entranced. His yellows, dazzled. By the white, cream. Sandwiched, between. The chocolate. Now...okay. For the record. Someone. Was it the oreo. The blonde archer, enveloped. In green threads. Or...or. Or the green tinted, hairless. Glowing red irised...person. Next to her?

Eyes.

Wide.

Open.

Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. His fingers, reached out -- he couldn't help it, this game was so reeeeeeeeal -- to touch. The surface, of the male. Individual's, forearm! PoooookePoke-touch!

BiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggityBigSuperImpressedGrin for the Martian Manhunter! "SOOooooCoolSoCoolSoCool -- That'sSoCool! Iss'at paint? CanIHaveSomeToo???"

The beep forgotten.
The cookie forgotten.
Mayhaps even any lesson, learned earlier. Forgotten...

Of course, he had. The NO CLUE, the monumental. Circumstance. Upon which, all. Met, here. Today.

His name was Bart Allen. And, he was kinda...

"Myyyy, WhatSharpTeeth...you have!" to the spider guy.

...impulsive. To say the least.
========================================================================

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Old 11-26-2014, 07:49 PM   #22
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"Opening the channel. Give us what you have."

Oh, good, public speaking.

Be cool, Felicity, treat it like a board meeting.

Right, like you're
so good at those...


She cleared her throat, and launched in, filling in the rest of the team:

"Based on signal telemetry and strength, it looks like they're underground. I can't correlate with digital schematics of the city's crawlspaces, but I've found a historical footnote that seems to match up, something by an old treasure-hunter/conspiracy-theorist-- a hundred years ago, when they were first building subway tunnels, they meant the train system to be private for the rich and powerful."

She smiled faintly. "The original one-percenters. Maybe some of them would have been on The Arrow's list, back in the day."

Back to the sitrep: "But shifting economic tides led to the original rise of The Glades, which meant that the trains would become mass-transit for the less-fortunate, and the moneybags scrapped their idea."

"--hold on-- I'm cross-referencing--"

"--there's a log from repair crews back from The Undertaking's earthquake damage, they sent survey teams in to check it out, looks like they had to cut the line off from the rest of the tunnels so as to prevent underground water damage from the river above, sinkholes, that sort of thing."

"I'm sending specific coordinates and best-guess depth indicators to your smartphones. Go bring our babies home."


Oliver had drawn his bow as the white and red blur approached. It wasn't his first dance with a speedster. And he wasn't exactly expecting the arrival. However, years, over a decade and a half now, of training his senses and muscle memory were at work. It was only this training that prevented him from actually loosing the arrow.

"Why are you..." Olivers eyes flashed from Bart to Barry, "Why is he here? Not the time or place for an untested, Impulse driven child. Take him home. Now."

"I have no clue. I'm on it."

To most, all that was apparent was the blur of red and yellow and a soft hum. To Bart, it was more.

"What are you doing here? I appreciate the... imitation. But not now. We have a real problem. GO HOME. You think that what I do is a game? You have no idea how many people I have lost. I need you to go home. Now."

While Barry and Bart engaged in their superspeed familial spat, Oliver looked at the gathered crew.

""Ok. We know that at least one person involved has superpowers. We have to assume he has back up. J'onn, once we get within a mile I want to go dark. No radio contact. If he has Ray's tech we don't know what else he has. He may be able to pick us up. Can you keep us connected?"

Oliver looked to Artemis and Venom. "Artemis, Ray, Venom. I want you covering the exit. If he runs I need to have you in place to stop him. I want him alive. How alive is not a concern." Oliver looks to John. "You take the front with me. J'onn, if you can get in and get us a visual before we all move in? John and I will take the initial assault. If he has back up, you guys move in. Let's try to take him quickly. Limit the danger the kids are in. J'onn, don't engage alone. Just get us a head count. Questions?"

Oliver had already mounted his bike as he waited for the others to confirm they were ready.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:15 PM   #23
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John Denvers

The symbiote's senses was telling him that another had just arrived, though he could not make out details, it was clear that it was another speedster. John even got the impression that he had been addressed, but could not be certain. When Arrow lowered his weapon though, the phone buzzed in some-place inside of the suit.

Got it

'What? You know where to go?'

But the symbiote ignored him, instead listening to The Green Arrow. He could feel the excitement grow inside of the symbiote at the mention of violence, that it didn't matter how alive the attacker was. At The Green Arrow's quesion if there was any questions, an almost impossibly large grin split the symbiote's lips and it spoke through John's voice, using their neural connection to do so.

"No questions. Let's do this."
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Old 11-27-2014, 04:15 AM   #24
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Crossbow Bolts and Lightning Bolts. (Felicity/Artemis)

Oliver had drawn his bow as the white and red blur approached. It wasn't his first dance with a speedster. And he wasn't exactly expecting the arrival. However, years, over a decade and a half now, of training his senses and muscle memory were at work. It was only this training that prevented him from actually loosing the arrow.

Immediately after having sent the MMS with the GPS tags, Felicity hesitated.

"Hey," she frowned. "Arrow." He was always "Arrow" when he was working, it was part of how she'd learned to compartmentalize over the years. Of course, she'd never gotten a codename of her own, but-- "I think I'm having more systemic issues with my GPS tracking, it looks like there's another signal popping up everywhere--"

She paused. And closed her eyes. "Oh. Oh God. He's there now, isn't he? Frak. I knew I should have rolled out more DLC for his VR architecture."

"OkayOkayOkayOkay. IGiveIGiveIGive...UP! Wass'at sound? I..." Bart Allen, suddenly. Realized. He wasn't alone. There were others. A whole bundle, of. Others. Slowly(for him), his gaze. Tagged. One, after. The 'nother. Person to person. Face to face. Eyes to eyes. He lit up, thoroughly. When he saw Barry! And ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiipped, on over. To said individual. "Heyyyyyyyyyyy hey hiiiii! CheckMeOut -- DoYouLike? WhatchaThink? DidThisMyself, AllByMyself. It'sTrueeeeeeeeeee!"

Like Ollie, Artemis had gone for an arrow at the telltale-- if subtle --signs of a speedster approaching. Like Ollie, she had basically been doing this for a decade and a half-- give or take-- as long as she'd been alive. So, like Ollie, she managed to exercise restraint in actually letting fly. Instead, she lowered her bow, cookie clenched between her teeth, and arched two incredulous eyebrows.

The chocolate of the cookie, caught. The youth's attention. Like a bolt, of. Lightning! "Ooooooh!" Ruuuuuuuuuuuuushed over, to. Artemis, his head. Tilting. Entranced. His greens, dazzled. By the white, cream. Sandwiched, between. The chocolate. Now...okay. For the record. Someone. Was it the oreo. The blonde archer, enveloped. In green threads. Or...or. Or the green tinted, hairless. Glowing red irised...person. Next to her?

Artemis grimaced around the cookie, turning slightly pink as he stared at-- her? --at her Oreo? --past her, at J'onn?

Either way, this kid was-- what was the word she was looking for? A brat.

She shoved her arrow back into her quiver, took her cookie out of her teeth, and glared at him.

Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. His fingers, reached out -- he couldn't help it, this game was so reeeeeeeeal -- to touch. The surface, of the male. Individual's, forearm! PoooookePoke-touch!

BiiiiiiiiiiiiiiggityBigSuperImpressedGrin for the Martian Manhunter! "SOOooooCoolSoCoolSoCool -- That'sSoCool! Iss'at paint? CanIHaveSomeToo???"


Artemis rolled her eyes.

Another one. Like Barry. Except without the attention span. Or the regard for personal space. Or the-- everything that made Barry crushable. Or tolerable.

Oh, I'm gonna wish I stayed with Miz Smoak, aren't I?

"Myyyy, WhatSharpTeeth...you have!" to the spider guy.

...aaaaaand facepalm.

While Barry and Bart engaged in their superspeed familial spat, Oliver looked at the gathered crew.

"Ok. We know that at least one person involved has superpowers. We have to assume he has back up. J'onn, once we get within a mile I want to go dark. No radio contact. If he has Ray's tech we don't know what else he has. He may be able to pick us up. Can you keep us connected?"

Oliver looked to Artemis and Venom. "Artemis, Ray, Venom. I want you covering the exit. If he runs I need to have you in place to stop him. I want him alive. How alive is not a concern." Oliver looks to John. "You take the front with me. J'onn, if you can get in and get us a visual before we all move in? John and I will take the initial assault. If he has back up, you guys move in. Let's try to take him quickly. Limit the danger the kids are in. J'onn, don't engage alone. Just get us a head count. Questions?"

Oliver had already mounted his bike as he waited for the others to confirm they were ready.


At The Green Arrow's quesion if there was any questions, an almost impossibly large grin split the symbiote's lips and it spoke through John's voice, using their neural connection to do so.

"No questions. Let's do this."


Artemis opened her mouth to ask-- Do I really hafta go with the walking arachnophobia trigger-warning? Why I can't I go with you? --but then immediately reconsidered, lest she be reassigned to baby-sitting the white-and-red pinball.

Popping what was left of her Oreo into her mouth, she locked her longbow back across her handlebars and saddled up on her own motorcycle.

She then regretted having the cookie shoved into her cheek, because it meant she couldn't deliver a pithy, bad-ass oneliner about how good to go she was.

Ah, well. Actions spoke louder, anyway, and she twisted a handlebar to rev her bike's engine, instead, and nodded to this Venom guy.

If Ollie trusted him to do the job, she could put her squick factor aside, at least for now.
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Old 11-27-2014, 06:12 AM   #25
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"Everything Zen," by Bush. (Rose)

Sidearm had been carted off, The Gulag's hospital wing in his future.

The Koan had entered Rose and Robby's apartment by the window-- she didn't have Rose's keys on her, so it was either this or picking the lock. Entering a fourth-story window was not that unusual for her, after all. --and now she was sitting on the couch, writing in a weatherbeaten Moleskine notebook.

The Koan's Journal, Entry 7:

Sidearm claimed to thieve identities. Curious that we should live in a world where this is possible.

'Identity' is construct. Whether gestalt of spirit-mind-nature-nurture or entirely abstract and imaginary.

Difficult to find in oneself.

Should be impossible to steal.

Of course, becomes more possible in culture where 'identity' is dependent on attachments and material possessions.

If 'identity' is inextricable from belongings, 'identity' becomes a belonging.

Remains astonishing that a culture so designed has not spontaneously combusted as yet.

Perhaps not long now.

Which further begs the question--


--SWOOOSH--

--The H-Dialer app timed out in a burst of green backlight, and The Koan reverted to Rose Grant, sitting there on her own couch--

"--'Why the Hell,'" Rose grumbled aloud, glaring at her watch, transitioning back to her primary self without even missing a beat, "'would you give me the urban vigilante and mystic against a cyborg? Cannon-in-D would have been in her element, LodeOut could have beaten that guy rolling over in her sleep, what the actual Hell.'"

The watch and its glowing H-rune seemed to pulse cheekily at her for a moment, but then the backlight went back to sleep and Rose drooped her left arm back to her side.

Rolling her eyes, she thudded her head back against the couch's headrest.

"I mean, obviously The Koan got the job done," she continued to herself, utterly un-self-conscious that she was narrating aloud, "she's a tough cookie, but I swear it's like you do these things to me on purpose."

At this, an orange quadruped padded through from the kitchen, somewhat warily.

Captain Jack the Cat was a coward by nature-- he hadn't quite gotten used to the fact that there were so often strange women in his home-- but now that The Koan had been replaced with Rose once more, he had found the courage to emerge from the cupboard under the sink.

Rose grinned at him softly. "Hey, you."

Jack squinched his eyes at her and started his long, low, rumbly purr, like someone had rebuilt a gorgeous '67 Impala piece by piece but put the muffler in wrong. And then he trotted over, bounded up on the couch, and curled up beside her.

Rose scritched his head quietly between the ears. "I have a dilemma, Captain. I need to get a job so we're not living off of Robby's student loans, but that means I can't superhero as much and helping people is important. I know that summarizes things very succinctly but it's something that's been chewing on me for awhile now."

Jack continued to rumble, and then shoved his head more firmly against Rose's hand.

Rose shot him a half-lidded look. "You know, you could get a job."

Jack rolled over onto his back, forelegs tucked up to the little white spot on his chest and back legs kicked out, presenting his tummy for tummy rubs.

"Yeah," Rose sighed, and rubbed his tummy. "That's about what I thought."
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