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BlessedWrath
Tom Hanks
BlessedWrath

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Pandora 13 IC Empty
PostSubject: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyTue May 08, 2012 9:18 am #1

Wrath slammed against the marble floor of the Fifth National Bank's main lobby and slid, producing a hideous, screeching scrape. His head connected with the far wall, but it did nothing to phase him. His enormous scaly hands slapped the floor, cracking its glossy surface, and propelled him into an upright position. He reared back and loosed a horrifying roar.

The mutated tiger paused in its approach, but did not flinch. It eyed Wrath hungrily and licked its glistening fangs; its tongue a caustic, bright green, dripping acidic saliva which produced miniature plumes of gasified marble. Behind the mutate was Fauna, who turned her head at the sound of quiet footsteps on the grand spiral staircase from the second floor. The haunting childhood melody regarding outbreaks of plague in seventeeth-century Europe barely registered in Wrath's ears, but he could see from one twin's reactions that he would soon be joined with the other.

A crackling sound echoed in that stairwell. Fauna returned her murderous grin to Wrath, who bounded across the lobby with death in his eyes. The tiger moved to intercept and Wrath spun into it with a short hop, bringing both of his taloned hands across its face and neck. The tiger, if it could still be called this, was swept away by the brutal attack, and spun away from him across the slick surface of the floor.

Wrath had only to connect with the little girl; to cleave her in half with his superior strength. But he would never do so. His right arm was ensnared by thorny vines and his midsection peppered with toxic barbs. Wrath roared again, his eyes full of hatred for the devious twins. His left hand stopped inches from Fauna's face, held fast by a second set of vines. The plants forced his limbs back, holding him spread-eagle, suspended two feet from the ground, as the twins met each others' eyes. They turned those eyes to his.

"We're going to play a game," they said, simultaneously. "No fair, cheating."

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

"Hmm," Victor mused. He stood at the center of his office, gazing up at a large section of the far wall, which had been fitted with the latest in vidscreen technology. Until he needed it, the screen seemed much like any ordinary wall. When it did activate, billions of tiny photoluminescent transistors on its surface reacted to variable electric currents in the substructure of the wall itself. The view it presented to him was of the neatly groomed Alex Wright. Mirage, as he was called in battle, described a scene of utter chaos at Fifth National Bank.

"Rubius and his gang of misfits have responded to my invitation earlier than expected," Victor replied. "So much the better. Now we may dispense with the ruse-and-lure. Instruct your team mates to drop what they're doing and engage the enemy. Take the fight out of them. Rubius will be forced to use his wild card."

"And then," Alex added, grinning widely. "We play our Ace."

"Exactly."

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

James Barden was a youth who always had a plan. It just didn't always work out. He found himself in just such a situation now, having left the Rubius compound by way of drainage and sewer systems. On contact with the water, it seems, his body decided it wanted to mimic the "new" substance. It gave him the oddest feeling of decentralization. He felt...disparate; disconnected. He could not feel his limbs, nor could he see or hear anything. He could only feel the cool touch of water, and the flowing, graceful motion of his being swept away to New Washington's desalinization plant.

The thought caused his liquid body to tense. What would happen to him there? They used all manner of chemical treatments and filtration systems to clean the city's drinking water. Surely he could not survive such a process!

Panicked, James desperately tried to command his liquid form. He found himself able to move portions of his "body", but the whole refused to become James Barden again. Try as he might, he could not change his shape.

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Mirage met up with Brick on the second floor. He smiled and waved the hulking brute over, indicating the police cruisers outside. In moments, Brick saw dozens of officers swarm over one of their own men, shouting orders with weapons drawn.

"On the ground! Now! Now! Don't move, mutant scum!"

Despite his protests, the loyal officer was quickly subdued, cuffed, and thrown in the back of one of the cruisers. Mirage held up a police scanner and, with a flourish, switched it on.

"Dispatch, this is Abrahms One-Alpha. Suspect is in custody. Returning to headquarters."

"Abrahms One-Alpha, this is Dispatch. You said 'suspect'? Initial reports indicated multiple suspects, possibly two groups. Confirm?"

"Dispatch, Abrahms One-Alpha. That's confirmed, Dispatch. Reports were either mistaken, or others suspects fled scene. Recommend investigation team immediately."

"Confirmed, Abrahms One-Alpha. Good hunting."

Brick scratched his head, through his hardhat. "Why'd they leave?"

"Because, my thick-headed friend," Mirage replied smugly. "They saw what I wished them to see. Now we will not be interrupted."

Brick chuckled. The concept of being given carte blanche to deal with Rubius' men was very appealing to him; especially when one of those men was a woman who looked as good as Siren did. He scooped her up with one arm and tossed her over his shoulder.

"Don't get attached," Mirage warned. "She's still property of Megadyne Corporation."

Brick scowled as they descended the staircase.

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

Amp returned to Rubius' laboratory empty-handed. He threw up his arms in disgust. Rubius frowned, his mind racing for a solution.

"Denise and Jeremiah have not reported in. Something must be wrong."

"Wish you'd let me pound 'em for ya," Amp retorted. "This whole business of 'not gettin' involved' seems a waste of time to me."

Rubius scowled. "I believe you're right, Daniel." Amp cocked an eyebrow. "If those two are in trouble, we may have no other choice than to attempt a rescue."

Amp jerked his head to the side, producing a chorus of cracks and pops. "Right. Off we go, then."

Within seconds, the two were staring at a heavily damaged Fifth National Bank.

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

The first problem Dr. Rubius noted was that they were very heavily outnumbered. Although they were now matched four to four, Wrath's might was canceled by Brick's superior physique, and the twins each accounted for easily twice Rubius' physical capabilities, when their summons were included. The second problem was that Siren appeared to have been taken out of the fight early.

"Fight smart, Daniel," Rubius said, still surveying the scene. "We have a hostage situation."

Rubius opened his Tesseract and traveled to the east end of the building, while Amp circled around to the front entrance. The main emergency exit and primary entrance were now covered. Rubius touched a device clinging to his ear and his voice came through an identical device, possessed by Amp.

"Emergency exit has not been opened yet. If the building still has power, it will sound an alarm. I don't want them alerted. Scout the lobby and report back. Do not engage, Daniel. Be careful about this."

"You worry too much, Doc," was Amp's reply. He slammed the sole of his rocker boot against the front door -already hanging by one hinge- and sauntered through the entrance.

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"Let's have it, you pansy bastards!" Amp shouted. The twins whirled to face him, at the far end of the room, Wrath still held prisoner. They both broke into the same mischievous grin and moved to intercept.

Flora's vines hurtled toward Amp, who kicked himself to the side in time to evade them, while Fauna tried to revive the unconscious tiger. Her attempts to save what she had, rather than summon new pets, presented an opportunity to Amp, who drew in as much air as his lungs would hold.

"Bitch!" he bellowed, amplifying the bass resonance of his voice. The sonic waveform quickly propogated, developing into a tangible ripple in the air. Fauna was bowled over by the attack and struck her head on the corner of an ornate wooden desk. Blood trickled from her temple, but only a medical examiner could determine the extent of her injury.

Flora's eyes widened at the sight of her sister, felled by the sonic assault. Tears welled up and she made a sound as if she wanted to cry, but couldn't. That moan swelled into a shriek of rage as she swept her hands upward. Hundreds of plants broke the surface of the floor, threatening to engulf Amp, who nimbly hopped to the top of the desk. He grinned deviously, searching for another energy source.

"Party's on, mates!" He barked. "Let's have some music!"

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

Dr. Rubius sighed, his head gently contacting the smooth polish of the emergency exit's wood vernier. Time and again he gave good advice, and time and again it was ignored. At least nobody knew he was here, yet.

Rubius quickly ran through his list of options. There was the front entrance, already breached by Amp, the emergency exit which had not yet been opened, there were several broken windows on the second floor, and there was possible roof access.

"The roof," He whispered. "At least a flanking maneuver would take them by surprise."

He readied his power and made the jump to the rooftop. Something felt wrong, however. At first glance, he could have sworn that the exhaust for the heating system had been located at the front of the building. As he stood now, it seemed to have been reversed.

"Oh, no," he moaned. "Not you, too."

A devious chuckle came from nowhere. "Yes, Doctor. Me, too."

"How much is that madman paying you?" Rubius' eyes darted from place to place, desperately trying to locate the elusive Mirage, but to no avail. He had masked himself from normal sight with his illusions.

"What a mistake!" Mirage chuckled. "I can find money wherever I wish. But you have to admit, Doctor...the opportunity to become a part of scientific history..."

"Let me guess," Rubius interjected. "The power has nothing at all to do with this."

There was a pause before Mirage replied. "Fair point, Rubius. Power is everything in this world. Power decides who eats, who sleeps, who wins, and who loses. Who lives, and who dies. Power decides who's right and who's wrong."

"It doesn't," Rubius grated. "Ethics-"

"Spare me," Mirage cut him off. "Ethics is a class you take in college, just to round out your coursework. It's not a way of life. Not out here. If you want something...you take it."

Mirage's emphasis on the word 'take' was punctuated with his foot in Rubius' spine. The doctor, totally unprepared for the invisible ambush, was sent over the edge of Fifth National.

On his way down from the four-floor building, Rubius had little time to explore options. He knew that his Tesseract warps were non-inclusive of inertia, and that only the distances he traveled were affected. Thus, if he portaled his body straight to the ground, the inertia of his fall would still kill him. He had to shoot from the hip, this time, and he would only get one chance.

Rubius began his Tesseract in a different way this time. He attempted to curve the stretch in the fabric of space, such that downward momentum would be translated into forward momentum. At least then, he might survive the fall. As he entered the ring of null-space, he secretly hoped he would fail. A world in which people like Victor and Mirage would have their way with the innocent was no world in which Rubius wanted to live.

The good Doctor was ejected at high speed, having only enough time to avoid serious injury via the "tuck and roll" method. He bounced, undignified, to a skidding halt several meters from the building. Bruised and battered, but no worse for the wear, he stood and straightened his suit.

"That could have gone better."

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

"Pull back."

Mirage stared at the vidscreen, mouth agape. "What did you say?"

Victor scowled, eyes barely more than slits, and repeated himself. "Pull back, you second-rate charlatan. Or have you forgotten the point of this exercise?"

"But, sir..."

"If Rubius had Pandora 13 and knew what it was, he would have used it to stop us. Either he doesn't have it, or he has no idea what it's capable of. This mission has failed. Report back to base and do not waste any more of my resources trying to destroy my only lead on the culmination of all my research."

"Yes sir," Mirage agreed, defeated. He started down the staircase to find his companions.

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

Amp dodged a massive maw, barely evading the plant's attempts to snap him up. He guessed it was some sort of Venus Fly Trap, but didn't care enough to investigate. The thing had Wrath in its mutated vines, but if that changed...

He ducked and dodged through the other plants, being nearly poisoned by several projectiles shot from pods all over the room. He reached Wrath and accelerated the upper range of his best Falsetto, hoping it would be enough to cut through the tough vegetation.

As Wrath struggled and thrashed against the vines, their grip slowly weakened. Amp's efforts did not hurt his chances, either; in seconds he was free. Wrath hit the ground with a massive thump and immediately took off after the remaining twin.

Flora, fearing a fate similar to her sister's, summoned her plants to her side. They swarmed over both twins, enveloping them in a sturdy defensive undergrowth which lifted them off the floor. The vines surged toward the emergency exit, in direct defiance of their orders to combat Rubius' team.

Brick, who had been waiting for a chance to join the fight, slammed into Wrath halfway across the room. The two collided with equal force, stopping both and budging neither.

"I'm gonna smash you up, Scales!" Brick snarled. Wrath just snapped his jaws at Brick's face.

It had just come to blows when Mirage poked his had out from his invisible cloak. "Brick! Flora! Fauna! Abort mission!"

The twins, who had been given enough time by Brick to escape on their own, did manage to hear the message over their own commlinks, but waited for the others to join them before departing.

It took some doing, but Mirage also convinced Brick to leave his favorite enemy. They fled through the emergency exit and, once at Flora's side, disappeared into a very large hole in the soft earth of Fifth National's side lawn. Pursuit seemed possible, but Rubius had other ideas.

"Let them go," he panted. "We stopped the robbery; that should be enough."

Amp spat. "Gone an' let 'em get away, too. They'll just be back, you know."

Rubius nodded. "I know. At least now we know how they've been traveling. I'll take some samples of Flora's plant life back to the lab. For now, we've got to get out of here. The last thing we need is bad publicity."

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VII
It Only Gets Worse

Quote :
This concludes the Intro portion of Pandora 13. At this time, the roleplay is open to accepted characters posting their own intro stories and preludes, though it will be interspersed with some of Rubius' actions, as well as that of his team.

By now you should have a basic idea of how the city operates, as well as the kind of society we live in. You should also know if you want to join up with either team (Rubius' or Victor's), or if you want to run solo. I'm not disallowing "villain" PCs; just keep in mind that your loyalties might change sides later.

There are other players in this game besides Rubius and Victor. Movements are being made in the shadows, and other teams will arise. I will not say if Victor is the primary villain in this story. Perhaps he's just a friend waiting to be made.

With all that said, have fun, and remember the rules of this roleplay. They are posted in the OOC. Everything that can be put into spoilers has been, for easy location. You won't have to read everything to get what you're after.

Also, please let's try to keep a Posting Order going. Everyone needs to get a chance to post before we take a second turn. It's easy to leave people behind when multiposting, so this rule will be mandatory. I do not exclude people unless they've broken rules.

Please also note that, although I forgot to mention it, Siren was put down by Brick just prior to his engaging Wrath in the lobby. She's in safe hands, having been carted off to the Rubius compound by her friends. I know. I'm an idiot.

Let's go get some roleplay.


Last edited by BlessedWrath on Tue May 08, 2012 9:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Cidellus
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyTue May 08, 2012 7:11 pm #2

~MILLER~


"Uhhhggh."

In the shoddy Starfall Motel in one of the poorest districts of New Washington, John A. Miller was curled in his bed. He felt like shit, to put it bluntly. The bed might as well have been a stone slab, but that wasn't the source of his pain. His head was killing him. He got up and walked towards the bathroom door across from the bed, then stopped.

"Wait..." he muttered to himself. "Where the fuck am I?"

He examined his surroundings carefully. There was an old TV, probably from the mid 2000s. It was a wonder the old thing still worked, if it did work. It was situated on an old wooden nightstand. Across from the TV was the bed, with tan sheets and a brown comforter. A pair of black tennis shoes sat on the ground next to the bed. The carpets were a cheap, brown substance, and the walls a plain white. A microwave and cordless phone sat on a desk in the corner, and the desk was accompanied by a cheap, flimsy chair. On the chair was a brown leather trenchcoat. He entered the bathroom that probably hadn't been cleaned since the 2020s and began urinating.

"Oh. I know where I am. I'm in a shithole," said Miller, nodding to himself as he pissed. "New question: How the fuck did I get here?"

He finished up and walked back into the main room, sitting on the bed. He was wearing a pair of tan cargo pants, a black t-shirt, and a pair of white socks. It was his usual casual garb, so that didn't concern him too much.

Miller himself was slightly above average height, with his brown hair cut rather short. He was muscular in build. His face had a somewhat rugged, tough appearance, and his blue eyes always seemed quite fierce.

"Fuck it, I can't remember," he sighed.

He didn't even know what day it was. Maybe the TV could give him details? He looked around for a remote and, seeing none, walked over to the TV and flicked it on. The display had a yellow tint, and a significant portion of the upper screen was cut off. He pressed the channel button on the bottom until it got to the day-round city news broadcast. It was on commercial when he got there, and he sighed, sitting back on the bed.

After a couple minutes, the screen flashed with the station's logo, and the news anchors appeared on screen. The date was...Wednesday, July 7th, 2032. The last thing he remembered was from...early May. Suddenly, Miller's mind was filled with a million questions, and none of them were within his ability to answer. What the fuck had happened in those two months? Where had he been? He needed to make some phone calls...

"Well. One thing's for sure...missed my fucking birthday," he said, chuckling slightly while rubbing his eyes. He looked up at the screen, and the scene wasn't pretty. The Fifth National Bank looked like it'd been hit by a mobile warzone. Windows were shattered, walls smashed to bits, plants and animal corpses littered the building.

"Well, at least I'm having a better day than the bank manager."

***

After showering and getting redressed, Miller began searching the room for clues. He found nothing except a Ka-Bar combat knife and a baseball bat. Both looked almost new. Miller attached his knife to his belt and put his coat on over it before heading out the door. He needed answers. First stop? The front desk.

He walked down the motel steps, seeing he was on the second level, and didn't see his car anywhere in the parking lot. He had no keys on his person. How had he gotten there? Bus? Taxi? Foot?

He entered the front office and the older woman there looked up at him. She obviously hated her job. Her face screamed it as she stared at him with bored and unpassionate eyes. Her hair was a graysih reddish color, probably badly dyed.

"Can I help you?" she asked with an emotionless tone.

"Yeah, can I ask how I got here? I was pretty fucking drunk last night, and I honestly can't remember," said Miller as he smirked.

"You must have been drunk. You got here two nights ago, not last night. Taxi dropped you off, hun. You looked out of it," she told him, obviously wishing he'd go away.

"Did I say anything?" asked Miller.

"Nope. You asked for a room and went right up there," she told him.

Miller nodded at her and walked out the door. That wasn't helpful at all.

***

Miller returned to his room and sat at the desk. Taking the phone in his hand, he dialed the cell phone number belonging to Frank Harrison, one of his co-workers. After a bit of ringing, his voice answered.

"Hello?" asked Frank.

"Frank, hey. This is John," said Miller.

"John who?" he asked.

"John Miller."

"John Miller? John Miller's dead. Show some fucking respect," he said before hanging up the phone.

"Frank, wait! Shit..."

Miller pressed the "END" button and put the phone down. Dead? That word took a while to settle in. He wasn't fucking dead, he was right here! Miller re-dialed Frank, but got no answer. Then he dialed another number, one belonging to Rick Masters. After several rings, Rick picked up the phone.

"Who's this?" he answered.

"Rick Masters?" asked Miller, deciding to take another approach.

"Yeah, this is him."

"Hello, I'm Terry Winters. I'm with Pennytree Insurance. I'm calling to inquire about the death of one John Miller? He listed you as a reference and friend on his initial report," Miller said.

"Yeah, go on."

"What were the circumstances of Mr. Miller's death?"

"He died at the firing range a couple months ago. We were trying some prototype round. Overheated the barrel, caused it to ricochet when it shouldn't have. Caught him right in the neck, and he died not long after," said Masters.

"Was anybody else injured or killed?"

"Nah, just him. Miracle, really. Is that all? I'm kinda in the middle of some shit."

"Yeah, that's it. Thanks," said "Winters" as he hung up the phone. "Asshole."

He put the phone down and sat back in his chair. He was dead, and everybody fucking saw it right in the Megadyne shooting range. How the hell was he still alive, or did that ever even happen? Some weird shit was going on.

He tried hard to remember. The last memory he had was an average day at work...he went home, made something warm to eat. Was it spaghetti? No...no it was a cooked chicken from the store with a side of macaroni. Then he exercised and went to sleep. No memory of the next day existed...to him, it was yesterday.

Frank Harrison, the only guy Miller actually liked in ESOD, thought he was dead. Maybe it was time to show him otherwise. Miller rose from his chair and walked over to the bed, drawing his knife and cutting up the sheet, he made it into a make-shift noose-harness for his baseball bat that allowed it to attach to his belt. It would work for now.

He wore his jacket over his bat and knife once again as he left the room for a final time and made his way down to the office. He'd been wondering, since his first meeting with the woman, how he'd paid for the room. He entered the office and, standing in front of the desk, posed another question.

"Hey, one more thing. How did I-lady? You all right?" he asked, looking close. She was unresponsive, staring blankly at him with a bit of drool hanging from her mouth. Miller looked around carefully, then left the office. "The FUCK is going on...?"

***
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Emerald Link
Tom Hanks
Emerald Link

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Pandora 13 IC Empty
PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyTue May 08, 2012 9:40 pm #3

~Sketch~

"Feh." A lone figure sat atop a billboard. The young man was looking out over the city from his perch. He did not much care for this place. Bureaucracy, politics, corruption. The government doesn't care for the people, and the people don't care for the government. All the major stuff he hated was here, and yet... This was still his home. He'd grown up here, and his territory was here. Above him, a testament to his territory was proudly displayed. The piece covered almost the entire billboard, covering the copious advertisement for some hair care product. It had taken him months to complete it, and numerous close calls with police officers. Full of color, hidden messages, and images that provoked the mind, he was proud of his masterpiece. He stood up, looking out over the city again, before grabbing one of his cans again. He needed to sign it. He went to work, painting in the bottom right hand corner. Sketch Knight was his C. His last stroke went down, and he was done.

He added a small smiley face, which winked at him when he finished. He'd noticed this happening recently with his art. His smaller tags seemed to move, despite how they were only paint. Sketch ignored it at first, telling himself it was the fumes from his paint that was just making him see things. But it kept happening. It's not like he could do anything about it either. After a bit of concentration, he was able to make the smiley face move to another spot on the billboard. Just as he discovered that his art could actually move on its own, he also saw that he could control it. He could move it around the canvas wherever he wished. He'd tried to pull it off, but it never worked. With a bit more effort, he tried again with the smiley face. He strained his mind, trying to will the paint to pull off the canvas. His eyes had closed, but it had worked! One eye opened, and saw a smiley face staring right in front of him. He'd actually done it! He moved it around a bit, before letting it go back on the canvas. He'd have to figure out how to do this with bigger pieces of his art.

---

A few hours had passed. He'd still been up on the rooftop with his masterpiece, but he was ready to leave it be for the public to see. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to enjoy it more than he already had. As if on cue, he heard a police siren. A loud megaphone came up over it. "Sir. Come down here immediately. You're under arrest for vandalism." Sketch sighed. They always had to come after him.

"Damnit." Sketch wasn't going to let them catch him. Not after making his masterpiece. He could hear some officers coming up through the building. Looks like he'd need to be creative. He slid down the ladder to the billlboard, and ran for the edge. Fortunately enough, there was a fire escape he could go down. He jumped down, landing with a thud. He rolled down to the next ladder. He continued this routine of sliding down ladders and jumping over the ledges, until he was back on concrete. It didn't take long for police to spot him either. He ran through the alley, trying to find a good escape route. His skills in parkour were really helping him now. He jump over a small wall at the end of the alley, putting an obstacle between him and the officers. His run continued, as he jumped over small obstacles with ease. He didn't anticipate a second wave of officers though. In almost an instant, he'd been caught by a large man. He tried to struggle, but it was no use. He was cuffed and stuffed into a squad car. They muttered about his rights, and then drove off to the station.

---

He was processed and put into the system. He'd been charged for not only his masterpiece, but many other counts of vandalism he'd committed. They had to put him in under his real name, Skylar Kelly. He hated that name too. His parents had given it to him to go against social norms. All it did was alienate him from making friends. His stuff was taken away, including all his paint supplies and his board. They locked him in a holding cell, and he awaited to be fully prosecuted. The charge wouldn't be too much, but he'd still be sent away for a while. He shuddered at the thought.

While he waited, the station suddenly became a flurry of activity. From what he overheard, there was some sort of major bank heist going on at Fifth National. Almost every police officer was called out for it, minus one or two leftover to watch the prisoners. He was surprised such an event was happening. It seemed that alot more larger criminal activity was taking place, and yet here he was stuck in a cell for simply tagging a billboard. He didn't see the logic in it. There wasn't much more he could do right now though. He only hoped he could get out quickly. His parents wouldn't be able to help him now.
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BlessedWrath
Tom Hanks
BlessedWrath

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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyWed May 09, 2012 10:25 am #4

Dr. Rubius carefully laid the unconscious Siren on the medical table inside the sick bay within his private compound. He wasted no time in connecting medical analysis and diagnostics devices to her temples and torso. In moments, the computer monitor clicked on and began displaying vital statistics. The news was not good: All of her autonomic functions were below 50% of normal.

"Computer," Rubius intoned. The computer bleeped its acknowledgement. "Access medical records for Denise Richmond. Cross-reference with known medical averages for adult human female, age ranges between 18 and 30. Compare with present data and assess rate of decline." The computer chirped in agreement and displayed a loading animation. This would take some time.

Amp strolled through the doorway and, upon seeing that his team mate still remained motionless, inquired as to her condition. "Any news, Doc?"

Rubius clenched the sheets in his effort to restrain his temper. Instantly, it flashed through his mind that her condition was his fault. He had failed to accept instructions and now...

"Why can't you listen to even the merest shred of common sense?" Rubius demanded, whirling to face him. "Forget sense, Daniel; let's talk about sanity, for God's sake!"

Amp held his arms open, communicating a loss of words. Rubius' brow furrowed at his casual regard for the situation. Because he could not follow instructions, Denise might die.

"We might have saved her from this death sleep if we'd done this tactfully, but I suppose the chance for a brawl was just too much for you to pass up. Did you even think to see who was there?"

"I saw 'em, all right," Amp retorted. "Kind of couldn't avoid it, could I? Middle of a firefight, and that." Rubius just stared at him. "Had the twins there, and the big boy. Woulda knocked 'im out too, if they hadn't buggered off."

"Wait," said Rubius. "You said Brick engaged Jeremiah in the lobby. But he was not holding Denise at the time?" Amp nodded. "That means he must have put her down before engaging."

Rubius quickly checked Siren for signs of concussion, bruising, and broken bones. There were none. Brick was not known for being gentle with his enemies.

"They wanted her alive," he mused. "But why?"

Both were startled by the computer's completion tone. The information displayed forced Rubius to his knees, his eyes devoid of all hope. Amp, unable to comprehend, squinted at the screen and shrugged.

"What's 'advanced, long-chain protein neurotoxin'?"

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

James Barden was panicked. As his liquid form drifted down the New Washington Municipal Water Drainage System, he learned a new meaning of the words 'fear', 'dread', and 'despair'. He felt helpless, for when he commanded his body to respond, it refused to comply.

James' life flashed before his eyes, and he realized with terror that it did not take very long to relive. He had only lived sixteen years on this horrible rock and now he was to be torn apart by a water treatment facility! What would happen to him? Would the filtration systems simply remove him from the water? Would he be able to free himself if that happened? Would his gelatinous body be torn asunder by the machines, split into countless irretrievable bits?

He tried to remember what Rubius had said about his changes. Perhaps something in those conversations would help him now. James would have given anything for the Doctor's advice. What was it he had said about James' new body? He was...a colony creature? What did that mean?

As ridiculous as it seemed, James' history lessons came back to him. He remembered the American colonies and the Revolutionary War. He remembered that, though England wanted obedience, the colonies decided to unite against their parent country and become their own entity.

'You don't suppose...' James thought. But it was worth a try. He had been trying to command a body he no longer had. But a general does not move the army by thinking about it, does he? He has to give the order and let it be carried out by his men. James gave the order. He treated his body like an army, and asked it to stand at attention.

Slowly, he began to feel a change within himself. Where before there was chaos, he could now begin to make some sense of the feedback he was given by the receptors in each of his cells. He tried movement; subtle, at first. There was the sensation of inertia, then a sudden stop.

'Land!' his mind screamed. He imagined thousands of tiny feelers at the edge of his liquid body, and tried to map out the texture of the surface. Within seconds, he had himself hauled up on the cement edge of the sanitation system.

'Now what," he pondered. 'Guess I can try to be me again.'

It is a good thing no workers were scheduled for mantenance that night, for what they would have seen in James Barden would have had them calling in sick for the rest of their lives. At the center of this unidentified ooze there stood a projection of James' will. It was his hand, still grasping for something -anything- to hold on to.

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

Victor looked over his group with displeasure. Though they were no worse for the wear, except for poor Fauna, who'd been whisked away to his own private infirmary with no guess as to the extent of her injuries, the team looked as though they'd been reduced to unruly children, scolded by their parents.

"What happened?" he asked mildly.

Mirage rose, as a gesture of respect and ettiquette. "Sir, I apologize personally for our failure. We allowed Rubius to-"

"Shut up." Victor interjected. Mirage, stunned, took his seat and scowled. "Switch off that damned facade and open your ears."

Victor folded his hands on the desk in front of him. He waited for any more insolence or attempts to curry favor. When none came, he continued.

"None of you has the slightest idea why we failed. "I didn't either, at first."

Mirage, suddenly taken by the revelation Victor had carried with him into the office, slapped his forehead with his palm. "I'm such an idiot!"

"Thank you, Mirage. Now that we've stated the painfully obvious, I'll clue in the others, if you don't mind."

Mirage deepened his scowl. Nobody treated the great Mirage this way! Perhaps the others could be seen as children, but not he. Mirage was far more intelligent than these stumps.

"Rubius showed in person. What does that tell us?" Nobody had an answer.

"It tells me," Victor continued disdainfully. "That, if he does have the missing Pandora experiment, he is either unwilling to use it, or does not know how."

"We knew that, though." Brick spoke up. "You said so."

"Precisely," Victor replied evenly. "But I've been looking at this scenario from my own perspective. What do we know about the great Dr. Anton Rubius?" Again, there was no answer.

"He's a bleeding heart, you fools! The grand Doctor, showering the world with his affections, taking in the abandoned and sheltering fugitive mutants!"

Mirage nodded. Mentally, he kicked himself for not bringing up this point before the bank heist. He knew exactly where Victor was going. Most painful of these facts was that he'd missed his chance to win over his employer by pointing out the flaws in his strategy.

"If he does know what he has, he'll be ten times damned before he lets us have it. If he does not know, it will still be his damned benevolence that keeps him from us. The heist would have worked on a man like me, but Rubius..."

"What do you intend to do, sir?" Mirage finally dared to ask.

"Our team is not covert enough for a direct assault on the Rubius compound. They would be alert to our presence before we passed the first fence. We need to go back to basics for this mission."

"You don't mean," Mirage began, but trailed off. Victor's eyes met his with deadly seriousness.

"I do," he replied grimly. To his right, Flora happily scribbled away with her crayons, depicting a dark woman floating over the city. The lightning which destroyed its people and buildings originated from her forehead.

"I'm sending Eden."

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

"I'm going out," said Rubius. He shrugged on his top coat, despite Amp's questions. "There is nothing more to be done here. I can't help Denise until those plant samples are fully analyzed."

"What d'you want me to do?" Was Amp's reply.

"Keep feeding them into the computer. Record any changes in Denise's condition and start reading up on first aid. If she deteriorates any further, there won't be much left of her to save."

With that, he was out the door. Amp stood there, helpless, then shrugged and returned to sick bay. He regarded his fallen comerade with regret and compassion; two things never commonly associated with the carefree and footloose Daniel Bartlet. He'd let everyone down. Next time would be different.

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

The Sixteenth Police Precinct of New Washington was still abuzz with officers and paperwork when Dr. Rubius arrived. Posted guards were attempting to keep the media at bay, claiming sensitive information about the Fifth National heist would be contaminated or destroyed if they entered. Rubius managed to convince them that he had other business and slipped around the blockade, as the precinct was still expected to see civilians about their reports of crime and daily dealings.

"I'm sorry, Doctor," said the receptionist. "We can't just give out case details to anyone off the streets, you know."

Rubius thanked the woman anyway, and pretended to busy himself with the public bulletin board, hoping he would pick up some clues from background conversation. He noted several points of interest on the board before a small voice caught his attention.

Quote :
Em, I'm taking control of Sketch for this portion of the post. If I make him say something he wouldn't say, or do something he wouldn't do, please IM me for corrections. I will edit accordingly. This is plot-related, and made to speed up the posting process.

"Hey, mister," the voice said. It seemed to originate from a holding cell near to the board he was scrutinizing. Rubius edged over, trying not to be noticed.

"Who do we have here?" He queried.

"If you get me out of here, I'll make sure you don't regret it."

Rubius grinned. "So, they do say that in places like these. Why are you in here to begin with?"

"Ah, they think I'm some kind of vandal. Just 'cause I'm an artist, I get pinned for any old scrawl they find. Like trash cans are even my style."

"So, then, you're innocent," The Doctor replied.

"'Course I am!"

Rubius was about to dismiss the entire conversation as the desperate plea of a guilty mind when his eyes took notice of something strange. Through the viewport in the door, the youth's clothing seemed alive with dancing colors. Some of them moved, seemingly of their own accord. Rubius checked his prejudice of young thugs and assessed his situation more seriously.

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

"Just so you know," Rubius muttered through the side of his mouth, as they hurried for his car. "You owe me two thousand credits for bail."

"I'll get right on that, Doc," Sketch replied, dripping sarcasm. "The way my commissions run, it'll only take me about a billion years to pay."

They slammed their doors and sped off, with the Doctor trying desperately to drive like he hadn't just pulled the biggest -and only- con of his life.
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyWed May 09, 2012 3:42 pm #5

~MILLER~

It was all a mess, all a big fucking mess. His entire world was falling to pieces around him, and all he could do was attempt to pick up the fragmented pieces of reality. He was dead, or meant to be. The lady at the motel, something had definitely happened while Miller was making those calls. What the fuck was it? Did somebody fry her mind, or something? Did she know something about what happened? It was doubtful, but possible.

He looked out bus's window to the skyline of the city. There were only two groups with the resources to pull this off: Megadyne and the Federal government. Those were the two most likely, anyway. Megadyne due to his past employment with them, and the Federal government because they liked to fuck with people. It seemed that way, anyway. The Federal government would certainly be able to pull off naming him dead, and the amnesia. But the firing range incident? Maybe they'd put some kind of decoy up. Got a look-alike up on the shooting range? Maybe the neck wound hadn't been serious afterall, and they'd just kept him? But he'd have scars. Significant ones.

The woman's brain had been scrambled, though. And that meant they'd been there. They knew where he was, whoever they were, and they were fucking with him. Now he needed to find out WHY they were fucking with him, and WHO was fucking with him.

"What a fucking nightmare," he sighed, resting his head back.

The bus reached his stop not long after and he stepped off. A block away was Frank Harrison's house, and hopefully some answers. The short walk passed quickly, and he approached the door, knocking a few times.

The house was pretty nice, two stories with three bedrooms. A half-bath downstairs and a bathroom upstairs. He'd eaten dinner there once or twice. He turned his head and began looking around, hoping to spot some people stalking him. There were sparse people walking around, doing their business. Nobody was looking at him directly, and the cars parked on the street had nobody inside. He looked up. Maybe they had some kind of UAV watching him. Squinting, he again saw nothing as the door opened.

"Hello," asked a woman Miller recognized as Theresa Harrison: Frank's wife. She was of average height, with red hair and hazel eyes. She was average in build, with a fair complexion. She wore a pair of jeans and a green shirt, along with a pair of black socks.

"Hey, is Frank in?" asked Miller.

"John?" she asked, disbelief in her voice and eyes.

Miller looked away, biting his lip for a moment before looking back and saying, "Yeah, it's John. I know the deal. I'm supposed to be dead, but I'm obviously not. Somebody's fucking with me, and I need to talk to Frank, Theresa."

"He said you died. Your neck was torn open!" she said, her mouth open slightly, her eyes still displaying disbelief.

"Who is it!?" asked the voice of Frank from the second story.

"Come in," she whispered to John before turning towards the stairs. "It's a friend of yours, Frank!"

Miller walked through the door as Frank walked down the stairs. He was taller than Miller by a few inches, and a bit bulkier, with short black hair and a strong jaw. He was wearing his pajamas: a white tank top and a pair of sweat pants. He stopped halfway down the stairs as he recognized Miller.

"John? What? No, you're dead. You're not John," he said, shaking his head. "I saw him die on the firing range. Are you the same asshole that called earlier? That's a pretty fucking good disguise, so you'd better get the fuck out before I beat it off you."

"The one time you took that approach with me you ended up with a broken face and a cracked rip. Bats are dangerous," retorted Miller. "You were in the hospital for three days. We were almost friends after that, and if I recall, you apologized."

"You did your homework," he said, advancing down the stairs.

"I could tell you every single thing imaginable about my life, Frank, because I'm me," Miller told him, drawing his knife as Theresa gasped.

"John, put the knife down!" she screamed.

"Okay," Miller laughed, throwing the knife at Frank's feet as he reached the bottom of the stairs. "Frank, if you think I'm some kind of fucking imposter, then you pick that knife up and stab me in the throat. I'm not dead. I was never at that firing range. I'm not sure how they did it, but they faked my death, and now they're fucking with me."

"This doesn't make any fucking sense," said Frank.

"It doesn't to me, either, Frank. You were the only one in ESOD I had respect for. Masters was a fucking manwhoring moron and Chavez was a goddamn punk. We got drunk together a few times. Don't think you actually meant it, but you called me a brother one of those times," said Miller, snorting. "Is this how you'd treat your brother?"

"I was drunk, okay. Didn't mean it," said Frank, sighing as he picked the knife up. "You've been gone two months."

"And I don't remember a single thing since May. And it pisses me the fuck off," Miller informed him.

"Come to think of it, you were acting pretty odd at the range," said Frank, thinking a moment as he handed the knife back to him.

"How so?" Miller asked, sticking the knife back in its scabbard.

"You weren't being an asshole."

Miller stared at Frank for a moment as if he, too, were an asshole before his face cracked into a smile, and he began laughing. The two men grasped each other's hands and patted each other on the back before stepping back from one another.

"Thank God," Miller heard Theresa say.

"So you believe me now, dickhead?" asked Miller.

"Yeah, sorry about that," Frank shrugged, looking embarassed. "They must've done a good job faking your death, huh?"

"I don't know. I wasn't there," Miller said, realizing just then how hungry he was. "You guys eat dinner yet?"

"Yeah, we had pork chops," Theresa told him. "We have some leftovers if you're hungry."

"Thanks," Miller said, glancing at her. "I'm starving."

Theresa ran into the kitchen while Miller looked over at Frank. "You still got your guns in your office?"

"Yeah. Need a piece? Might be able to lend you my grandpa's nine."

"That'd be great."

The two both walked up the stairs and turned right down a short hallway. The first door on the left was Frank's office, which was more of an office/gym, as it had a weight set and treadmill. Frank took down a painting from the wall, revealing a safe behind it, and keyed in a passcode. When the door pulled open, several weapons were revealed. Two newer pistols, an old Beretta M9, and a newer submachine gun. Clips for each sat neatly next to them. He took the old M9 out, along with three clips of ammunition, and handed them to Miller before taking one of the newer pistols for himself.

"With all this shit going on, probably should carry," Frank said.

The thought then came to Miller. What if, by visiting Frank, he was putting he and his wife in danger? Frank could defend himself, but not against a corporation, or the government. He would explain that to them in the kitchen.

Miller went downstairs, now guilty about what he might be doing to them, walked down the stairs with Frank, his pistol in his coat pocket. When he sat down to eat, he took his baseball bat out from inside his coat and put it on the floor underneath his chair. Frank and his wife sat with him.

"Frank, when you said that up there, about you needing a gun...I realized that I might be putting you guys in danger by coming here," said Miller before he started eating.

"That's why I fucking said it," said Frank, sighing. "Can't do much about it now. Might be best if you left after you ate. Anybody comes to the door, I ain't answering."

"I won't be coming back. If somebody knocks on the door, then it isn't me," Miller told him as he started eating.

"Might go back to Montana and get the fuck out of this shithole. What do you think, Theresa?" Frank asked his wife.

"Move away from New Washington? John, do you really think they'll come for us?" she asked.

"They fried the brain of some poor woman whose motel I woke up in. I would not fucking doubt it," Miller told her gravely as he ate.

"Fuck," Frank said simply.

"I've got half a mind to run off to Brazil and kiss this place goodbye, but I need to know why first. I need to know why I'm being hunted...or watched, or whatever. I need to know what the fuck happened," Miller explained in between bites, washing it down with some water.
Frank nodded, and the three proceeded to talk about the future. A half hour later, Miller walked out Frank Harrison's door, looking around carefully before walking down the street towards the bus station. He had a pistol now, so that made him feel better. He needed cash, though. Paper money.

He turned down a street corner and approached the bus stop, sitting down on its graffiti-stained bench. Best place to look would be a shit neighborhood. He'd need to do some investigating, but maybe he could find a crackhouse. He could lay the beatdown on one of the tweakers inside and maybe find out where he gets his fix. If he shot a drug dealer, nobody would cry, and he could maybe get his hands on some paper money, or some counterfeit credits...
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyThu May 10, 2012 6:58 pm #6

~Sketch~

The ride back with Dr. Rubius was a quiet one. He was surprised that the Doctor had actually been convinced to bail him out. It had been a total long shot, but it paid off! He didn't understand his reasoning, but he didn't care about that. He was saved, and he could easily continue tagging around the city at his leisure. He stretched his arms out, relaxing with the knowledge of his new-found freedom.

Arriving at the compound, Sketch was... unimpressed. He thought it would be grander. It was merely a regular old building. His mind was aflutter with ideas to paint the outside of it and make it look nicer. "So Doc..." he said, looking at the elder man. "What exactly... goes on 'round here?" His question was emphasized by some of the paint on his clothing forming a question mark.
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyFri May 11, 2012 11:42 am #7

Dr. Rubius eased the sleek black sedan around the grand curve of the front drive, slowing it carefully to a precise stop in front of the main entrance. His eyes swept the windows on the first and second floors; a habit he'd picked up of late. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, save for one of his most trusted students lying unconscious, near death, in sick bay.

"Something gives me the feeling, Mr. Kelly," Rubuis answered grimly. "That you may wish to avoid that question until we have had a chance to discuss your situation." He forced himself to smile as he turned to Sketch. "Come inside. I'm sure you haven't eaten. I'll show you my facilities."

While Siren neared the Reaper's embrace, Rubius could do nothing. It was written all over his face. He felt guilty as sin for letting those two go off on their own, and he felt like an idiot for assuming that Brick would be the only one they'd face. He should have known the Twins would be there, let alone Mirage! The whole thing was a setup, and like a newborn cub, he stumbled right into the trap.

There was also Sketch's situation to consider. If he let just one more mutant fall into Victor's hands, it would turn the tide against him forever. Victor didn't just recruit people; he twisted them. He spoke about grand morals, higher purposes, superior ethics and a "larger view"; those terms often used to describe the mental gymnastics required to overcome the sense of responsibility and shame which arises from petty theft and genocidal atrocities. Victor's "big picture" was nothing other than a facade built of pretty lies and tempting offers, to cloud the judgment of his followers, and to trick them into giving their lives to bury others. Sketch would never escape his grip. Rubius decided he would sooner be damned than to let that happen to an innocent life as young as his.

"Skylar," Rubius inquired hesitantly, as they neared the front door. "Would you agree there are more things in this life than can be readily explained by science or doctrine?"

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

Amp woke with a start. He tried to blink through the haze and blur of a deep sleep, slowling materializing the computer screen in front of him. It was the testing completion tone which woke him. How long had he been out? He glanced at the clock at the lower right of the screen. It had been three hours.

"Hell," Amp spat. He turned to check on Siren, who still lay unconscious. Her vital signs were lower than ever, and he could scarecly make out the movements of her chest. He returned his eyes to the computer screen, hoping against hope that it would tell him something he knew how to use.

Subject: Richmond, Denise R.
Condition: Critical, as of 13:42, 07-08-2032
Cause: Advanced Neurochemical Necrosis, resulting from exposure to unknown chemical agent. Theorized to have been genetically synthesized from various vegetable-based toxins. Substance attacks brain chemistry, gradually eroding the brain's neurochemical impulse exchange by breaking down the connections between neurons.
Recommended Treatment: Unknown
Prognosis: Fatal

Amp could not believe his eyes. Siren, basically his only friend for the last two years, and the only member of Rubius' team he trusted to do anything the right way, was going to die. He stared at her with moistened eyes and begged the universe for the power to change it. But no answer came.

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As John Miller waited for the city transit to whisk him away to a brighter, happier place, the events of the last 24 hours seemed to weigh on him like a suffocating fog. He had witnessed what he would have described as 'brain death' in a woman whose only crime was to have known he stayed at that damned motel. Would she recover? Was it his fault? Now the closest thing he had to a friend in this world faced a presumably similar fate. Would they mulch his brain as well, or would they just kill him? Would it be him, first, or his wife? Would it be quick?

The thought was interrupted by the deliberately slow approach of a corporate police cruiser. It struck him as odd that one of the Primaries would stick his nose so deep into the underbelly of an individual city. Officers of the Central Corporate Police Force rarely had jurisdiction in these areas unless...

"Sir?" The officer called to him, as the engine spun down. The door opened and he stepped out. "Sir, I'm investigating a murder in the area, and I'd like to ask you a few questions."

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

Victor's driver peered into the rear-view mirror. Something was different about his employer this time; something not right. He seemed pensive, and distracted. He thought about conversation, but the little voice in the back of his head that often whispered helpful hints in unfamiliar situations now screamed 'No!' at the thought. He bit his lip and continued on his way to Silverhawk Biotechnical.

The security guard checked Victor's identification, as always, and passed him through. Victor came alone, save for the driver. Though he did not want to do what he was about to do, he had little choice in the matter now, and extra personnel, while able to provide some protection in the event that things went south, would have drawn too much suspicion.

"Strauss!" Victor called out, upon entering the lab. The meek Russian peeked over a workstation, then dropped his normally expressionless lips into a deep frown. This could not be good news.

"Can I be of help, Mr. Lawrence?" Strauss offered. Victor waved away his words.

"Bring me Prime." He said automatically. The words were flat, hollow, unfeeling. Victor was devoid of his usual charm and conviction. He now sounded like a man who had just requested a litre of whiskey and a revolver.

Strauss' eyes went wide, as did his mouth, and he stammered: "You can not be serious! Mr. Lawrence, are you not sane?"

"Pretend," Victor replied, some of the venom returning to his voice. "That you are a man who performs his duties properly, and do as you're told. Bring me Prime."

Strauss clamped his eyes shut and recited an old world prayer, then turned and shuffled off down the corridor, shoulders slumped. He knew what this experiment was capable of. If she could not be kept in check, it was very possible they would all be dead in a matter of minutes.

He placed his palm on the reader and his eye within scanning range of the optical systems linked to the door's security system. The computer recited his name and title, then requested confirmation that the cell door should be opened. He told it 'yes', that he indeed wanted to open the door, but it felt to him like he had just agreed to hang himself. The cell door -a heavy grade titanium carbide, reinforced via diamond impregnated carbon fiber lattice- began its slow journey sideward. It took thirty seconds to fully open.

Inside the chamber were all manner of testing devices and diagnostics tools. Special attention was paid to EEG equipment, as well as several experimental devices meant to capture brainwaves which propogated outside the human skull. At the center of the chamber sat a large cylindrical device, very similar to a cryogenic freezing tube. The viewport showed a pair of closed eyes and a tangle of wavy hair in the purest black the professor had ever seen.

With shaking hands, Strauss systematically shut down the safeguards keeping Pandora Prime in relative stasis. The sedative flow slowed, then stopped. Almost instantly, the subject's eyes flicked open. Their electric blue seemed to illuminate her face, which twisted into a malicious smirk. The chamber opened.

"Eden, my darling," Victor said immediately, shouldering Strauss aside. "You're awake. How do you feel?"

Eden stared at the man. She seemed to study him, perhaps searching for signs of weakness. He was fairly strong, for a human, and not bad-looking. Suddenly she remembered his face. He was the kind man who occasionally took her out of this place. He showed her a grand time, out on the town. She remembered the music that night; the beautiful music. She smiled and closed her eyes, remembering the harmonious choir which still echoed in her mind.

It echoed in Victor's mind, too. What he saw were not singers. They were victims. The endless wail of the dying, maimed beyond recognition, crying out to a god who would not hear their pleas, rang in his ears with the intensity of an explosion. He cringed, trying desperately not to appear subservient in front of his first experiment. The professor was not so fortunate as to have been blessed with Victor's iron will; he fled from the chamber, washing his hands entirely of the consequences.

"Eden, dear," Victor continued, offering his hand. She clasped it with the fragile, dainty grip expected of a high-born lady and stepped out of the tube. "You were very sick the last time we met. Do you remember?"

Eden nodded silently, her eyes surveying the various devices in the room. She returned her gaze to Victor, replacing her expression with one of intense curiosity. She still remained silent. Victor seemed to know exactly what she wanted, because he answered the question she never asked.

"Yes, Eden. I do remember our time together. It was glorious, wasn't it?"

Eden said nothing. She peeked around Victor and spotted the cowering professor Strauss. He stared at her, unable to speak, and shuffled behind his desk, still clinging to the floor like an insect.

"Him? Insignificant, Eden. Just one of the few who will never sing well enough for you. You deserve better, don't you?"

Eden nodded again, seeming to perk up a bit at the prospect of adding new voices to her choir. Victor changed tactics and offered his arm, which she took eagerly. The two walked past the terrified professor, and straight out the front door.

"I know who would sing for you," Victor offered, eventually. "And it just so happens that they've taken away a dear friend of mine."

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

Jeremiah Cole roared through the streets of New Washington. Nightfall had come for the city, which seemed to lay under the quilt of twilight like a sleeping giant. The Upper Residentials did not seem to know how to party, like the second-class citizens of the Lowers. They just stayed in their homes all night, talking about stock options and new cars. Perhaps they visited one of the many nightclubs in the Commercial District, but only those good enough for their rich blood. Cole spat when he thought about them. Although almost no one in the city lived as well as he thought they did, the prospect of seeing a man grow fat over the toiling of the underpriviledged made him sick.

But that was not his primary concern, at the moment. He'd left the Rubius compound upon learning that Siren had fallen ill with a serious condition which threatened to end her life. He was never much for grand speeches, or emotional exchanges, but he'd grown to appreciate her as a colleage. When the hammer fell, she could always be counted upon to leap into action. Her frail human body had taken quite a beating in recent years, due to the lack of offensive or defensive mutant abilities, but she fought anyway; refusing to allow the power of others beat her down. He admired her spirit, doubly so now that it was about to be snuffed out by one of Victor's goons.

Jeremiah's motorcycle rumbled to a halt outside the only place he knew to search: Silverhawk Biotechnical Research Facility. The night guard demanded identification of the massive man, who took the guard's hand and pulled him through the window.

"You're gonna let me in," He growled. "I won't even bother with threats." As he spoke, he gradually increased pressure on the guard's wrist, producing the preliminary cracks and pops normally associated with cracking one's knuckles. The guard nodded quickly, his face twisting with pain and apprehension as he waited to hear his wrist break.

With the guard's keycard in his possession, Jeremiah continued on to the front entrance, leaving his first victim slumped over the guard station. He had been rendered unconscious by a swift blow from one of Jeremiah's knuckles, delivered to the base of the skull. He might not be the stealthiest of men, but Jeremiah knew how to learn from others' examples. He was grateful to have paid attention to Amp's action movies.

Once inside, Jeremiah proceeded immediately through the lobby, which was by now unattended. He used the keycard to cancel alarms on a room-by-room basis, avoiding the attention of the primary system. If he had shut down the entire grid, certainly the security team would have been alerted. Jeremiah also found that the card was useful for temporarily disabling internal sensors as he went; a trick he picked up from many a James Bond film.

Although he did not know exactly what he was looking for, he knew where to start. Rubius had said that the substance which did this terrible thing to Siren had been a biological agent; almost certainly engineered by man. The room which read "Bio-Weapons Division" seemed like the right place. He knocked...his way.


Last edited by BlessedWrath on Sun May 13, 2012 4:34 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Derp.)
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySat May 12, 2012 9:53 pm #8

~MILLER~

"Sir?" The officer called to him, as the engine spun down. The door opened and he stepped out. "Sir, I'm investigating a murder in the area, and I'd like to ask you a few questions."

Miller turned around to look at the cop, seeming annoyed. "Yeah, what can I do for you?"
"First, I'll have to ask you for some ID. Can't make my report without knowing who the information is coming from."

"Can I see yours first, officer?" asked Miller, stopping. "Uniforms are pretty and all, but there've been some pretty clever con artists out and about."

The officer lost his practiced smile, quickly replacing it with an annoyed frown.

"I'll need you to cooperate, citizen. Central does still have authority over the individual cities, regardless of what you might hear. ID first, then we talk."

Miller was too sharp not to notice the officer's palm resting on his Corp-issue handgun; a newer style of hyper-velocity capable semi-auto, which sported increased magazine capacity, thanks to the smaller rounds which no longer used traditional propellant. Those little nasties would put the hurt on any human, even in spite of some of the body armor on the professional market. If this man was a scam artist, he was good at playing the part.

"Nice gun," Miller chuckled. "Don't have my ID on me, unfortunately. Got mugged last night, it's why I carry these."

Miller opened his coat to reveal his baseball bat and knife.

"Name's Jack Walker, for your record."

The officer produced a small notepad, which lit up as its stylus connected with its surface. The transparent device presumably listed several details about the name he had been provided, most probably updated wirelessly from a central database. That seemed to lend support to his authenticity. He jotted something in sloppy form, which was automatically recognized by the system and converted into legible text. "

"Walker, huh?" he replied, disinterested.

Ok, so this guy had dealt with aliases before. There was no concrete evidence to support his suspicions, so he didn't push the point. Cynics took to all careers, it seemed. This one would be tough to fool.

"And what were the time and place of this alleged mugging? I'll need to file it with Central. I will also need to cite you for Civil Infraction 23-A, as declared by the CPA global policy on citizen identification. There may also be local citations, which will be forwarded to the local government." All right, so he knew the laws. He also knew the paperwork. If he was playing it up, he'd done his homework.

"So because you weren't doing your job by preventing muggings, and I got my ID jacked by a bunch of thugs, I'm getting fined by you? Real fucking classy," Miller snorted, shaking his head.

The cop shrugged, still flicking his eyes back and forth over the notepad. "Law's the law, Mr. Walker. I don't do my job, I gotta find another one. That's if I don't get put away for Obstruction or Malfeasance." He did finally meet Miller's gaze again, his eyes betraying an extreme sense of routine. "The details, Mr. Walker? It's your time, not mine."

"Few blocks from here. Bunch of punks pulled me into an alley around...about midnight, last night. Got me in a chokehold. Couldn't really get free. Passed out for a couple minutes. When I came to, they were gone," Miller said.

"Midnight, you say?" The officer repeated, reaching for his commlink. That was not good. Now it seemed as though the outfit was complete, because he was about to confirm with Central Dispatch. When they got a hold of the secure cam footage in that area, if they didn't see what Miller wanted them to see, this was about to become a whole new ball game. At least he had a bat to play it with.

"Listen, I gotta get home. I have work in the morning. Can you just ask your questions about this murder so I can get to sleep? It's pretty fucking late," said Miller.

"Like I said, Mr. Walker," said the cop, an edge developing in his voice. "Got a job to do. If Central can't supply me with confirmation on this attack, I have to bring you in for questioning. You said you were in the area last night. You could be a witness in this investigation, or a participant in the actual crime itself. Can't let you walk without digging deeper." He thought for a second, sizing Miller up. "If you had ID, we could confirm your wherabouts and check with Evidence for confirmation." He shrugged again, like a catch-all answer for every problem. "If that came back clean, you'd be in bed before you knew it. Sorry."

Miller nodded, biting his lip. "All right. So can you at least tell me some details about this murder? I'm pretty in the dark here."

"That's not my department. Revealing case details could compromise the investigation. Being the good, law-abiding citizen you clearly are, I know you wouldn't want that to happen." He let the sarcasm sink in before continuing. "Best I can do is bring you in and hope for an expedited...er...conference. Central's trying to clean up its image, so I gotta run you back to wherever I found you before I get to move on with my life. Why don't you have a seat in the car, and we'll get this over with."

"At least give me your damn name. My mother always taught me never to get a stranger's car," Miller said, crossing his arms.

The officer indicated his badge, which read Officer Jacob Franklin, Central Corporate Police Force. "That good enough, or should I pull out a graduation photo?"

"Yeah, that'd be nice," chuckled Miller before getting in the patrol car. He'd been doing a lot of thinking during the officer's "interview", and he'd come to the conclusion that it was really his only choice. To get away from the officer, he'd need to assault him. And if he got away? They had most of the city outfitted with cameras. He'd get a few blocks before half the police force apprehended him. Maybe the police could shed some light on just what the fuck had happened, and when they pulled him up dead? Whoever covered it up would have some questions to answer.
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySun May 13, 2012 8:55 pm #9

~Sketch~

Sketch looked at Dr. Rubius, his brow furrowing slightly. He felt it was odd the good man wouldn't tell him the answer to such a basic question. But he guessed he could always learn more about what went on in time. His stomach rumbled in response to the doctor's mention of food. It had been a long time since he'd eaten anything. He had drank water while making his masterpiece, but he didn't bring much food along with him. "Totally Doc. I'm starvin'."

Though his mind continued to think about food, the question didn't catch him off guard. "Things that can't be explained?" He paused a moment. "I guess I believe in ghosts." he chuckled, his sarcasm dripping through. "But in all seriousness Doc, I do." He looked at his shirt, the paint still dancing around as he thought about it. "I'm sure you've noticed my clothes. The paint moves on its own. It's been doing that for almost six months now. I don't know how it does it. I can sometimes..." he paused, feeling weird that he was talking about this now. "I can sometimes control it as well."

Sketch had certainly heard about mutants in the city. They were plastered all over the news. Most of them were written off as baddies that needed to be captured, but he was sure that they couldn't all be evil. "Do you think I'm a mutant, Doc?" he asked. He was asking himself that too. He hadn't thought about it much before, but it seemed like it could be a possibility. His young eyes looked up at Dr. Rubius again, hoping he could explain it all.

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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyThu May 31, 2012 4:24 pm #10

"Is there any change?" Rubius strode through the sick bay's automatic doors, eyes immediately turned toward the solemn Daniel Bartlet, who could not meet his gaze. It seemed words were unnecessary. The Doctor fixed his attention on the unconscious Denise Richmond, who continued her steady decline into oblivion. It was the peaceful expression on her face which tore at him; a perversion of calm and grace which gave the illusion of a happy slumber.

"I don't know what to do," Amp managed, his voice cracking. "I killed her."

Rubius had turned his head far enough to cast a sidelong glance at his student, his mouth open, prepared to deliver a response, when the equipment in the room began to malfunction. The first indication was subtle; every device equipped to analyze brainwave signal saw its needle instantly flicked to the far right, past its maximum indicated reading. There was sufficient force imparted by this sudden change to create an audible click from each device, as their needles physically struck their casings.

The two locked eyes for an instant before springing into action. Neither knew what was coming, but both arrived at the same conclusion. There was a storm coming, and the weak would not survive it.

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Rubius had left Sketch in the common; an area not quite befitting of a living room, possessed of fewer furnishings and luxuries than one might expect of such a place, yet inviting enough to its visitors that one might very well choose to take a place among the comfortable cushions arranged in a circle, set deeply into a depression at the center of the room. It was a large place with a high ceiling, its walls lined with various texts ranging from current events to popular science magazines, sports journals, and other eclectic interests.

This was clearly a place to socialize; perhaps meant for storytelling or for more relaxed events. Sketch, however, did not feel relaxed. There was an omen of foreboding about the place; perhaps not so overt as to inflict feelings of imminent danger, but definitely endowed with a sense of caution for the future. It seemed that, as events unfolded, a place of peace such as this could not exist for long.

As that thought occurred to the young artist, it seemed the Universe itself answered him with a thunderous crash. The room shuddered with the energy of impact, and he lost his footing. All around him, the shelves vomited books into the common. Several of the lights in the room failed. He heard the desperate pounding of dashing feet.

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Jeremiah's visit to Silverhawk Biotechnical yielded little other than the satisfaction of causing damage. He could not understand the technology involved, nor could he bypass the security systems on Silverhawk's mainframe, so he settled for a couple of hard drives and some data pads. It seemed to him as though some of these devices might contain useful information, even if it isn't enough to cure his fallen comrade.

Security had been tighter than he imagined, however, and he had been unable to maintain his control. Try as he might, he could not remember the details of the previous night any farther than the collection of his technological bounty. Miraculously, his other half had thought to retain the devices, even as he slaughtered the night watch.

He did not bother to wipe away the tears from his eyes. He knew they would be back again. He just kept staring at the blood on his hands. Though he wept, his face showed no signs of the emotion associated with this level of remorse and sorrow. That part of his mind had long ago succumbed to what lurked inside him. The tears just rolled, navigating their way through the forest of his beard until they fell freely onto the deep brown crust which clung to the lies disguising his razor talons.

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Some twelve blocks away, John Miller sat in a patrol car, awaiting certain death. As they rounded the corner, the officer's CB exploded with traffic. He looked disinterested at first, but as the broadcasts continued, reports of activity within the area of the Rubius compound changed his mind.

Miller was thrown against the rear driver's side door as his would-be captor mated the cruiser's accelerator with its floor board. The tires spun freely, screeching their protest, seconds before the lights and sirens made themselves known. Before he knew what was happening, they were on their way to respond.

"Dispatch, this is Charlie Six Tango, responding to Code Black. Repeat: Charlie Six Tango, responding to Code Black. Request armed reinforcements immediately, Copy?"

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Quote :
Ok, guys, this is for real. I need everyone who's in the vicinity on combat alert. This will be the first real fight of the storyline, and it's not going to be easy. I'm sure you all know what's coming, so bring your "A" game. Cue the boss music, Maestro!

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"The fastest path to defiance is the demand for obedience." ~BlessedWrath


Last edited by BlessedWrath on Thu May 31, 2012 9:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Because derp.)
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyThu May 31, 2012 10:03 pm #11

~MILLER~

The police cruiser sped through the streets of New Washington with Miller in the back, the sirens blazing as cars parted before it like the Red Sea. The officer was shouting into the radio for several moments before hanging it up. Code Black...not something Miller had heard of before, meaning it wasn't used by city law enforcement or Megadyne. By extension, this meant that the cop sitting in front of him was no ordinary cop, and he wasn't with Megadyne either. Maybe he was with the Corporate government, or one of Megadyne's rivals.

Either way, the situation was far more complicated that it had initially appeared. Maybe the guy knew exactly who Miller was...maybe Miller had been targeted. Why? The "cop" sitting in the front seat might know the answer. The dispatch...they had also used the term, meaning he certainly wasn't speaking to the city. Miller leaned up, looking at the radio closely. It was a standard model, nothing hinting at who the guy was with.

He sat back down, looking up at the cop. He thought back to the initial meeting with him...he'd played his role well. Miller had been convinced he was either a clueless cop, or a Megadyne goon. He'd turned out to be neither.

"I'm good in a fight, if you need me out there," Miller told him.

"We don't know there will be one, yet." He looked into the rear-view mirror with totally different eyes. Before, he had been a tired man looking to go home from a hard day's work. Now he had the look of a soldier. "You just keep out of harm's way until we figure out the extent of the danger. I still have questions for you when this is all over."

"All right, officer," said Miller, saying the "officer" portion with a hint of sarcasm. He turned his head to look out the window, attempting to piece together the puzzle as the cruiser made its way through town.
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyWed Jun 06, 2012 6:26 pm #12

~Sketch~

Dr. Rubius had left Sketch on his own in the sitting area. It was... quaint. It was certainly used, judging by the conditions of the the seating. At first thought, he thought sitting down would be good. He was not sure when the doctor would return. He'd heard him mutter something about a girl. He hadn't heard anything else though. The boy couldn't do anything about that. Sketch started to sit himself down, but he felt something uneasy. Despite his qualms, he tried to sit again. That's when it happened.

The entire building shook, knocking Sketch to the ground. The furniture around him started to rattle and fall. Books fell on top of him, which caused him to cover his head to help keep from getting hurt by the things. They were heavy too. Doctor Rubius must have bought the extended versions of these things. Or he just liked to read too much. The shaking finally stopped enough for Sketch to move. Many of the lights had been blown from the quake. "Damn. Didn't think earthquakes happened this time o'year." he muttered to himself. He finally pulled himself up from under the books. His ears caught the sound of loud footsteps coming toward him. In a flash, Dr. Rubius and another man ran past. He was not fully sure of what was going on, but he wasn't going to just stand around to find out. He quickly ran after them, though they'd already gotten out of his sight.

Sketch had found his way outside, and he instantly looked around for any signs that might explain what was going on. As he looked up into the sky, he saw some of the darkest clouds he'd ever seen. Whatever was happening, he knew that he'd have to try and help stop it. A loud gulp escaped his throat. He'd never actually been in any combat before with his powers. He didn't know what he'd be capable of either. "Looks like I'm gonna be wingin' it." He said to himself, as he grabbed a can of paint from his pack. He found a wall that wasn't damaged, and started to go to work. "Bring it on..."

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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySat Jun 09, 2012 10:24 pm #13

Moments ago...

The Dark Woman hovered a few inches from the ground, gliding toward her intended target. Despite her violent actions, the look on her face portrayed an eerie calm, almost peaceful state of mind. She canted her head and reached out for the front gates, slowly curling her fingers. As she closed her hand, the wrought iron bars groaned and buckled. Within her grasp, it seemed as though each digit physically connected with an object unseen; almost as if she really were grasping the gates with that hand.

Her movements were nothing especially swift, tending more toward deliberate grace and methodical care than brute force. She drew back her hand, raising the arm upward and allowing her wrist to bend. The movement was no more about strength than lifting a glass, though the metal of the gates screeched as their hardware popped loose. With a hint of a smile pulling at her lips, she pushed her fist, wrist still facing the ground, toward the manor and opened it.

This gate must have weighed in at or near the half-ton mark, for the force imparted upon the walls of the manor. Several of the front windows shattered instantly, their glass shards sent like hurled knives into the home's unprotected interior. Though the compound had been built of brick, styled in the fashion of older structures from centuries past, the fortification did little to resist the tremendous force of impact. The walls shuddered, and many of the occupants lost their footing.

Dr. Anton Rubius hurtled through the main entryway, narrowly avoiding the great oak double-doors as they lost their hinges and fell to the stone path which led to the courtyard. With the young Daniel Bartlet in tow, he slid to a halt once in view of his enemy. There was no description for the look on his face.

"Bugger," Amp muttered.

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Quote :
Combat begins now. Many of the posts which follow will be short, quick, and perhaps a little low on content. I understand that fully. Do not feel as though you have to write a book describing your actions, because it's not necessary. Post length is whatever gets the point across fully and effectively, not what other people think should be a "minimum". I'm asking for a paragraph or two, but I will understand if it's just a couple of short sentences. It's hard to write a full paragraph about a single punch, sometimes. If it's more desirable, I can talk out the battle in MSN Messenger, if all participants are present. With that said, have at it, and have fun!

Just remember, Pandora Prime is not a pushover. She's made to be a tough cookie, so don't get frustrated. Just do your best, and don't worry about the outcome. I have a plan. ^_^

Boss Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_vMQRmYKnM&feature=plcp

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The woman's smile broadened upon Rubius' arrival. As she floated toward him, she let her arms glide out to her sides, hands open and fingers spread. Again, her fingers curled just slightly, and two of the vehicles in the grand circle drive leaned in toward her. She lowered her head, letting her smile become a devious grin, peering at him from under a furrowed brow. The vehicles skidded across the cement, called to her by the unseen force at her command, and she locked her eyes on her target.

"Daniel," Rubius croaked, unable to look away. "Find a weapon. Now."

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Meanwhile...

James Barden strained his eyes to make out the gloom of the New Washington sanitation system. The dark made it impossible to navigate and, while he had been able to reassemble much of his body, certain details were still lost to his young mind. As he struggled to find his way, the thought of circumventing the darkness took center stage in his mind.

Suddenly it became easier to see. He could make out shapes and textures, as well as develop a sense of depth and scope, though his eyes were not responsible for the changes. He could not describe what he saw; not that "saw" was even the right word for it. He became aware of differences in temperature, fluctuations in air pressure, and other minor elemental changes in his environment. As he marveled at the new details available, the thought occurred to him that, if he could change his shape to another form of life and back, it may also be possible that he could alter the base form of his own body.

Slowly, gradually, these new senses attuned themselves to the murky depths. He knew now that his body had developed thermally sensitive receptors; that his skin had adapted to detect air currents and their origins. He wondered how far the ability could take him, dreaming of new ways to interact with his world. Though the possibilities seemed endless, the only thing he knew for certain was that he needed to find his way back to Rubius and explain his newfound talents.

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Back at the Rubius compound...

The police cruiser screeched to a halt outside Dr. Rubius' private manor, its driver wasting no time in flinging open the door and establishing cover behind it. In a flash his weapon was trained on Pandora Prime.

"On the ground, now!" he barked.

Miller was still in the back of the cruiser, now able to see for himself the cause of all the commotion. She appeared to him no different than any other average citizen of New Washington...except perhaps with a prettier face. There was also the fact that she appeared capable of levitation.

The woman refused to turn her head, but her eyes did dart to the side. Rubius could see that she knew where the officer was, even without turning to see him. Even as he tried to warn him away, Pandora Prime drew in her hands and spun on an invisible axis.

She brought her fists to bear as she rotated, each flung out and opened as it came into alignment with the officer's cruiser. The two vehicles in Rubius' drive were dragged into the air, as if gripped by a Factor Five, and assumed a deadly trajectory.

This two-shot combination immediately preceded a dizzying acceleration of the woman's flight. She tore off toward the cruiser, even as the vehicles traced their way through the air to crush it. The look in her eyes communicated murderous intent.

Two things came immediately to Miller's attention. First, he had to get out of the police cruiser and had less than two seconds to do so. Second, it seemed as though the officer had either acquired his cruiser from an antiques dealer or his reproduction expert slipped up on the door latching mechanisms, because there were handles on the inside...and they were not locked.

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Quote :
Sorry for the edit, guys. I figured it might be an idea to give a little more information to go on, as well as give out some advancement for Miller (to get him on-scene). This way there should be enough material for everyone to post responses.

If you posted while I was writing this, please review the edit and revise your post to reflect the new information. I apologize for my continuity edit, but it seemed a better tool to use.

Questions? Ask them. I will happily answer.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"The fastest path to defiance is the demand for obedience." ~BlessedWrath


Last edited by BlessedWrath on Sun Jun 10, 2012 1:36 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Because derp.)
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySun Jun 10, 2012 1:43 pm #14

~MILLER~

His hand shot towards the door handle as he lunged out and ran the hell away from the doomed cruiser. It was a great fucking situation. He was unarmed and uninformed against some crazy bitch that could fly around and throw cars with her mind. He ran like hell to cover without stopping. He'd get his bearings once he wasn't out in the damn open.
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySun Jun 10, 2012 1:54 pm #15

~Sketch~

From the small alley Sketch had found, he couldn't see much. He heard cars skidding by his location, and for a moment caught a glimpse of what they were meant to fight. The woman looked... oddly beautiful. Of course, he didn't much care for that when he knew that she was causing all this chaos. He desperately tried to come up with a good idea for a drawing. He had still never really tried this before; never would he think his art would help him in combat. Now he had to wing it and hope whatever he made would help. He could hear Dr. Rubius and the one called Amp, so that woman was probably near them as well. An idea popped into his head, and his spray cans went to work.

His arms moved faster than they normally would when painting, but now was not the time for precision. He tried to keep the details simple as well. He knew he wouldn't do good for an actual assault on her, but he could definitely distract her with something. Sketch's heart pounded as he continued to paint as fast as he could. He finished, and let his mind go to work. The painting drew away from the wall, and he went to grab it. It was solid.

He had managed to draw a small arsenal of paint weapons. Small grenades of paint and other items that would distract the woman, giving Dr. Rubius and Amp ample time to devise a more effective means of attack. He took a deep breath, and charged out of the alley. He took a moment to look and find her, before yelling. "Hey bitch!" He quickly grabbed and launched one of his small grenades, though he misjudged his throwing abilities. It landed a few feet before her, and exploded. A bright splash of green paint was on the ground. Sketch stared at it a moment, before looking up at the woman. "Oh crap."

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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptyThu Jun 14, 2012 8:08 pm #16

Officer Franklin unloaded his clip as if he were expecting the attack. His weapon may have looked like an ordinary pistol, but it did not fire like one. The primary difference Miller noted was that it appeared to suffer no recoil whatsoever. It also seemed that the weapon fired no ammunition.

Each shot from the weapon produced a peculiar phenomenon which seemed to cause a progressive compression wave from a central axis, perpendicular to its trajectory. These cylindrical wave fronts tore through the two vehicles, threading their heavy frames and engine blocks clean through. It was surreal to average eyes; the sight of this weapon which could fire nothing and rip a hole in solid steel. As each shot connected, it appeared to force the material open from the impact point, almost as if by a miniature explosion.

The vehicles, now more resembling pasta strainers than machinery, were deflected to the sides by Officer Franklin's onslaught, and came crashing to a halt some fifty feet from his position. He fired his weapon dry on the woman, who time and again withstood the blasts to no ill effect. His shots stopped short of her soft flesh, meeting a barrier of invisible force.

Just as Pandora Prime prepared the cop-in-disguise for some pain, Sketch's paint grenade bounced to her feet and spattered her shielding with vibrant greens and yellows. For a moment her attention was diverted. Her eyes swept the courtyard and came to rest on the young artist.

That was the moment in which Dr. Rubius, who had been all but forgotten by his assailant, chose to show his talents to his uninvited guests. He warped space again, this time using the opportunity given him by Sketch's distraction to drag both Miller and the would-be officer away from the danger zone.

"No time to explain," said he. "I have seen this woman once before, and she cannot be stopped by any mortal agency. We need to leave here before we are all dead."

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James Barden finally grasped the underside of the manhole cover at the intersection of Spruce and Jenson, and gave it his best effort. The cap begrudgingly parted from its moorings, showering him with light which temporarily blinded his adjusted senses. After a moment of concentration, he was able to regain his bearings.

All right," he thought. "I'm alive, I'm mostly whole, and nobody's chasing me. Now...where am I?"

As it turned out, the young mutant hadn't gotten himself hopelessly lost, but he had gone far enough out of his way that finding the Rubius Compound would be more than a minor inconvenience. He would have to ask for directions.

"But, not before I make sure all my parts are in the right place."

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Quote :
More to come, I think. I'm kind of messed up right now; can't put my finger on it. No, it's not self-inflicted...this time. Maybe I just need to wake up more. Check back later for a somewhat coherent reply.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"The fastest path to defiance is the demand for obedience." ~BlessedWrath
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySun Jun 17, 2012 1:50 pm #17

~MILLER~

Miller found himself pulled from the crazy bitch's path and suddenly next to some scientist-looking guy. He still hardly had a clue what was going on, and he was STILL unarmed.

No time to explain," the scientist guy said. "I have seen this woman once before, and she cannot be stopped by any mortal agency. We need to leave here before we are all dead."

Miller refrained from saying "I'm already legally dead, so whatever." and looked around. How the fuck had he been pulled from over there?

This was a weird day...maybe it was a dream?
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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySun Jun 17, 2012 2:00 pm #18

Sketch's eyes met with those of the woman. For a moment, he was practically frozen by her gaze. He didn't know whether he should run or try to attack her again. Though he quickly regained his thoughts and started to run. With another glimpse back he saw that Dr. Rubius had moved away, so he'd successfully diverted this woman's attention from them. Now all he could do was run.

And run he did. Though much of the surrounding area was demolished, Sketch was able to cross it with ease. His prowess in parkour, or freerunning as some called it, was helping him. He didn't know exactly where he was running or how far, but he would keep going until he was sure this crazy lady wasn't going to go after others. He ran up a piece of pavement and jumped at the apex, trying to distance himself from the woman. Every so often, he looked back, debating about throwing another paint grenade at her. "Oh, screw it!" He grabbed one quickly, and threw it behind him, hoping it would have a better trajectory than his first one.

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PostSubject: Re: Pandora 13 IC   Pandora 13 IC EmptySun Jul 01, 2012 12:06 pm #19

Officer Franklin stared at Dr. Rubius as though he had taken complete leave of his senses. In that moment, it became clear to the Doctor that this man was no mere police officer; that his weapon was not the only thing different about him. New Washington's finest were mostly just corporate stooges, possessed of only one overriding concern: Profit. This man's eyes held no such promise of greed or self-importance.

"Are you completely stupid?" the man demanded. Rubius worked his mouth as Franklin pushed away from him. "We run, and then what? Just let her steamroll this entire area?"

Some distance away, a grunt of pain shortly preceeded the crash of human weight plowing through waste bins. Australian cursing immediately followed, chased with a deep breath and a commanding tone.

"Right!" Amp shouted. "You're on the train, now, bitch. Ticket's paid. Let's ride."

Pandora Prime turned her head just in time for Sketch's second grenade, better timed than the first, to spatter her with paint. In that moment the young artist realized that her defenses were not absolute; her attention could be divided. Either there were too many attackers for her to properly contend with, or she did not view his assault as any great threat. Either way, he got through.

With her attention reaffirmed by the Aussie musician, Officer Franklin placed his right palm on his left shoulder, letting it slide down over his comm-link. These small differences in how he moved, how he executed his actions, clued in the Doctor about the nature of his training. Instead of fumbling about for his gear, he had been taught to use subtle movements to guarantee success. That was not corporate police training; it was corporate military...or better.

"Blackhammer, this is Recon One," he barked into the link. "Dropping cover in light of developing situation. Backup request is now escalated. Request deployment of tactical drones immediately. Do not send human forces. Repeat, do not send human forces."

In that moment, something in Pandora Prime's behavior changed. In the midst of pursuit, she broke off and left Amp where he stood. She floated past the Doctor and his ambiguous military friend, heading straight for the manor.

When she did strike, it was with surgical precision. Some of Rubius' doubts about her mental state began to fade as he watched her remove the front door. It was almost careful, how her mind wrapped around the wood and metal. The doors came to a skidding halt across the front lawn, not far from where they were. Clearly, her objectives had changed.

"It wasn't us," Rubius murmured.

"What?"

Rubius turned to Franklin, a panic stealing over his normally calm expression. "Don't you understand? We're not the target! She could have destroyed us already, but she didn't."

"What do you have in that house?"

__________________________________________________________________________________________________
"The fastest path to defiance is the demand for obedience." ~BlessedWrath
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