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DeLarge

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Everything posted by DeLarge

  1.   How dare you, I buy only the finest quality writing lipstick.   And good luck finding me in my Allamorph-proof bunker. It has special paint that protects against harsh literary criticism.
  2.   Your handwriting really needs work.   Anyway, I'm gonna go move house...for unrelated reasons...
  3.   It's no big deal really, I know I'm Nifty. It says it scrawled in lipstick on my bathroom mirror.
  4.   I remember wanting to win one. Then the time I finally got nominated a bunch of times, the lengthy OB shutdown and subsequent rollback on posts ate the nominations thread and all evidence of my nomination was eradicated from the internet for all eternity.   So close.   And yet so far...
  5. I watched Parks and Recreation pretty much from the beginning, loved it to a borderline insane degree, and as such the finale pretty much broke me. It was funny and touching and probably the best sitcom finale in a very long time, and it went out on a high rather than sticking around for two or three more seasons than it needed to (I'm looking at you, The Office...) and suffering from a decline in quality.   Having said that, I didn't want it to end because I loved the characters so much. So instead I was just glad that I brought a change of clothes, because my eyes pissed tears.   Anyway, I'm going to go and make myself feel better by selling some of my grandma's jewellery and going clubbing.   Jean-Ralphio ftw.
  6.   I don't know why, but this made you sound slightly like an alien studying our civilization.   Mocking aside, you can get a lower water bill, but if the gyms around you are anything like most people's, you'll be paying through the nose every month to go to the gym instead. I don't personally go to the gym because of the expense, but there's plenty of stuff you can do to build muscle and get fit at home - I have a set of free weights that I use pretty much every day, the weight is adjustable and they didn't cost me a huge amount (£25/$38), and a resistance band which cost even less (£18/$27) and, along with regular squats, push ups, sit ups and jogging those serve me pretty well. My objectives are a little different from yours as I'm trying to lose weight rather than build muscle, but the principle is the same.   However, working out at home takes quite a lot of discipline - it took me a long time to get into a routine of exercising every day because there are so many more distractions at home than there are at the gym. So if you want a more structured experience and professional advice from trainers and fitness experts then the gym is probably your best bet, but if you want to save money then I'd recommend investing in some equipment for home use. Although if you go with the second option, make sure you know what you're doing because repetitive exercise done in the wrong way can mess you up considerably in the long term.   A few extra thoughts:   - Remember to try and build muscle all over - that means working out your core and legs as well as your arms. There are plenty of images out there on the interwebs showing what happens when people miss 'Leg Day', and trust me, you really don't want to end up looking like one of them. - Work out how to eat right - you might see bodybuilders and big muscular people who can eat anything they want and work it off, but these guys are burning thousands of calories each time they work out and you won't be able to do that right away. A basic but helpful thing to remember is that carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, pasta) provide good energy and protein (meat, fish, nuts) is good for building muscle, but there are lots of other factors to consider. If you can get some solid nutrition advice it's probably a good starting point - this was a big sticking point for me for a long time, but the exercise I was doing started working a lot better when I combined it with an improved diet. - Don't push it - you're not going to get super-ripped overnight, it's going to take a while. In fact, it will probably take a few weeks before you start noticing any difference at all, but don't be discouraged. As long as you keep doing the right exercises and eating the right things you will start to notice a difference in the long-term.   And even with this advice, I'd suggest getting some from a professional - after all, I'm still a chubby dude who's only just managed to get his act together about this stuff!
  7. Thanks buddy, I've been working on the voice for a few years. Or, you know...since birth.   That wasn't real bashing, if you want to see that then check out Episode 12 - Force Fields. I maybe treated that power slightly unfairly.
  8. I spend a lot of time on YouTube, and I've got a few go-to channels that are usually good value.   Hannah Hart and her show My Drunk Kitchen are always reliable, as is Grace Helbig, and any video with the two of them together along with Mamrie Hart often go straight into my Favorites playlist. For more narrative and VFX-based stuff I enjoy CorridorDigital and RocketJump (although I've been going off the latter recently as I find their attempts at comedy to be a little stilted, but their action and VFX are always outstanding), and for gaming I like Achievement Hunter and I'm subscribed to several of the Yogscast channels, although I find their content a little more hit and miss dependent on who is in the videos.     Felicia Day and Wil Wheaton are both awesome, and Geek and Sundry has some great content. I also watch TableTop religiously, it's directly influenced the last three or four birthday and Christmas presents I've bought for my brother - Gloom in particular was a favorite, and I enjoy Say Anything, which I bought for myself as soon as I watched the TableTop episode.     Laci Green is also one of the best human beings on the planet, her work in sex education and in particular the support system she established after some unpleasant stuff came out about a number of high-profile YouTubers recently are absolutely invaluable. It doesn't hurt that she's endlessly smart and entertaining as well, and having met her at a convention last year I can confirm that she's one of the nicest people you could hope to meet.   I know that's more than three, but I'm a maverick and I don't even give a care.   And (cue slightly awkward plug) I've been running my own YouTube channel for the past 2 years, I make a weekly show called 'SO YOU'RE A SUPERHERO' which I describe as an idiot's guide to being a superhero presented by an idiot superhero (played by yours truly) and I haven't missed a week yet. That's over 100 episodes and several combined hours of complete nonsense courtesy of a man who clearly has far too much free time on his hands.
  9. "Danger, do you require assistance?"   The voice crackled into Felicia's ear as she ran through the darkened corridors of the Umbral building, her feet making little more than a whisper on the ground as she made her way towards the guards Kato had spotted. The words distracted her, and she ducked into an empty corner office to pause for just a moment - offering to activate Danger was among the worst things Geist did to her regularly, tempting her into succumbing to her addiction when the executives knew deep down that she could never resist for long. She felt her hands begin to shake at the very thought of being allowed to indulge her compulsion, and she squeezed her eyes shut to try and block out the thoughts that would always lead to her giving in.   "Repeat: Danger, do you require assistance?"   Shut up for a second.   The thought snarled through her head, the anger going some way to distracting her from the offer, but she knew saying it out loud would have repercussions further down the road.   Weigh up the bloody options.   On the one hand, if she was going up against two highly trained and potentially super-powered security operatives, Danger would definitely give her an edge. But, on the other hand, if the assignment continued as poorly as it had started, she would undoubtedly need the suit at some point in the near future, and she couldn't risk using up her allowance on a couple of guards.   "That's a negative, Control," she finally spat into her communicator, "I am proceeding alone at this stage."   "Copy that," her handler replied, "Assistance is primed and ready when you need it."   Exhaling slowly, Felicia ducked back into the corridor, and saw the silhouettes of two guards at the far end of the corridor.   Large. Heavyset. Male. Armed.   That was good - if they were armed, it was less likely that they had highly offensive superpowers, if any at all. Their size could cause problems, but even with her relatively small stature Felicia was confident she could take them both out. After all, she'd taken out far more dangerous targets with far fewer resources on her side before.   Got to go in big, take them down as quickly as possible. If that doesn't work, divide and conquer.   She focused on the shapes, and took off down the corridor at a silent sprint. A few steps before she collided with them, she dropped to the floor in a short and dirty slide, slamming her feet directly into their ankles then flipping onto her front as she scraped along the floor past them. She watched as they both dropped down to one knee, the initial attack having taken them by surprise, and leaping towards them the moment she stopped moving. With a single swift motion she grabbed them both by the neck and slammed their heads into the hard floor, knocking one entirely unconscious and dazing the other for a moment.   She took that moment to scramble back to her feet and yank the handgun out of the conscious guard's holster, swiftly firing a succession of clean, lethal shots into the pair of guards.   "Neutron, this is Danger," she said into her communicator, her breathing only slightly laboured from the confrontation, "Guards on the western side have been taken out. What is your current loca-"   Her words were cut off as a huge, almost comically-muscular man burst through the thin dividing wall keeping one of the offices separate from the hall, slamming his fist into Felicia's chest and throwing her from her feet. Even with the dizzying explosion of noise and movement, she was fairly certain she'd felt at least a couple of ribs break, and she landed hard on her back as the bigger, and clearly super-powered guard loomed over her.   "Damn it..." she wheezed as she hauled herself to her feet and faced down her new opponent. He was big, at least eight feet tall, and covered with rippling, unnatural muscle and a healthy selection of tattoos and scars created an odd mosaic-pattern to his exposed skin.   "That's far enough, little flower," he said, his voice as deep and booming as one might expect from a man of his stature, "Your visit is over now."   "Danger, do you require assistance?" asked the crackly voice through Felicia's communicator again. She winced as pain shot through her injured chest, and stared down at the cartoon strongman she was now faced with, a snarl twitching the corner of her lip.   "Repeat: Danger, do you require assistance?"   "Oh, hell yes."
  10. Generally speaking when a character sits out a mission, the idea would be that they would be on another assignment elsewhere, either solo or as part of another team (there are Throwaways other than our characters out there, we just haven't written anything about them yet). As it's only the first assignment, your character may not have even been recruited yet, and could join the team for the start of the second assignment. But generally, if you decide to sit out an assignment then you can come up with an alternate assignment your character could have been put on and write about it in the Backstories thread.   I hope that helps!
  11. Prepare for the irony of an extended response about a tiny RPG...   Overall, it's a tricky concept. There is a considerable argument about brevity being the soul of wit, and it is possible to craft a compelling narrative in a very small number of words or characters - for example, see the six-word story famously (but possible inaccurately) attributed to Ernest Hemingway ('For sale: baby shoes, never worn'). Similarly, there is certainly a benefit to keeping things short, as it encourages consistent posting and doesn't take a great deal of effort to contribute to a larger story, although it does take considerable thought to write something that is both concise and interesting.   However, as you'll see if you go back into the annals of OtakuBoards RPGs, there has been a shift away from very short posts, to the point that they are largely frowned upon in most RPGs these days. After all, while there is an argument for brevity being the soul of wit, there is a counter-argument that if you have nothing interesting or constructive to say, you're better off saying nothing at all. It's extraordinarily challenging to make something that is both interesting and worthwhile in such a small number of words or characters, and is such a big step away from what people are used to around these parts that running it would likely either become frustrating or completely unmanageable very quickly. So while it may not seem like it will be a big investment in time, you may well find that it takes up a lot more of your mind-space than you would expect.   Basically, if you feel like you have the patience and the writing skill to pull something like this off, then I say more power to you! But I would advise against jumping into because it seems easy and straightforward, as it will likely fizzle before gaining any real traction.
  12. Bullets screamed past Felicia Cole's head, spraying chunks of concrete and plaster from the walls around her as she quickly ducked below a stack of metal boxes, tossing her own empty rifle away as he hit the ground.   "Now would be a really good time to give me some," she growled into her communicator, "A really, really good time, in fact."   "Negative, Danger," the businesslike voice from the other end of the line responded, "You have reached your exposure limit for this week."   "Goddammit," she snarled, "I really think there should be some kind of exception for weeks where you send me out on six different assignments...give me some bloody wiggle room here!"   "That's a negative, Danger. No wiggle room."   Felicia swore under her breath, pulled a small concussion grenade from her belt and lobbed it over the stack of boxes towards the people shooting at her. She heard a whomp and a scream, and rolled her eyes as she continued her conversation.   "Can I at least speak to Reins?"   The operative on the other end of the line audibly sighed.   "I'll pass you on now."   The line suddenly became flooded with a tinny recording of some smooth jazz track or other, and Felicia scowled.   "Well, that's incontrovertible proof that at some point I died and went to hell," she said to herself, wincing as more bullets hit the metal boxes she was resting on, "Come on, Reins, you flash bastard..."   A few more moments of smooth jazz punctuated by bone-shaking bullet hits later, a male voice crackled onto the communicator.   "Danger, this is Reins," the smug voice said, "You are authorised on this occasion to exceed your maximum exposure limit. You have 3 minutes."   "Finally, something I can get on board with," replied Felicia with a smile as a warm, tingling feeling began to spread through her body. The pain from the cuts and bruises that had been caused by her current group of enemies faded, along with the ongoing, insistent muscular pain from years of pushing herself to her physical limits. She felt refreshed, her strength renewed and even increased, and she looked down as the familiar form of Danger crawled across her body, covering it in a lightweight red-and-black suit of body armour.   "Hello, old friend," she murmured as the suit reached her neck and stopped, a low hissing noise emanating from the being she was now indelibly linked to, and her senses were suddenly on fire. She could hear the heavy breathing of her enemies over the other side of the complex, she could smell the sticky, wet blood that she had caused them to shed, and she could feel the subtle changes in the air pressure caused by their weapons firing.   With a deep breath, she leapt out of cover with greater speed than anyone else in the room could have expected, exploding out from behind the boxes and hurtling through the air towards her enemies. They took aim and squeezed off a few shots, most missing entirely but the one or two bullets that found their mark were crushed into harmless metal studs as they collided with her armour.   She landed with both feet square in the centre of a man's chest, feeling bones snap and pop under the sudden and unexpected impact; she flung her arm out towards the closest group of men, feeling Danger extend from the tips of her fingers like living tendrils of fabric, slicing through flesh and cartilage like a knife through butter; she felt her whole body working in tandem with the being known as Danger to punch, kick, slice and strangle her way through a rank of armed and highly-trained soldiers. She delighted in the death and the bloodlust, and for three minutes she and her symbiotic partner were a perfect combination of anger, grace and death.   And then it was over.   After three minutes that felt like a lifetime, she was all too aware of Danger retracting, the armour melting off her limbs and taking with it the calming anaesthetic that took her pain away. Agony flooded back into her muscles and bones, seemingly ten times worse than before, and she collapsed into a heap as her power, her drug, was taken away from her.   The stench of blood and death filled her nostrils, a combination that still turned her stomach no matter how many times she was faced with it, and she became acutely aware of the crushed, broken and dismembered bodies laying on the floor around her.   Thick, freezing sweat formed on her forehead, and she felt a rush of nausea overcome the physical pain coursing through her body for just a moment.   "Congratulations, Danger," Reins said through the communicator, "Another successful assignment. Maybe we'll increase your exposure limit next week as a reward."   Thanks a lot, she thought as she hauled herself shakily to her feet, resigned to the constant, crushing cycle of addiction and withdrawal her life had become since she had first heard the name 'Geist Industries'.   There was just one thing that kept her going through the pain, the nausea, the ecstasy and the crippling depression: the thought, and the hope, that one day Tyler Reins would die by her hand, and she could regain control over her life.   A girl can dream...
  13. Welcome to The Throwaways, Nyxian! You are highly encouraged to make some in-character posts in The Throwaways - Backstories thread while we put the last few pieces into place to get the RP proper started!
  14. Thanks for your sign ups, NuXtos and Shwa! The RP itself will be coming along shortly, but if you're itching to dive into writing for your character in the meantime then allow me to introduce the Backstories thread. Here, you can post about your characters without the limitations imposed by assignments: you can go into their past, show us what they were like before their powers emerged or before Geist found them; you can show us their early days as part of Geist or you can show us what they're like on assignment, your creativity and imagination is the only limit here!   I've posted a short excerpt of Lucas Corrigan's past, and I heartily encourage you to do the same for your character as well, so have at it!
  15.   The Throwaways   Backstories   Welcome to Backstories, a thread where you can write about your character in The Throwaways without the limitations imposed upon you by the assignments. You can let your imaginations and creativity run wild, and show us exactly what your character is made of!   ---   Now   En route to Nevada   "A caged god...how fitting..."   The words rang in Lucas' head as he drove through the darkness, his eyes flicking briefly from the road to the unnaturally pale girl now curled up asleep in the passenger seat. It had been a few hours since he picked her up, and she was clearly drained judging by how quickly she fell asleep, particularly in the often disquieting presence of a complete stranger.   He, on the other hand, didn't need sleep: the chaotic well of energy that churned as the core of his being kept him conscious and energised, meaning he never felt tired. He never felt hungry or thirsty either, for that matter: one of the advantages of essentially not being human, as it really cut down on food and energy bills. It was why he didn't mind driving, even if the journey was hundreds of miles long and likely to take several hours, without breaks.   The new recruit made him nervous, though. She was an unknown quantity, her power couldn't be easily defined and according to Geist's preliminary files, her mental state left a lot to be desired. It seemed likely that she would be unpredictable in the field and could potentially endanger her teammates.   Remind you of anyone? Lucas thought with a chuckle. He remembered back to the broken man, both physically and mentally, that he was when Geist took him in six years ago: he had been close to collapse, dangerous to those around him and mentally unstable, just like Alice was now. Taking chances on dangerous people was what Geist did, and it had rebuilt Lucas into a brand new man: he was grateful to them, but that didn't stop him from being uncomfortable with some of the things they asked him to do.   "A caged god..."   His train of thought was interrupted by those words floating back to the forefront of his mind. It wasn't the first time he'd heard those words. Strangely, it wasn't even the first time he'd heard them in the past few years, but the last time was under very different circumstances.   ---   2 Years Ago   Alaska   "Come on Corrigan...hold yourself together..."   The words were snarled through barely-formed lips, deep orange energy blazing through the rapidly-flaking flesh as Lucas forced himself up to his knees. His eyes darted over to his teammates, men and women far more experienced and competent than he was, now lying dead in the drifting snow around him. He squeezed his eyes shut in an attempt to focus on his swiftly-decaying physical form, only to find that his eyelids had already burnt to ash and drifted away in the cold wind.   "They can't hold us! You have to know that!"   These words were roared above the howling wind, by the rogue superhuman they had been tasked with tracking down. He was still a kid, no more than seventeen years old, cursed with an ability that caused anyone within a few feet to drop down dead without warning. They had tried to inhibit his power, but that only served to make him angrier, and with a single thought he had wiped out an entire team of trained, superpowered operatives.   Well, nearly an entire team. One of the advantages of not technically being human was that death wasn't always as forthcoming as it was with other people: the kid's attack had affected the biological parts of his form, though, and he was struggling to hold himself together, and the energy that made up his true form was beginning to spill out.   "Come on...he needs you..." Lucas growled to himself, pulling what little flesh remained back and forcing it to hold in place in a rough approximation of a human body. He forced himself to his feet, and stared the kid in the eyes, knowing that he must have looked horrific to any onlookers, a twisted impression of a human body formed of orange fire and charred black flesh.   "They can help you..." Lucas shouted over the wind, "I was like you before they found me. I was angry, emotional, and dangerous to the people around me, but they helped me. They can help you too!"   "No...all they want is to control us!" the kid screamed, fury etched on his face, "They want to hold us, and make all of us like you!"   "Maybe they do," replied Lucas, taking a step closer and feeling the kid's power tugging at the remains of his physical form, "But some of us are dangerous. You and I...we're both dangerous, and Geist can help us."   "No!" the kid howled, and Lucas felt a pulse as his ability lashed out, "You could be so much more than you are now. You and I...we are gods! But they've trapped you...caged you..."   Lucas sighed. He had been trained to recognise the signs of danger, not just in terms of superpowers, but based on psychological profiles and body language. This kid...he didn't want to be saved: he felt that the world owed him something, and he wanted to stand above regular humans rather than live amongst them. In short, his powers had given him a god complex, and that kind of arrogance combined with the kind of power this kid had would never lead to anything good.   "I tried," Lucas said, quietly this time, and yet his voice seemed to carry over the roaring wind, "I want you to remember that. I tried to help you."   "Shut up! SHUT UP!" the kid screamed, and Lucas once again felt his power surge up.   So the only thing Lucas could do was respond in kind.   He took a deep breath, and directed as much of his energy as he dared towards the kid. A great gout of blazing orange energy blasted outwards from his hands and slammed into the kid's body, tearing through his flesh and bone, a cloud of ash and smoke rising from him as an unearthly scream erupted from his mouth.   Lucas winced and looked away, hurling his energy towards the kid until the cries of pain abated, then dropped his hands and looked back towards the kid. What was left of his body lay still on the snow, smoking and charred and entirely lifeless.   "Damn it..." Lucas groaned, limping over to the body of his team leader and grabbing the communicator from his lifeless wrist.   "This is Neutron," he croaked into the communicator, "All other operatives deceased. Requesting exfiltration..."   "Affirmative, Neutron," a crackly voice replied from the communicator, "Exfiltration imminent."   Lucas dropped the communicator and fell to his knees, trying to compose himself before he was picked up.   "A caged god..."   ---   Now   Nevada   A shudder ran through Lucas' body as he tried to purge the memory from his head. Alaska was a long time ago, and he had done a lot of similar work since, but he still didn't like thinking about it. It was his first real taste of the kind of work Geist needed him to do, and the first time he had lost teammates, and he had come a long way since then.   But every so often, like when Alice had said those words to him, he drifted back to that time. The words were a reminder of what he could be if he lost control, and the destruction he could cause if Geist's precautions failed.   Because while it may sound dramatic, those words are the essence of Lucas Corrigan.   "A caged god..."
  16. Well...if Orcus is doing it, why shouldn't I...?   ---   Name: Felicia Cole Codename: Danger Age: 27 Gender: Female Height: 5'6" Weight: 128 lbs Appearance: On the surface Felicia Cole is a roughly average young woman. She is of average height and weight, and her appearance wouldn't cause her to stand out from a crowd: her dark red hair is cut into a bob short enough to hang loosely around her face, but long enough to tie back into a short ponytail if necessary, and her large eyes are an extremely dark green.   However, she clearly takes care of herself, with an athlete's build made of lean, tough muscle, and can often be found in the Molehill's rather well-equipped gym maintaining her current high level of fitness. On close inspection, one would find a number of small, barely-noticeable scars on her body, including several that look suspiciously like bullet wounds, suggesting that she has seen her share of combat as well.   Around the Molehill, she tends to dress casually and in a lot of black: generally, she goes for skinny jeans and tank tops, occasionally with a hoody and a pair of leather boots, or gym clothes if she is training. When she is on assignment, however, she wears a tight-fitting black bodysuit which covers her up almost entirely, from high collar to her wrists and ankles, an outfit primarily designed to fit comfortably under the final article of clothing in her ensemble.   Specialty: Assassination   Superpowers: Danger - Felicia's superpowers are interesting, not least because nobody can quite work out where they came from: they don't seem to be of alien origin, nor do they have any kind of magical energy about them, and they don't appear to have been genetically manufactured. Felicia herself couldn't tell you how she came upon them, beyond the fact that she knows she was not born with them. All she knows is that she gained her powers no more than three years ago, and they call themselves 'Danger'.   When it is required of her, during times of physical or emotional stress, or simply put when there is 'danger' around, Felicia is able to materialise a sleek suit of high-tech looking red and black body armour around her form, seemingly out of nowhere. Those who have seen the process in action say that it almost slithers in semi-liquid form across her body before solidifying into the aforementioned armour which covers her entire body with the exception of her head: as she says, she doesn't trust any eyes which aren't her own.   The armour, along with being resilient towards most kinds of physical, energy-based and magical assault, provides Felicia with a set of superpowers including super strength, speed, agility and the ability to leap considerable distances. However, the most unusual superpower she possesses is the ability to psionically control the armour, allowing it to extend beyond her body in tendril-like prehensile arms which have considerable strength of their own. In fact, her entire movement set becomes far more fluid, allowing her to move with the speed and flexibility of quicksilver.   The armour also appears to be a sentient being all of its own, having formed some kind of symbiotic bond with Felicia, who can occasionally be found having conversations with the being, which refers to itself as 'Danger'. However, seeing the potential for this relationship to become dangerous to them, Geist Industries have implanted restrictions on Felicia's superpower, namely a neural inhibitor which controls her access to Danger: generally her exposure is limited to fifteen minutes, although this can be extended or restricted by her handler depending on the situation.   Special Skills: Before Danger came along and changed everything, Felicia Cole was a highly-trained agent of Her Majesty's Secret Service, and as such she has an impressive resume of skills, from armed and unarmed combat to covert and undercover operations. However, her real skill set was as an assassin, skilled in taking lives without mercy or hesitation, and combined with Danger she swiftly became an invaluable asset to Geist Industries.   Equipment/Weapons: Felicia is highly trained in many different types of armed combat, and she keeps a pair of short, curved knives on her at all times. However she usually relies on using her opponents' weapons against them: and with Danger on her side, she doesn't really need typical weapons to effectively take out her targets.   Personality Profile: Felicia came to Task Force Delta Echo as an aloof, almost unemotional figure focused entirely on the missions in hand. However, prolonged exposure to such a varied group of superhumans has softened her somewhat: while she maintains a dry, sarcastic sense of humour and is casually dismissive of some of the younger, more inexperienced members of the team, she has grown close to a number of her fellow Throwaways.   However, there is an element of her personality which acts as her primary weakness, and one which Geist Industries has exploited all-too effectively: she has something of an addictive personality, although her cross-addiction was stamped out with ruthless efficiency by MI6 in the early days of her training. But lately, her relationship with Danger has become something which, to the trained eye, looks a lot like addiction: the chemical release and adrenaline rush that comes with releasing Danger and gaining superpowers feeds her addiction, and by restricting her access to it Geist are able to control her in a rather brutal manner.   Writing Sample:   Felicia felt the thick, acrid sweat of withdrawal forming on her brow, the kind of sweat that seemingly inexplicably comes hand in hand with a feeling of icy cold. Of course, that feeling could also have something to do with the fact she was standing on top of a twenty-five storey building with no rooftop shelter in the middle of November.   Get your damn head in the game, Felicia, she thought, shaking her head to clear the fog from her thoughts, and clenching her fists in an effort to stop her hands from trembling, It's not like this is a particularly dangerous thing to do or anything.   Felicia Cole was one of Britain's most dangerous soldiers, and back in her prime she would never have been this distracted on an assignment. But now, there was a single word clouding her thoughts, her judgment and distracting her focus from the task at hand.   Danger.   She stood motionless, the word echoing in her mind, until she saw the vaguest signs of movement in the building opposite the one she was standing on. Inhaling deeply, she set off into a sprint and pushed off as the edge of the building came closer, leaping into the void between the two structures.   For a moment she felt as though she was hanging in the air, but that feeling was quickly replaced by the unmistakable sensation of falling a great distance. She exhaled slowly as she fell, and angled herself towards the other building.   Suddenly, the cord attached to her waist snapped taught, and the falling motion changed into a swinging one as she hurtled towards the plate glass windows of the Geist Industries headquarters. In a single swift motion, she drew a pistol from its holster on her back and fired three shots into the window that was getting rapidly closer, then angled her body so she was moving towards the glass feet-first.   In an explosion of noise and debris, she burst into the plush, well-furnished office of a young Geist executive by the name of Tyler Reins, gun levelled at his head and rage etched on her face.   "Tyler Reins," she snarled, never breaking eye contact with the well-dressed man, "You took something from me..."   "Ah, Ms Cole," replied Reins, cool as a cucumber, a ****-eating grin plastered across his face, "You certainly know how to make an entrance."   He took a seat in one of the many leather-covered seats in the office, folding his legs and gesturing for the tightly-coiled assassin to take a seat opposite him. She didn't move a muscle, although her body screamed out for her to collapse, just now registering the pain from her ill-advised stunt.   "Not a sitter? That's ok," said Reins, reaching inside his jacket and pulling out a small square device with a glowing blue screen, "So, I assume that this is the reason for your visit?"   He pressed his thumb into the screen, and Felicia suddenly collapsed, writhing and gasping for air as a strange, liquid-like substance began to crawl slowly across her body. Reins got to his feet and stood over her.   "Here's the deal, Ms Cole," he said, hovering his thumb over the screen on the device, "You have something we want. We have something you want. It's a fairly simple matter to bring the two together."   He knelt down and lifted her chin to look her in the eyes as the strange substance threatened to engulf her entire body.   "You will be my attack dog, Ms Cole. You will hunt and maim and kill for me, and in return...? I will give you exactly what you need."   He pressed his thumb into the screen again, and the substance suddenly and violently retracted until it was nothing, leaving a weakened Felicia curled up on the floor, shuddering and trying desperately to hold the sobs in.   "I'll take that as a yes," Reins said coldly, getting to his feet and gesturing to the two heavyset security professionals that had entered the room moments earlier, "Take Ms Cole straight to the Molehill."   They stormed over and grabbed the shivering young woman, hauling her upright and dragging her out of the room.   "She might as well get comfortable, after all."   ---   So what I'm saying with all this is...feel free to make more than one character if you want some more options!
  17. Welcome, NuXtos, pleasure to have you on board!   ---   Name: Lucas Corrigan Codename: Neutron Age: 30 Gender: Male Height: 6' 0" Weight: 175 lbs Appearance: For all intents and purposes, Lucas Corrigan looks basically human: he is relatively tall, and built with lean muscle which gives him a good deal of physical strength without adding too much bulk. His dark brown hair is cropped short on the back and sides and left a little longer on top, and a short, scruffy beard covers the lower half of his face, mostly the same colour as his hair but with flecks of lighter, copperish colours streaked throughout. A thin scar runs from his left eyebrow down to his cheekbone, but other than this a casual observer would likely comment that he was a fairly handsome guy.   However, upon closer inspection they would find a number of strange things about him: firstly, a large black metal plate which seems to be fused to the skin on the back of his neck, and if they were to strip-search him they would find a number of similar plates attached to his body at different locations, from the backs of his thighs to over his pectoral muscles. The second odd thing they would likely notice is that his eyes, which look hazel-brown from a distance, are actually pits of deep orange light, which appear to pulse and warp like tiny balls of fire. Thirdly, they would see that sparks and pulshes of similarly deep orange energy seem to rush around just beneath his skin, giving it an almost translucent feel. They would also notice that these sparks, and the fire in his eyes, becomes far more intense when he is angry or under stress, and occasionally threatens to break through his skin and flare out.   Around the Molehill, he tends to go fairly simple with his clothing, wearing jeans and t-shirts, occasionally throwing on a long-sleeved plaid shirt over the top, along with his favourite pair of dark grey boots which he rarely goes anywhere without. However, when he goes out in 'street dress', he tends to cover up as much as possible, wearing a leather jacket and gloves in an attempt to conceal the strange energies flaring up beneath his skin, as well as the metal plates that are attached to his body.   Superpowers: Lucas is not a human being, at least not by the biological definition of the term: when his superpowers emerged, they completely destroyed his physical body, leaving a being composed entirely of pure, destructive energy. Over time, however, he found that with the application of strong willpower, he was able to psionically reform a rough approximation of his physical body out of dust and skin particles in the air, forming it around the core of energy: but it was a rough approximation indeed, with holes showing through the flesh revealing pools of deep orange energy raging beneath the surface, which resulted in the necessity of wearing a number of bandages across his 'body' at all times to hide the energy within.   However, he found that the power had some advantages: as his entire being consists of this energy, he never needs food or water to sustain himself, nor does he really need oxygen to continue living. He often eats with his teammates to stop himself from appearing too strange or otherworldly, but he has admitted on a number of occasions that he can barely taste the food, and it literally burns up the second it enters his system. Beyond the passive capabilities of his power, he found he could manipulate the energy in a number of different ways, from creating powerful, destructive blasts of pure, white-hot energy to entering electrical systems either for transport or for control of the system itself. He has also found that, due to the mysterious and unknown qualities of the energy that makes up his body, he is largely immune to other forms of energy, both those fired by particle weapons and emitted by other superhumans, and can even convert this energy into his own. He can even imbue certain types of projectile weapons with energy to provide a bit of extra oomph should he choose to, although the majority of his teammates don't carry guns so he doesn't often need to rely on this part of his power.   However, the energy which makes up his form is incredibly volatile, and without restraint it would flood out and cause widespread destruction: before his induction into Geist's ranks, he held his power in only through sheer force of will, but since he joined the corporation he has been outfitted with a number of pieces of specialist equipment which hold his physical body together in a way he wouldn't have been able to do otherwise. These 'Bio-Dampeners' take the form of black metal plates which appear to be fused to his skin over several areas of his body, and they create a strong repelling force around his entire body which keeps the energy contained until Lucas should choose to unleash it. These Bio-Dampeners have saved Lucas' life and allowed him to masquerade as human far more successfully than he would have otherwise been able to do, but they do come with a distinct drawback: should he disobey any orders or do anything that Geist is unhappy with, the bio-dampeners will invert their force and create what is basically a miniature black hole in the core of Lucas' being, which will absorb everything that he is, and kill him.   Special Skills: During his time working with Geist, Lucas has become well-versed in close quarters combat, combining elements from a number of different martial arts to create a fighting style based on swift, heavy attacks designed to incapacitate enemies as quickly as possible. Unfortunately this style sacrifices stealth in favour of strength, meaning he has to rely on other members of the team for more covert missions. He has also developed his skills in tactical black and covert operations planning, and is often relied on as 'team leader' due to these skills.   However, his greatest skill beyond his superpowers is his incredible willpower: brought about through a great deal of meditation and other relaxation techniques, he was able, against all scientific theories, to reign in the energy which makes up his true form for far longer than anyone would have expected. Now that he doesn't have to think so much about restraint, thanks to Geist's Bio-Dampener implants, he is able to focus this willpower on other things, notably his training and team leading responsibilities.   Equipment/Weapons: Other than the Bio-Dampener implants Geist has fitted him with, Lucas doesn't carry any other equipment into assignments, preferring to rely on his combat skills and powers to get the job done.   Personality Profile: The man, or more accurately the being, who is Lucas Corrigan has been many things over the years. Before his abilities emerged, he was a strong, well-adjusted man who was thankful for the good things in his mostly simple life, his friends and family and his fulfilling career and hobbies. He would rarely be seen without a smile on his face, and everybody who knew him lived safe in the knowledge that, if it was within his power, he would do anything for them.   Then his powers emerged in an explosive and destructive manner, and he became a literally and figuratively broken man, withdrawing from society entirely, allowing his friends and family to believe that he was dead and surviving through petty crime, stealing anything that he needed and finding shelter where he could. He rarely spoke, he never interacted with another human being unless it was totally necessary, and ultimately became suicidal, although he was never able to kill himself due to the nature of his powers.   However, since joining Geist he has been regaining his confidence, and although he remains a pale shadow of the happy man he used to be, he is able to share a joke with his teammates, to interact normally with other people. However, he somewhat immerses himself in the task set for him by Geist, and while he doesn't particularly enjoy doing what he does, he understands his place in the world much better now: he is, simply put, a necessary evil.   Writing Sample:   Lucas had never been to Patriot City before. He'd always wanted to, back when he was human, but other things always seemed to get in the way. Not that he regretted any of his choices, but he occasionally had moments when he realized just how much his life had changed since the day his superpowers manifested, and how distant those decisions seemed nowadays.   He caught a glimpse of himself in a storefront window as he walked past, and saw a stranger looking back at him. He rarely thought about his appearance these days, beyond patching up cracks and holes that appeared in his flesh as his powers tried to escape, but the man he saw in the reflection was a shadow of the man he used to be: his hair was lank and matted in odd places, seemingly burnt off in others, but covered by the deep hood of his jacket. The bandages that he had wrapped around the lower portion of his face, and various parts of his hands were filthy, their white texture now almost completely grey, and the visible parts of his face were pale and gaunt. People swerved to avoid him as they passed him in the street, which suggested that he smelt roughly as good as he looked, and most probably saw him as just another homeless man: an accurate assumption, even if the reasons were different from most other transients that occupied the streets.   He walked nervously, conscious that he hadn't been around this many people in a long time, but with a singular purpose. Rumours had been spreading about a company based in Patriot City that could remove superpowers, and since the first murmurings of it had reached him, he knew that he had to find out for himself. If someone could take away his curse, maybe he could go back to his old life, see his friends and family again, perhaps even start his own family. These thoughts were all that had kept him going over the past six months, and now he was so close he could barely think of anything else.   He rounded a corner, and the full scale of Geist Industries headquarters came into view: a huge metal and glass shard piercing the sky and dwarfing all other buildings around it. What was left of his mouth curved into a tiny smile, and if he had tear ducts any more they would likely have squeezed a few droplets out. This building, as impressive as it was, represented so much more to him than just metal and glass and concrete: it represented hope and salvation.   Fuelled by the sight, he broke out into a clumsy run, weaving in and out of the pedestrians lining the sidewalks, until he reached the front entrance of the building. He stopped running, staring at the building's lobby, full of people rushing to get to important meetings, or to get home and see their families. Soon he would be able to join them again, soon he wouldn't have to hide away, scared of what he could do, all he had to do was step through those doors.   But he couldn't do it.   Thoughts rushed through his head, of friends and family and his old house, memories of good times and images of future ones. But the thoughts shattered as they reached him, exploding outwards in fragments and fire and heat.   He felt what was left of his skin burning, and held his hands up to his face, watching in horror as the flesh began to scatter, turning to ash as the energy inside grew stronger. He felt cracks split apart his face, and tried desperately to cover them with his rapidly-disintegrating hands, attempting to hold the light and the destruction within his body at bay.   "Help...me..." he whimpered, feeling everything he had worked for crumble away in front of his eyes, "I...need help..."   Through the orange light he saw the silhouettes of several people walk towards him, and tried to call out to them, but his words failed as his body was, and he collapsed to his knees as they moved closer.   Then everything went black.   "We're here to help you."   The words snapped him out of unconsciousness, and he looked down at his hands. There was very little flesh left on them, but somehow the energy inside had stopped flowing outwards, and almost solidified in the shape of human hands. He blinked a few times, and looked at his surroundings: a clean, white room he recognised as a medical facility of some kind, occupied only by himself and a well-dressed woman standing in front of him.   "Can you hear me, Lucas?" she asked, and he detected a hint of an accent in her voice. He nodded, feeling a little groggy, and he saw a smile creep across her face.   "Where...where..." he stammered, struggling to get the words out.   "You're inside Geist Industries Headquarters, Lucas," she said, "We brought you in from outside."   "And...how did..."   "How did we contain your abilities? We've been working on these things for a very long time, Lucas. You're not the first of your kind we've encountered."   "You can...you can take this power away from me?" he asked, slowly forming the words as he held his hands up. The woman's face fell a little, and she shook her head slowly.   "No, Lucas. I'm afraid we can't do that," she said solemnly, but comfortingly, her voice soft and kind, but her tone didn't stop the frustration rushing through Lucas' system like a drug, numbing him to all the possibility that had been swirling around his head for the past six months, and he felt himself slump in the seat they had propped him up in.   "But we can offer you something else," the woman said, "An opportunity."   "To do what?" he asked, raising his head to meet her eyeline, but any remaining enthusiasm had drained from his voice.   "To use your powers for good. To build something."   "All this power...rushing through me," he murmured, "And you...want to give me a construction job...?" The woman let out a short laugh, until she realised that he hadn't been joking. He didn't even know if he could remember how to make a joke, not after all this time.   "No, Lucas. Not a construction job."   "Then what? What do you want me to build?" A broader smile grew across the woman's face, and for the first time in a long time, Lucas felt that he was being treated as a person, not as a monster, or a threat, or worst of all a victim.   "A better tomorrow."   ---   Keep those sign ups coming, I'm looking forward to seeing what you've got for us!
  18.   The Throwaways The Molehill   The World   While the worldâ??s history follows roughly the same chronology as our own, there are a number of differences: the main one being that metahumans have been present and known to the public for three quarters of a century (although they have secretly been in existence throughout human history in various forms), and have been subtly altering major events throughout time ever since.   In the early 1940s, as a way of combatting the rising power of the Nazis during the Second World War, scientists working as part of a clandestine government organisation known only as Project Salvation chemically altered the physiology of a man named James Bishop and enhanced him to superhuman levels: his strength, speed, agility, stamina, reflexes and senses were greatly heightened by the process, and he became the US Armyâ??s number one weapon in the fight against the Nazis. But Project Salvation opened the floodgates, sparking the Super Soldier Race as each country desperately attempted to replicate the success of Bishopâ??s augmentation to varying degrees of success, and the age of Super Combat was upon us. Battles were no longer fought by platoons of men, but by single combatants who could punch through reinforced concrete and leap great distances, and soon ordinary combatants were rendered all but obsolete.   But this was only the beginning, and the real metahuman breakthrough came in the 1970s, when a brilliant young scientist named Adam Clarke found himself trapped inside his laboratory as an experimental particle reactor malfunctioned, a freak accident which resulted in Clarke becoming the hero known as Vanquisher, the Invulnerable Man. He was the first truly â??superâ?? superhero, able to fly through the air, shoot beams of light from his eyes and reduce entire buildings to rubble with just a swing of his fist.   If it wasnâ??t for Vanquisher, metahumans as we know them would not even exist. The mutations in his blood, when studied, revealed more about the potential hidden within the human body, and government-funded scientists began work on creating the new breed of super-soldiers, selectively mutating them to create men and women with capabilities to equal Vanquisher, and soon enough new superheroes began appearing across the globe. Suddenly, people with the ability to generate massive quantities of fire or move objects with their minds began helping civilians, fighting crimes and engaging in acts of international heroism.   Naturally, the emergence of more and more superhumans resulted in the forging of alliances, with multiple teams forming across the United States, and eventually spreading across the world. The first, and most well-known team was Stormforce, an esteemed group of powerful metahumans which still exists today, albeit with a much-changed roster of heroes. It is the dream of many to join Stormforce and fight evil with the best superhumans on the face of the planet.   It wasnâ??t too long before the mutations developed included hyper-intelligence, and soon intergalactic spaceflight was not just possible, it was simple. Some of them even discovered other universes existing alongside our own, and eventually they managed to open gateways between these realities, allowing visitors from other worlds to cross over into our own.   But regular Earthbound humans were not ready to let aliens and creatures from other worlds take all the glory, and countless wealthy or just plain bored men and women set themselves up as vigilantes, utilising acrobatics, martial arts and high-tech weaponry to fight crime in their respective cities and neighbourhoods. The most notorious of these was a mysterious figure known only as the Shadow who operated across Patriot City, and was ultimately the first non-powered superhuman ever to join the ranks of Stormforce.    Stormforce   The world's number one superhero team, Stormforce is made up of some of the most powerful superhumans on the planet. While their ranks have changed numerous times over the decades they have been together, their current line up consists of the following members.   Steel Saviour   To the public, the Steel Saviour is one of the greatest heroes around: a mysterious man, clad in a suit of robotic armour that conceals his identity from all who may seek to find out, who helps those in need and has thwarted numerous attacks on his home country by supervillains and non-powered threats alike. He stands for peace and justice, and has vowed to defend not only his country, but also his world from anything that threatens to jeopardise that which he stands for.   He does so not with superpowers, but with advanced technology contained within his armour: wearing it, he can fly, easily punch through solid concrete, and shoot concussive blasts from his hands and eyes. Not only that, but he also has retractable blades hidden in each of the forearms, a small missile launcher mounted on each shoulder and a number of other weapons he keeps to himself. The armour is also wired with state-of-the-art thought control, meaning there is no lag between the man inside the armour thinking of a movement, and the armour making the movement. In short, it makes him the ultimate human weapon, and the world can be thankful that he chooses to use this power for good.   Construct   A young woman from France, Amira Deforest was one of the â??Awesome Sevenâ? heroes who created and supported Maggie Magnificent. At the age of 9, Amira and the other members of the Awesome Seven were struck by an alien meteor rock with unknown origins. It is not known whether the meteor rock granted the girls miraculous new powers or merely unlocked them, but it is known that shortly after they received their powers--which allowed them to give physical form to their thoughts-- they used their powers in tandem to create their very own hero, whom they christened â??Lady Hero.â? Lady Hero and the Awesome Seven were a hit from their inception, launching a number of toy lines and animated series based upon the groupâ??s global crime fighting adventures. This all changed, however, when, during the Awesome Sevenâ??s teenage years, the other six members and numerous friends and family members were mysteriously murdered, leaving Amira alone and imbuing her with additional energy. Despite her loss she valiantly continued the fight against injustice alongside her created hero.   Whereas originally she could only create a dense, plated, form-fitting armor for herself and sustain flight, she now has the ability to create virtually anything imaginable. When fighting crime she uses this ability to create white, translucent armor capable of stopping a punch from even Magnificent and fights with various constructed weapons or directed energy. Her ability is powerful enough that she has been seen on one occasion to recreate the other members of Stormforce in hard light form, and they operated almost as efficiently as the actual team. Although her ability mainly manifests as white light, when under duress her abilities sometimes shift to other colours of the rainbow, most noticeably yellow. Whether the colour shift is related solely to her emotional state or the strength of her powers is unknown.   Maggie Magnificent   The epitome of a hero, Maggie Magnificent, usually referred to simply as Magnificent by the public, captured the hearts and minds of people worldwide for years. When she debuted alongside the Awesome Seven as Lady Hero, she was immediately a hot commodity. She operated under many names and costumes; each was accompanied by its own limited edition life sized figurine. She was unchallenged in strength and beauty, unrivaled in the number of crimes stopped and lives saved, and unrelenting in her championship of the underrepresented and the disenfranchised. She used the innocent desire of the children who created her, as well as the guiding hands of their friends and families, to improve life worldwide. After the tragic incident which claimed the lives of her extended family, she took her remaining creator, Amira, under her wing and continued their quest to better all mankind.   Unlike the other members of Stormforce, her costume is very fashion minded: a white, shoulderless dress with gold accents, a gold belt, black gloves, exposed black boy shorts with gold outlining, and white and gold open-toed heels. Her fashionable dress and wholesome demeanor belie her immense and fearsome powers. She is actively touted as being one of the, if not the most, powerful super on the planet. She can emit several different wavelengths of energy from her eyes, has enough strength to move a planet, can survive nuclear explosions, and is rumored to possess other, unknown abilities which she has not had cause to use yet.   Pantheon   Where some superhumans are demigods, gods or godlike beings, Pantheon has a singular advantage over all of them: while they are singular gods, she is the physical manifestation of every god, goddess and demigod in the Greek and Roman pantheons, hence her codename. She possesses, among other things, the wisdom of Athena, the speed of Hermes, the rage and fury of Ares and the magic of Hecate. This makes her an incredibly powerful being, but thankfully she has chosen to use her powers for good, standing alongside the heroes she sees as the peers of her deities and keeping the world, and everyone on it, safe.   Pantheon dresses as is appropriate to her power, in a suit of Greco-Roman armour replete with gold leaf, a gem-studded tiara on her head and, unlike a lot of the ancient history-themed superheroes out there, chooses to cover her arms and legs with armour rather than leaving them exposed. Her weapon, known as the Phalanx, is an object formed from pure energy which alters its shape to fit whichever god or goddess Pantheon is best representing at any time: from the Trident of Poseidon to the lightning bolt of Zeus, whatever shape it takes it is nonetheless one of the most powerful weapons in this or any world.   Hart & Sole   A pair of former career criminals, Jack Hartford and Soledad Ramirez once made a decision which caused their lives to take a turn for the bizarre. A chance break-in at a seemingly ordinary New York brownstone led to the pair stumbling across an ancient and powerful magical book named the Palladian Grimoire, and upon reviewing the spoils of their crime and reading out a single sentence from the book, they were accidentally granted vast magic powers: Jack was given dominion over the physical vessel of man and beast, while Soledad was granted power over the realm of the spirit. Along with these powers came a vaster understanding of the world, and the worlds between worlds, and they turned from their life of crime to become superheroes.   For a long time they fought darkness and despair, of both magical and scientific origin, as the magical team known as Hart & Sole, and it wasn't long until they were taken on by Stormforce as their resident experts in magic and the occult.   They both dress in rather ominous fashion, with lightweight enchanted body armour which glows with a faint, ethereal light at all times, underneath long hooded cloaks of deep scarlet which offer them high levels of magical protection as well as the ability to move between realms at will. This means that they frequently move from the physical realm to the spiritual realm in order to communicate with spirits and otherworldly creatures, and can even go as far as summoning these creatures and allowing them to move between realms with them.   Doctor Braddock   A charismatic hero with the charm and tenacity of the adventuring science heroes of old radio shows, the figure known throughout the cosmos as Doctor Braddock (and sometimes simply as, the Doctor) is a well-respected and awe-inspiring member of both the science and hero communities. Once a brilliant but angry youth with intimacy issues, his powers were the only thing that distinguished him from the billions of humans wallowing in self-pity worlwide. Indeed, it was these powers that earned him the attention of a certain organization who put the young man through numerous life-threatening situtations and forced him to come to terms with his anger. Managing to survive through his trials, and no longer burdened with his seething rage, he was able to turn his attentions to the world of science and technology. Barely two years after his job transition he became a leading scientist and a reknown mechanical engineer whose many inventions haved solved countless world issues.   Doctor Braddockâ??s wields the miraculous ability to manipulate spacetime. In his youth he primarily used this power to open wormholes in space to transport himself from place to place. These wormholes were originally massive, energy-consuming and slow forming, but after years of practice he can instantaneously create and travel through these wormholes either to another location of his choosing anywhere on Earth or in an alternate dimension. Additionally, he can increase or decrease the gravity in an area or on a target, can create multiple wormholes to absorb and redirect attacks, and is even rumoured to have the ability to travel through time, although that is largely speculatory. His abilities seem to be knowledge based; as his understanding of his ability develops, the stronger he becomes. In battle he also utlizes a myriad of inventions including a directed-energy weapon, a deployable anti-matter shield and weaponized scalpels, which have also been enchanted by Hart & Sole. Costume wise, he dresses like a cross between a doctor and an adventurer. A red photographer's vest filled with seemingly bottomless pockets covers a plain white t-shirt with the letters D and B slightly overlapping diagonally on the chest and tan, flexible cargo pants constructed from his own patented metamaterials, and brown hiking boots.   Valhalla   Named after the Norse legend of an afterlife for those who die in combat, Valhalla is a vast skybase from which Stormforce operate. From their vantage point in the clouds, the team is able to monitor much of the activity on the ground, and quickly identify any potential extra-terrestrial threats that may emerge from outside our own galaxy. The base is fitted with separate chambers for every member of the team, as well as an extensive gym and training area, a number of laboratories equipped for various types of research and development, and many more secrets besides.   Powered with revolutionary repulsor technology, the station requires comparatively little power to operate, and is able to change location to combat threats across the globe swiftly and decisively. Some detractors of the team view the constant presence of Valhalla and, by extension, Stormforce themselves, as a violation of privacy and even a potential threat to their wellbeing; however, the overwhelming majority of people see it as a necessity with the increasing proliference of superhuman threats across the planet.   Nobody knows for sure how the team came into ownership of such a huge and expensive complex, but many believe that it is something to do with MacOne Enterprises, a large corporation with many ties to the superhuman community.   Geist Industries   Founded in the early 1920s by a German-American named Franklin Geist, the company that would go on to become Geist Industries began life as a medical supply company providing valuable support to hospitals and medical professionals in the wake of the First World War, a venture which turned out to be rather profitable. A century later, and Geist Industires is a vast multinational corporation with fingers in many different pies, from biological and chemical weapons technology to news publication and television broadcasting.   Having been handed down through multiple generations of the Geist family over that time, the current CEO of Geist Industries is a reclusive, enigmatic figure known to the public only as 'Mr M', who delegates all public duties to various of his subordinates and is rarely, if ever, seen out in public. Regardless of his demeanour, though, he is without a single doubt one of the most powerful and influential men in the world, and he has revolutionised Geist's involvement in a new and very important area: superhumans.   As vocal supporters of superhumans and superhuman causes since the days of Project Salvation, Geist have, in recent years, pumped a large amount of money into the study and support of superhumans, recognising their existence as the most important scientific breakthrough in history, to great effect and profit.   There is, however, another company with much greater stock in the future of the superhuman community: MacOne Enterprises.   MacOne Enterprises   A relatively new company in comparison to Geist Industries, MacOne Enterprises was founded in the early 1930s by Gregory MacTaggart, a genius engineer and entrepreneur who made a name for himself and his company by providing high-end weapons tech to both those involved in Project Salvation, as well as the conventional military. Many people say it was MacTaggart's technology which helped win the Second World War, although generally the praise is shared with the soldiers of Project Salvation themselves.   Since then, MacOne Enterprises has gone from strength to strength, growing to become a company to rival Geist Industries, with divisions focused not only on weapons technology, but also civil engineering, clean energy initiatives and charitable causes among many others.   However, their greatest success was the accidental creation of Vanquisher in one of their own laboratories, and the very notion of 'superheroes' has been indellibly linked with MacOne Enterprises in the public consciousness ever since. They continue to back superhumans not only with research and financial support, but also by supplying them with the latest technology to assist them in doing their vital work for the safety of the world.   In the late 1990s, Gregory MacTaggart passed away peacefully, controversially leaving control of the company to his youngest son Alexander rather than his eldest Nicholas: since his meteoric rise to power, Alexander has brought the company great success and profit at the expense of alienating his brother and sisters, who are no longer associated with MacOne Enterprises. A much more public figure than the elusive Mr M, Alexander MacTaggart has a reputation as something of a playboy, flaunting his considerable wealth and power in public while utilising his canny engineering and business skills to bring forth great things for the company behind closed doors.   Task Force Delta-Echo, aka 'The Throwaways'   Behind the public facade of unwavering superhuman support, Geist Industries conceals a network of far more sinister undertakings where superhumans are concerned. From genetic and biological experimentation to studies into the synthesization and weaponization of superpowers, Geist have been dabbling in the dark underbelly of the superhuman community for quite some time.   The latest in a long line of such endeavours is Task Force Delta-Echo, informally known as 'The Throwaways': a team of superhuman convicts coerced into monitoring and policing the world's superhuman community, with violent and sometimes deadly results. The project is currently under the joint supervision of Tyler Reins and Esfir Veselov, two Geist executives who hav a storied history with the superhuman community and with Geist Industries itself; but who are committed to making the world a safer place by controlling what they see to be rogue elements within the world of the superhuman.   Each member of the Throwaways is shackled with a piece of Geist technology which, if they disobey an order or attempt to attack a Geist executive, will activate and kill them. Each device is uniquely designed for each member of the team, and made to overcome their superhuman abilities in a variety of creative and disturbing manners, and has both an automatic trigger and one controlled by Reins. Generally the members of the team are recruited from prisons and other such situations: Reins believes that, if offered a choice between working for the Task Force and being imprisoned, most will choose the former, even if they do remain unaware of the more deadly elements of the arrangement.   As a strictly off-the-books endeavour, the Task Force operates out of a vast underground base known only as 'The Molehill', formed of a complex system of intertwining and overlapping tunnels connecting up large individual rooms and containing small chambers for each member of the team, training areas and meeting rooms, and has been highly developed to operate with a skeleton staff so as to minimize the number of people who are aware of the Task Force's existence.   Discuss   This is the place to discuss any thoughts, concerns, queries or questions you might have about The Throwaways - leave your responses below and I'll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible!   I'll also be updating this thread with new information as it comes to light, so remember to keep checking back!
  19.   The Throwaways Redux   Presented by DeLarge and Orcus   ---   "You join me here at Patriot City Federal Bank, where members of super-team Stormforce have just thwarted an attempt at grand larceny by an as-yet unidentified group of criminals."   The young female reporter smiled broadly into the camera in the somewhat genuine, yet entirely false way that only a news reporter could, standing her ground in front of a swarm of civilians crowding around the camera, jostling for a glimpse of their favourite heroes.   "The robbery was foiled just a few minutes ago by the Steel Saviour..."   The image cut to footage of a figure covered head-to-toe in shiny silver armour bristling with weapons, floating a few feet off the ground in front of the giant doors to the bank.   "...along with Construct, the youngest member of the team..."   Images of a young woman clad in a suit of pearlescent white armour that appeared to be made of nothing more than light appeared in the report, a bubble of bright white energy emerging from her outstretched hand and containing the prone forms of several criminals.   "...and the great American hero Magnificent."   A spectacular figure appeared on-screen, wearing a fashionable white-and-black costume and a broad, gleaming smile as she waved to the crowd assembled in front of her, receiving a deafening cheer and rapturous applause in return.   The footage cut back to the reporter, whose smile had somehow expanded even further as the crowd exploded into noise and chaos behind her.   "And here to comment on today's events is none other than the Steel Saviour, leader of Stormforce," she said, and the armour-clad man stepped into the frame, his superior size dwarfing the petite reporter and his metal helmet giving him a cold and emotionless, but stoic and powerful air.   "Steel Saviour, on behalf of all citizens of Patriot City, I'd like to thank you for your services here today. We owe you and the rest of Stormforce a great debt."   "Thank you, Jessica," replied the Steel Saviour, his voice deep and resonant, but electronically distorted through his helmet, "But we are only doing our duty as American citizens. With power like ours, it would be irresponsible of us to sit back and do nothing..."   The image paused on the screen, and a well-built man in a smart black suit stepped in front of the large monitor, the light from the projection casting an eery shadow across his handsome, slightly scarred face.   "And there, ladies and gentlemen, is our problem," he said, gesturing to the screen behind him, "With power like theirs..."   "I don't understand, Mr Reins," said one of the figures seated in front of the screen and the man, a middle-aged woman in a sharp power suit, "These people are heroes, they make our city, our world, in fact, safer."   "Do they?" replied Mr Reins, "In the years since these...superheroes appeared in our lives, haven't we had more large-scale incidents across the globe than ever before? Haven't there been more attacks on American soil by super-powered terrorists than we ever imagined when they first came into our collective consciousness? These people, these men and women we have silently elected to maintain order and peace around the world, they are heroes, of course they are. But they are powerful, more powerful than anything we could have imagined, and in the words of the great Lord Acton..."   "Mr Reins, are you going somewhere with this?" asked another of the figures seated around the large conference table, "We do have other things to be doing with our time..."   "Power," Mr Reins interrupted, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. These people have absolute power, and how long is it goinge before that power corrupts them absolutely? Is there a police force, or even a military in any nation in the world that could stand up to the power of Magnificent, should she choose to turn on us?"   A murmur rounded the darkened room, and Mr Reins allowed himself the smallest of smiles as he felt the power dynamic in the room shift in his favour.   "No," he said, breaking through the murmur, "There is not. What we are proposing is a contingency, to use what we have at our disposal to our advantage should the superheroes of this world turn on us. They will remain a secret, their existence erased from our records and known only to those with the highest possible security clearance."   "If you're talking about what I think you're talking about, Reins..." growled a heavyset older man in an ill-fitting black suit, before being cut off by Reins' response.   "A black ops team, composed entirely of superhuman convicts we currently have in our custody. Off the record, no liability, maximum security. All we need is the board's approval," he finished with a grin which highlighted a small scar on the right side of his face.   "Suppose we did approve this, Mr Reins," asked the female board member who had spoken up earlier, "Do we have any guarantee that these activities will never be traced back to Geist Industries? Setting up a kill-team opposing the nation's defenders would reflect very poorly on the company."   "We have every guarantee. All the details are in these files, take your time to look through them, but I'm sure you won't be disappointed," he said, sliding a bunch of files across the table towards the board members, who picked them up and began leafing through them.   "Task Force Delta-Echo?" one of the board members asked, noticing the label on the front cover of the document.   "That's the official designation, yes," replied Reins, "But downstairs we tend to call them by another name."   "Oh yes? And what might that be?" asked the board member, and Reins grinned again.   "We call them the Throwaways."   ---   Background   Welcome to The Throwaways, brought to you as part of the ongoing OB Relaunch. Some of the older members of the 'Boards may remember the original Throwaways from a few years ago, but this will be a very different beast.   We will be playing the roles of the Throwaways, superhuman convicts in the custody of the powerful multinational corporation Geist Industries forced to monitor and police the world's superhuman community, including both supervillains and superheroes. Geist will have powerful and influential ways in which to control us, and defying them will most likely result in your death.   Assignments   As with the first OB Relaunch RP 'Fistful of Credits', The Throwaways will be run in a different manner to previous RPs. The story will be separated into relatively short 'Assignments', each posted in a separate thread, and once you've created a character you will be allowed to pick and choose which Assignments you participate in: all we ask is that, if you choose to join an Assignment, make sure you can see it through to the end.   Ideally we would like everyone to participate in multiple Assignments over the course of the RP, but if you reach the end of an Assignment and decide you no longer wish to continue playing, you can let us know and we will work with you to create a satisfying resolution for your character. However, you will be permitted to rejoin the RP at a later stage with a new character if you should choose to do so.   The Assignments will be divided into four distinct categories, each of which will involve different approaches and different skill sets. These categories are as follows:   Heist: The team will be given a target item, which they will have to steal from wherever it is currently being kept. Infiltration: Members of the team will be required to infiltrate a group or team and gain valuable information while undercover. Defamation: The team will be assigned to gather or manufacture damning evidence about a superhuman and release it to the public. Assassination: You will be required to kill a superhuman.   After the initial Assignment, you will each be allowed to vote on which Assignment type you would like to participate in next. The most popular choice will then be posted as the next Assignment, and you can choose whether or not to sign up for it.   Obviously, you don't have to participate in every Assignment, but we do encourage players to read each one in case there are important plot or character points introduced which could affect how the rest of the RP progresses.   Backstories   Along with the main Assignment threads, you will also be encouraged to post in the 'Backstories' thread, which will allow you to go into greater detail about your character's life and history: from how they got their superpowers to how they came onto Geist's radar and everything in between, you can use this thread to add more detail and life to your characters that you may not have time for in the Assignments.   Myself and Orcus will also be posting regularly in the Backstories thread to give you more information about the world we will be playing in, and the histories of the various non-player characters that you will encounter as the RP itself progresses. So, as with the Assignment threads, it will only help you to keep up to date with the Backstories thread as we play through the main RP.   Characters   Now we come to the fun part! Here you will be given free reign to create some powerful, outlandish characters to form part of the strangest super-team in the world. Here's an outline of what we're looking for:   Name: Codename: if your character operated under a codename in their career prior to Geist abducting them, let us know what it was Age: this is a world of super-beings, so you could potentially be hundreds of years old Gender: pretty straightforward, tell us whatever gender pronoun your character prefers to be referred to as Height: Weight: Appearance: a picture, preferably a photo or realistic drawing is good, as is a detailed description Speciality: if your character is geared towards a specific Assignment type, for example Heist or Assassination, put it here - if you're good to go regardless of the Assignment type, simply put 'All-Rounder' Superpowers: go into as much detail as you can here - for example, if your character is pyrokinetic, let us know what their power level is like, what can they do with fire, can they generate it or just manipulate it. You are encouraged to be as creative as possible with this part of your sign-up, as we will be going up against some truly otherworldly characters over the course of the RP. Special Skills: anything your character can do that wouldn't be classed as a superpower, for example lock-picking or gymnastic ability Equipment/Weapons: Geist tends to prefer picking up superhumans who rely on their powers rather than any weapons, but if you have a special weapon you desperately want to use then list it here Personality Profile: give us a brief but descriptive example of what your character is like, particularly how they play with others and any specific personality defects they may suffer from Writing Sample: to give us an idea of how your character reacts in a given situation, tell us about how you were 'recruited' for Task Force Delta-Echo - were you forcibly abducted off the streets, did a Geist operative offer you a choice between a lengthy prison sentence and working for them, maybe you even gave yourself up willingly? Whatever the situation, let us know briefly what happened here.   I'll be posting my character profile and the Discussion thread shortly, until then if you have any questions please don't hesitate to PM me and I'll do my best to answer!
  20. "You know, Xionis," whispered Garrick as the pair edged down the dark corridor, guns aimed at the darkness in front of them, "The further we get into this, the more I wonder whether this is really worth that 45,000 credits." "It does seem a lot more complicated than the listing suggested," replied Xionis quietly, "We'll probably have to make sure we don't destroy any ICARUS property, that could really put a dent in our profit margins." "Did you download the 'sense of humour' update while I wasn't looking?" asked Garrick incredulously, "And are you ever going to let that go?" "Perhaps if we get out of this alive and get paid I'll drop it." Garrick stopped in his tracks and looked into the middle distance. "What is it? Do you see the target?" asked Xionis, trying to match Garrick's gaze. "Nope," replied Garrick, "I'm just considering whether dying is a small price to pay to stop the jokes at my expense..." "And?" "Jury's still out," smirked Garrick, before swinging around the corner into the Locomotive Display Room, where the first interstellar train ever built was housed. The room itself was a vast, almost cavernous room, with the broken debris of dozens of display cases scattered around the central podium, upon which the train engine stood. A tattered banner was draped across the engine, having clearly fallen, or been torn down, from the ceiling, and there was a strange rustling sound coming from the other side of the room. "Scanner," Garrick mouthed to Xionis, who nodded and looked around the room, flicking through different scans as he moved his head. He gestured over to the corner of the room, where the rustling was coming from. "It's a large organic lifeform," whispered Xionis, his voice barely registering, "We should fall back and formulate a strategy for confrontation." "Or..." murmured Garrick, before turning on his heel and sprinting towards the train engine. A few feet away from the giant machine, he leapt into the air and a small burst of white-hot flame burst out from the soles of his boots, boosting him onto the top of the engine where he grabbed onto the funnel that was functionally useless but aesthetically pleasing, and levelled his pistol at the dark, hulking shape below him. "Yo, tall dark and fugly!" he yelled, his voice echoing through the otherwise quiet room, and the shape twisted around, still cloaked in shadow, and hurled the base of a display case at the source of the noise. The heavy wooden plinth soared through the air and exploded into a shower of splinters and jagged chunks as it struck the edge of the locomotive. Garrick was knocked off-balance by the attack, and in the explosion of noise and confusion he glimpsed the creature they had been tracking through the museum flee from the room in a strange, awkward gallop, leaving Xionis to move into the space the creature had been occupying until a moment earlier. "You imbecile!" the Advent soldier snarled, "You let our mark get away! You are without a doubt the least professional Hunter I have ever had the misfortune of working with!" "Calm down, big fella," replied Garrick, hopping down from the top of the engine and holding his hands up, "What you might call 'unprofessional', others might call 'inspired work of genius'." "In what 'verse would anybody call what you just did an 'inspired work of genius'?" "A 'verse where they recognise good ideas," said Garrick, gesturing to the debris and chaos scattered around the room, "I've just successfully identified that big-ass shadow monster as definitively not our target. Whatever it was, it was clearly more interested in running away to fight another day than solving all its problems through punching like the Leech supposedly does. If that was our target, chances are I'd be extremely dead right now." "You risked your life for a piece of information we could have found in a thousand less dangerous ways?" "But very few of those ways would be quicker or more effective," replied Garrick with a grin, "Besides, if I was afraid of dying I wouldn't be the incredibly handsome and successful Bounty Hunter you see before you!" "You become more and more interesting by the moment, Terran," said Xionis, arching his eyebrow, and Garrick wasn't sure whether or not to take it as a compliment. However, his wandering thoughts were almost instantly disrupted by a flood of bright white light pouring through the front windows of the museum, and the loud whoop of a loudspeaker booming from outside. "Intruders will be prosecuted to the highest extent of the law," a grating, electronically-distorted voice echoed through the windows and into the museum, "On the jurisdiction of the Elrich Security Service, exit the building with your hands above your head or we will be forced to take you in with extreme prejudice!" "In hindsight, the law catching up with us is probably overdue," sighed Garrick, staring out at the bright lights outside the museum. "This would never have happened if I hadn't agreed to join you," groaned Xionis, rolling his eyes and looking out of the cracked window onto the plaza in front of the museum. "Yeah, but your life would have been way less interesting," smirked Garrick, "So, J-Five, it's your call: do we run, or do we fight our way out?"
  21. Video Feed Room "Wait, what the hell am I saying?" Garrick exclaimed, bringing the Bounty information up on his communicator, "He's never had a ship, so how could he have one waiting for him in Scar Canyons?" "And he's not exactly a socialite," replied Xionis, looking at the information on his own communicator, "So he's unlikely to have allied himself with the other people seen at Winry Station." "I guess that leaves us with the Memorium, Kinda makes sense considering how much this guy likes trains, what kind of violent intergalactic trainspotter could resist stealing the first interstellar locomotive?" "I suggest we discuss that on the way to the Memorium," said Xionis humourlessly, "Besides, I believe the guards are beginning to wake up and I doubt they will be happy with the outcome of events." "First intelligent thing you've said this whole time," said Garrick, grabbing his last few belongings off the desk beside him and strapping them onto his body, before drawing one of his handguns and blasting a heavy plasma charge into the window of the security booth in front of them. The safety glass exploded outwards in shards, and Garrick simply stepped through the charred hole and into the street. He looked back at Xionis, who raised an eyebrow, and shrugged. "Time is of the essence. Come on, big fella!" He turned on his heel and took off towards the Memorium at a sprint, trusting that Xionis wouldn't be far behind. --- M.H. Memorium The building which housed the Alphonse Memorial Museum looked much bigger in person than it did on the video feed, and Garrick stopped for a moment to catch his breath and look at the towering behemoth of a building which stood in front of him. Xionis caught up a second later, the extended run apparently having very little effect on him physically. "It looks as though things have calmed down somewhat," said Xionis, looking around at the quiet graveyard, the people who had populated the video feed having long since fled and a few pathetic strands of security tape circling the entire scene warning everyone else to Keep Out, "Perhaps our target has fled the scene. Or perhaps he was never here to begin with." "Way to look on the bright side, J-Five," replied Garrick, hopping over the security line and heading towards the building. Aside from the debris that had been hurled from the building and dropped by those on their way out of it, the front of the building looked largely unremarkable save for a few faded, ragged banners proclaiming the building as the 'Home of the First Interstellar Locomotive!'. Garrick picked his way through the objects strewn across the floor, which had become more frequent as they got closer to the building, and made his way around the side of the Museum. "I'm not reading any signs of life inside," said Xionis, scanning the building as Garrick got closer, "It looks like we may have missed him." "From what I know about Ayeneans," replied Garrick quietly, shaking his head, "They're made of stone and metal ore, have no discernible way of sustaining themselves and most barely register any brain patterns." "So they may not show up on regular scans," said Xionis, flicking through all of his scanner types in quick succession. "You try scanning a boulder for regular signs of life, you won't have much luck," agreed Garrick, as he found the side entrance to the building, "But we may not have to, as it turns out." "What do you mean?" asked Xionis, never breaking his gaze at the building. "You might want to come and have a look at this," said Garrick, standing stock still as Xionis broke off his scan and made his way over to his fellow Bounty Hunter. As Xionis got closer, Garrick gestured towards the side of the building. Or at least, at the hole where the side of the building used to be. "Well...even if it's not our guy, there's definitely something big around here."
  22. Feel free to get in touch if you need some guidance on what the Wellington Conglomeration is like as a place, I'm happy to help you guys set the scene!
  23. So, in speaking to Darth Vader about our current Bounty I've realized there might be some confusion about the role of the Outlaw in these threads. Basically, the purpose of having a player writing from the point of view of the Outlaw is not to post regularly and consistently throughout the thread: it is to post occasionally in order to move the story along and to throw up obstacles in the way of the Hunters. So when writing your way through the Bounty threads, don't just tread water while waiting for the Outlaw-player to post, do everything you can to try and find your Outlaw, think creatively and use your imagination: the Outlaw-player will post and introduce their character once they feel you have done sufficient groundwork towards finding them.   If this doesn't make sense to anyone, please don't hesitate to use this thread to ask any questions you might have about how the Bounties will progress, one of us will be happy to address your concerns!
  24. Good to have you all on board! Don't forget, even though there is a Bounty currently running involving myself and Darth Vader, you can still apply for the other open Bounties listed on The Bounty Board! As we still have a relatively small cast and two of us are preoccupied with catching a different Outlaw, it is highly recommended that you start with the second Outlaw on the list, Ferrus 'The Jumper' Korven, although if you feel like you can rally a larger team around at this early stage then you can try for one of the others on the list - but watch out, as going into a tougher Bounty unprepared could have disastrous results...   But you should all go out into the big wide 'Verse and start making money, otherwise me and Vader will grab it all before you get a chance!
  25. "Nothing," sighed Xionis as he moved away from the console, "There are no surveillance feeds available, it appears we have reached another dead end." "Dammit," groaned Garrick, tilting his head back. He really needed this payday, and he had been hoping for a simple cut-and-shut Bounty; this one was becoming far more of a headache than he had really prepared himself for. He turned away from Xionis in a slow circle, running his hands through his hair as he began pacing up and down, his frustration increasingly obvious in his movements. "We must be missing something here," he said, looking around the Train Junction in a vain attempt to find something that might help them, "Our guy is a regular here, he has a penchant for hijacking trains and then crashing them. He was last spotted here, yet nobody seems to have any recollection of seeing a big-ass Ayenean and there are no security feeds available." "Perhaps he was never here," suggested Xionis, frustration as evident in his voice as in Garrick's movements, "It's possible the witness was mistaken, they could have seen another creature that looked like an Ayenean and assumed that it was him?" "It's possible, but from what I know about Ayeneans, they're pretty recognisable, particularly in a place like this. It's more like..." he trailed off as his eyes locked onto something high on the wall of the station they had been walking past. "Flynt?" said Xionis, puzzled. Garrick held a finger up, his gaze never wavering from the spot on the wall, and he slowly began to approach the spot he was staring at, craning his neck to get a closer look. After a moment, a grin crept onto his face, and he gestured towards a spot on the wall. "There," he said excitedly, and Xionis took a closer look. "I don't see anything," the Advent replied, flicking through a number of different vision types as he spoke, attempting to pick up any trace of activity from the area Garrick was pointing to. "Exactly," said Garrick, "There's nothing there, but there used to be. See the discoloration of the brickwork? And those three little holes in the centre of the patch? There used to be a security camera here, but someone took it down." "You think the Ayenean did it?" "He's covering his tracks," replied Garrick, "Nobody around here claims to have seen him, but I'll bet that's because the people who did see him are either too scared or, worst case scenario, too dead to tell us." "That's a big assumption to make. We have no way of telling what they've seen if they are lying, and if they do turn out to be dead then we still won't be able to find the target." "It's an assumption based on what I know for a fact," said Garrick, "A place like this, people will do anything for a few credits. Did you notice how not a single person in any of the places we've been to even asked for money in return for information, whether they have it or not?" "That is odd," said Xionis, a little puzzled. "Which means either the scuzzy criminal underworld has suddenly become a little more classy, or they're so scared of something that they'll even overlook the opportunity to make a few credits. I don't know about you, but my money's on the latter option." "I suppose there's not much scarier than an angry golem made of metal and stone threatening you." "Exactly." "But this doesn't really help us, Flynt," said Xionis, "We're still no closer to actually finding the Outlaw, even if he did take the security cameras we can't access the feed." "Not through a public terminal, no," replied Garrick, a little smugly, "Because these cameras are, or were at least, on a private circuit. See, the cables go straight into the wall of the station, not into the ground like the rest of the systems in this place. So all we have to do is ask the Transport Officials to take a look at the security footage and we'll be golden." "Your faith in your own assumptions is admirable, Flynt," said Xionis with the tiniest of smiles, "But since we have no other leads to follow, we may as well try." --- A few minutes later, they arrived at the Alphonse Security office, a small cubicle with a glass window, inside which a bored-looking old Doraxian in a dark grey uniform was tapping idly at a holo-screen, his black eyes glazed over as he stared into the distance. Xionis took a step towards the cubicle, but Garrick placed a hand on his chest, holding him back. "Steady on, Johnny Five," he said, "We don't want to melt this old guy's brain. Let me handle this." Garrick cracked his knuckles and stepped forward, knocking smartly on the glass and smiling as the Doraxian looked up at him, his movements slow and languid. "Can I help you?" he croaked, boredom etching every word that groaned through his lips. "Hi there," said Garrick, "Me and my associate need your help. There's a dangerous criminal on the loose who was last spotted in this very Train Junction, and we were wondering if we could take a quick look at your security feed to try and find this guy." "Only official personnel and law enforcement officers have the clearance to look at our security feeds. Goodbye," the Doraxian mumbled, slowly turning back to his holo-screen as he spoke. "I see," said Garrick, fishing in his pockets, "Well maybe you'd like to take a quick break, go for a drink on us and we'll say no more about it?" He slid what little physical money he had, a small credit chip and a few crumpled pieces of paper money across the desk towards the Doraxian, who turned to look at the paltry bribe. He slowly placed one of his upper arms down, his spindly hand closing around the money and slowly placing it into his own pocket. "We don't accept bribes," he said, his droning voice beginning to grate, "Please step away from the glass." "Come on, you old bastard!" snapped Garrick, angry at both the Doraxian and himself for that embarrassing show, "I can see the security feeds right behind you, just give me two minutes with them!" He gestured angrily to a small room out the back of the cubicle, with rows of security monitors showing live feeds of activity in the station, and a large metal door with the words 'Holding Cell' written on it in a number of different languages. "We are now closed," moaned the Doraxian, and a heavy metal shutter slid down rapidly over the cubicle, blocking everything from Garrick's sight. "That was successful," said Xionis dryly. "Oh, this is a fine time for you to pick up sarcasm," replied Garrick, turning away from the cubicle, "Especially considering that I have a plan to get us one step closer to catching our Outlaw." "I thought this was your plan?" "No, this was my old plan. My new plan is much better." "Your new plan, which took you literally six seconds to think of? And what might that be?" "Well, I just got a glimpse inside the Security Office, and they have feeds from all over the inside of the station right there," he said, gesturing back towards the cubicle, "And on top of that, they've got a Holding Cell right next to the Security Office, where they hold criminals while they're waiting for the authorities to come and pick them up." "I'm not sure I like where you're going with this." "It's simple really," said Garrick with a smile, "One of just needs to get arrested."
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