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[font="Book Antiqua"][size="2"]Addley grinned and patted Slate on the back as Slate victoriously walked away from his bout with McKnight. The fight had eased Addley's nerves substantially in a number of ways. Slate had proven himself able to overcome opponents with more experience, even if it had only been a spar. More importantly, however, Addley was relieved to know that these two titans were both on his side. He had grown quite close to Slate, and considered him a true friend that he would be absolutely loyal to. As for McKnight... Addley had worried about him initially, and while he was still a little suspicious of his new teammate, he knew that he could rely on him for now. As McKnight passed by Addley, Addley gave him a cordial nod and then headed back to his room, thinking about his own training session...[/size]
[i][size="2"]
A day earlier...[/size][/i]
[i] [/i][size="2"]
Addley smiled as Esfir entered into the training room. He was excited to see that despite her new suit, she seemed chipper, and he was also secretly curious as to what new whistles and bells Esfir had. Before he had a chance to ask her, McKnight walked into the room. Addley was surprised by his relatively unassuming appearance, but could see the man's power and authority in his eyes. McKnight marched toward the two and looked them up and down. A tense minute passed before he finally addressed Addley and Esfir. [/size]
[size="2"][b]
"I am Michael McKnight, as you both probably know. I have called you both here because your powers, although different from each other, could both be labeled as 'transportation' abilities. Compared to the big five, you are both most like Freight Train. Hopefully that is the only thing you have in common with him, although I suspect a mental deficiency isn't out of the question." [/b]Addley clenched his jaw, and he could feel Esfir's temperature rising as well. He took a deep breath and tried to remind himself that McKnight was [i]trying[/i] to get a rise out of him, when McKnight's gaze settled on him.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"Braddock Raines, codename Warp. Utilizes wormholes for transportation. Lacks range, control and, currently, the ability to use said ability offensively. Subject is also prone to bouts of anger, making him unreliable and unruly," [/b]he stated matter-of-factly. Addley kept a straight face, but couldn't help balling his hands up into fists. He had been more angry and violent than usual during his 'stay' with Geist, but what else did they expect from someone they had [i]abducted[/i]? McKnight paid Addley no attention and turned his attention to Esfir.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"And Esfir Veselov, 'The Martian'..." [/b]McKnight stopped at this point and looked back to Addley with a smug expression on his face.

[b]"I'm sorry, I thought I asked for the Martian to join you for training, Warp. Not Flash Gordon. I can't even tell if there's a person under all of those gadgets," [/b]he stated dismissively. Addley watched in shock as Esfir responded to McKnight's comment by swinging at him. Before her punch could connect, McKnight used his ability to send Esfir flying backward through the air. Without missing a beat, Addley warped to Esfir, grabbed her, then warped them back in front of McKnight. McKnight shook his head mockingly at the display.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"Thank you both for demonstrating to me exactly why you are useless to the team," [/b]he said sternly. [b]"At the poor level of control you two exhibit your powers are completely useless in a battle scenario. And your powers aren't the only problem. Veselov, your attempt to punch me was more daft than valiant, as at your level of strength you would have done little more than irritated me by hitting me. Raines, you're too preoccupied with swooping in to rescue your comrades to actually assist against your opponent. And that level of half-assed devotion will cost the time. Consider your last battle-- you did absolutely nothing to stop Starlighter's attack and you couldn't even save Ms. Veselov here..." [/b]The last bit sent Addley over the edge. Without a word he warped behind McKnight and threw his fist at the man. Just as his fist was about to connect his stopped abruptly, as if it had struck a wall. Another blast like the one that had struck Esfir earlier knocked Addley backwards. McKnight frowned and shook his head again.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"Also, your severe lack of training makes you predictable. Undoubtedly, in your numerous fights against normal people, attacking from behind is the best approach. However, anyone with half a brain will expect just that once they learn about your abilities," [/b]he said simply. Mcknight then shifted his eyes from Addley to Esfir and then back to Addley.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"If either of you wants to live I suggest using your powers in more creative ways," [/b]he declared, before using his abilities again. A wave of power swept Addley off of his feet, and he slammed down onto the ground. He groaned for a second at the pain in his head and back, but quickly shook it off. Another blow struck his stomach, but he was expecting it this time, and managed to push through the pain and warp over McKnight's head. However, even distracted by Esfir, McKnight was able to create a barrier over his head, stopping Addley cold. A metal panel unhinged from the roof and shot toward him, forcing him to warp a distance away from McKnight again. McKnight looked over his shoulder at Addley.

[b]"Pathetic," [/b]he said casually. Addley grimaced and decided to make a new plan of attack. He rushed his opponent on foot. As soon as McKnight's powers connected with him, Addley warped a couple inches in front of his prior position and continued his charge. Once he was right behind McKnight, he swung his fist, knowing fully well McKnight would erect a shield. Remembering roughly where McKnight's shield had existed last time, he warped around to the side of McKnight and finished his swing. McKnight smirked as Addley's fist struck another wall.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"Better," [/b]he said sarcastically, before launching Addley into the air again. Addley growled and warped behind McKnight again. He could see that Esfir was giving it all she had as well to attack their new teammate but was having equal difficulty. Another panel came flying at him, forcing him to warp again. McKnight's now irritating voice called out to him again.[/size]
[size="2"][b]
"Losing your focus already? This is how your teammates get killed or wounded Raines. Can you live with the guilt of knowing Esfir will be maimed twice?" [/b]Addley snarled at McKnight and focused all of his attention on him. If McKnight wanted to see his skill, so be it. With a new plan in mind, Addley continued to stand still and watch McKnight and Esfir fight. In response, McKnight ripped four more metal panels off of the wall and shot them at Addley. Addley smiled and ran at the assault, using the panels to shielf him from McKnight's sight. He jumped into the oncoming wall of metal and disappeared, reappearing on the ground behind McKnight. He grinned at his own cleverness and swung his foot into the side of McKnight's legs. But still McKnight was prepared. Although the blow connected, McKnight didn't budge an inch, having used his abilities somehow to brace himself. McKnight looked down at Addley and smirked.

[b]"And better still. With that lack of strength, though, you might consider doing the same as the other Reins and wielding a gun," [/b]he muttered with a slight grin. Addley warped away yet again, and attempted to devise another plan of attack. He could see Esfir doing the same across the room. McKnight frowned at the two and shook his head yet again.

[b]"Pathetic," [/b]he repeated, [b]"just as soon as you two start demonstrating some level on competency, you drop your commitment. If you two don't care about your lives, than neither do I." [/b]McKnight brought his hand up and snapped as he finished his sentence, causing turrets to climb out of the walls and begin firing. Addley teleported to directly beside McKnight, hoping the bullets would shower him. McKnight easily disintegrated the bullets without so much as a look. A quick burst knocked Addley backward again, and before he could react a metal panel struck him in the back. The shock of the attacks dropped him to the floor, and he could hear the bullets from the turret tearing their way toward him. All of his spur of the moment warping had drained him, and McKnight's continued attacks had left him sore. He couldn't take a showering of bullets, regardless of how the suit protected him. Before the bullets connected, Esfir blasted by and grabbed the back of his clothes. She carried him for a couple of feet and once they were out of the line of fire, dropped him and resumed her attack on McKnight.[b]
[/b][/size][b]
[/b]The assist was more than enough to revitalize Addley. There was no way he was going to have Esfir save him again. His duty was to protect her and the others. And right now, that meant defeating McKnight. Addley watched as the bullet stream redirected toward him, and thought back to his dossier

[i]...could use this ability to create a barrier for defensive purposes, such as absorbing gunfire and redirecting it... [/i]Addley stared intently at the turret currently targeting him and placed his hands out in front of him. His body tingled as he attempted to force a wormhole to open in front of him. At first his body merely flickered in and out of appearance, before finally a large, swirling spacial displacement appeared in front of Addley, and another one appeared in front of McKnight. McKnight caught sight of the wormhole right as a volley of bullets poured out of it at him. He quickly disintegrated the oncoming bullets, but Addley could see that McKnight was impressed by the show of skill. Addley knew it was no time to celebrate though; projecting the wormhole had taken more strength than he expected, and there were two more turrets that had appeared on his side and were firing at him. Addley exhaled sharply and closed his eyes, bracing himself.

He disappeared as soon as the fire converged on him. He reappeared underneath the furthest turret and using his new-found ability placed a wormhole in front of it that opened up next to it. He smiled as the turret ripped itself to pieces. He did this again with the second one, only this time he concentrated on keep the wormhole open, so that a sort of portal existed between where the wormhole was absorbing and expelling objects. The sight was amazing to behold, but suddenly Addley dropped to one knee. Maintaining a constant wormhole like that was exhausting. Unfortunately there was one turret left, setting it's sights on him. Addley sighed again and shook his hands.

[b]"Slate's not the only one who can go out with a bang," [/b]he said with a smile. Using the last of his strength, he tried one more trick-- he focused all of his energy on creating the kind of wormhole he used to transport himself and others, which varied from his projected wormholes because they sucked objects in instead of simply acting as a doorway for them (he had quickly deduced). Using this wormhole he pried the last turret from the ceiling and the last thing he remembered seeing was the turret reappear above McKnight's head, right before the world went black.

Addley had woken up a while later to Esfir sitting next to him in the infirmary, and message scribbled on a paper by McKnight saying 'It was stupid when Slate did it. Don't do it again and you might survive". Addley assumed that meant he had done decently.

[i]Today...[/i]

Addley packed up the rest of his belongings and made for the hangar. He had taken McKnight's backhanded advice about a gun and currently had one latched to his waist so that he could get a feel for it on the mission. He nodded again to McKnight, who had arrived before him, and to Tyler before stopped at Slate's side.

[b]"Ready boss?" [/b]he asked with a mixture of amusement and anxiety. Slate nodded, his determination from his fight with McKnight still dancing in his eyes.

[b]"Definately."[/b][/font]
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[font="Garamond"][b]Hours after the Slateâ??s training session with McKnightâ?¦[/b]

In the two days following the initial training session, Autumn had gone to visit each of her teammates individually and successfully (albeit awkwardly in some cases), got a look at each of their dossiers and talked to them about their powers and their situation.

The training session that she and her teammates had had with McKnight left Autumn more determined than ever to gather information about Geist as quickly as possible and forward it on to Adam. She lay sprawled out on the floor of her room on her stomach, and flipped open her laptop, switching it on. She was a little bruised but more than anything her confidence had taken a beating. And for Autumn, there wasnâ??t much there to start with.

After a few moments, the screen loaded and she typed in her username and password and logged on. Autumn didnâ??t even bother with the usual habit of checking other sites she was at one point interested in. She went directly to her email and after seeing nothing in her inbox, clicked â??Compose New Message.â?

[i]â??Adam,
Iâ??m sorry for not being able to email you soonerâ?¦ There is a new super on our team. His name is Michael McKnight. I donâ??t even know exactly what his power is, but itâ??s not like anything Iâ??ve ever seen. He is easily the strongest super I have encountered, outside of Starlighter. Slate and McKnight have clashed twice in the short time since McKnight joined our team, and the second time, Slate won.
We all sparred with him but Slate was the only one to really do him any damage. Weâ??re running out of training time and if Geist sends us out like this â?? weâ??ll die. We are all going to die. I hope you can help.â??[/i]

Autumn continued the email with a short blurb on the rest of her teammates and their power levels.

[i]â??Esfir Veselov, AKA The Martian. Maintains control over the effects of gravity on her and others. Power Level 3.

Addley Raines, AKA Warp, Teleporation, Power Level 3.

Riona Sharpe AKA Phoenix, Pyrokinetic, Borderline Power Level 3.

Carter Grey AKA Brawler, Immortality, maybe. High resistance to physical damage. Power Level 3.

Tyler Reins, AKA Vegas, Very luckyâ?¦ Power Level 3.

Cody Aneel, AKA Critter, limited Animal Morphing, Power Level 3.

Aimanan Fathi, AKA Hood, Shadow Manipulation, Power Level maybe 4-3â?¦

Derek Dewitt, AKA Flare, absorbs power from light and can unleash it as energy. Power Level 4 -3.

I hope this helps you with the plan to get us out of here, Adam. I have a lot of faith in my team and our leader, Slate, but even that canâ??t save us if Geist wants us deadâ?¦

- Autumnâ??[/i]

[b]Send.[/b]

She stared at the screen for a few moments but when no reply came, she closed the computer slowly and got up, deciding to check on everyone again.

Their headquarters had taken on a new solemnity in the last few days and Autumn was worried. She was supposed to be the quiet and concerned one, not the rest of them.

She ran a brush through her hair quickly before pulling her hair up into a ponytail and stepping into her slippers. Her door handle turned with a quiet click and Autumn was in the hall, pulling her door shut behind her. [/font]

yeah I guess I am a little impatient c: SO 1. I hope this is fine, 2. I know I guessed your power levels, I think I am close but if you want me to change it just let me knowwww kthx. DeLarge feel free to PM me if this needs changing or whatever from the info giving standpoint to Adam.
OKAy luv u guys bye
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Slate stood at the open cargo doors of the transport plane, the wind whipping through his hair as he looked down over the dark city, speckled with electric light. They had received intel that Starlighter had taken a seat of power at the head of the Blanks after a particularly heated conflict with The Patriot, and they were holed up in a disused governmet building in downtown Chicago.

[b]"Everything ok?"[/b] asked Addley, edging towards Slate.

[b]"Fine,"[/b] replied Slate over the roar of rushing wind and engines, [b]"We're attacking him at night, that's the best thing to do."

"And what about the Blanks? We've got to take on heavily-armed professional criminals as well as Starlighter."

"We showed we can handle the Blanks at the bank, didn't we? We can do this, Addley, this is what we've been training for. Now get everyone ready for the drop." [/b]Addley nodded, and went back into the cargo bay to prepare the others. All of them stopped to listen, except for McKnight, who made his way easily over to Slate, looking a little uncomfortable in his uniform.

[b]"I still don't think this is a good idea,"[/b] McKnight said, [b]"You've been training, yes, but not nearly enough to take on one of the Big Five."

"McKnight, I don't give a **** if you like me, or even if you respect me outside of the team. But while we're on a mission, you will respect my leadership, is that understood?"[/b] replied Slate coldly.

McKnight rolled his eyes, but nodded reluctantly.

[b]"Good,"[/b] said Slate,[b] "Now ready the cushion, we're about to make the drop."[/b]

---

[b]"We've got nothing to worry about,"[/b] said the masked man, his voice slightly muffled under the plain white mask, [b]"Starlighter's a member of the Big Five, no-one's gonna mess with us while he's here."

"I guess you're right,"[/b] replied the shorter, but similarly-masked man standing next to him.

[b]"Trust me, I know this town. No-one's coming for..."[/b]

He was cut short by multiple human figures dropping to the ground, seemingly from a great height but also apparently softly enough for them to remain standing. One of them, a dark-haired man, flicked his hand at the pair, and their guns split into their component parts instantly.

[b]"Run,"[/b] the man said, and the two Blanks looked at each other briefly, then decided to do as he asked, turned on their heels and ran.

[b]"That was badass, Slate!"[/b] shouted Vegas.

[b]"It's Magnus when we're in the field, Vegas," [/b]Magnus replied, and Vegas nodded, humbled a little,[b] "Right, there are bound to be more of them inside. Get ready for combat, all of you. Novus, front and centre. Warp, see if you can get a location for Starligher - keep moving, try not to get spotted."

"Too late,"[/b] snarled a familiar voice from behind the group. Magnus turned slowly, to see Starlighter hovering a few feet in front of him, and a foot or so clear of the ground. He held what appeared to be a ball of light in his hands, which he held out in front of him and pumped a little more power into it. The ball exploded outwards, the blast concussive but not deadly, and bright but not hot. Magnus managed to shield his eyes, but was still thrown off his feet, as were most of the team, Novus being a notable exception, but even he couldn't dissipate the flash, and he was holding an arm over his eyes as Starlighter's fist slammed into his solar plexus, knocking him off his feet.

The team were recovering, but not quickly enough. Starlighter stalked through the prone figures, looking at each of them like a predator surveying his prey.

And he found his.

He grabbed Flare by the scruff of his neck and lifted him off his feet. An evil, wolfish smile cracked across Starlighter's face, and he let go of Flare, placing the young man down in front of himself.

[b]"Geist really haven't changed, have they?"[/b] he asked with a grin, [b]"Sending the boy with light in his veins after the world's number one photokinetic...seems like a rookie mistake."

"Starlighter...don't..."[/b] groaned Novus, pulling himself up to his feet.

[b]"Try and stop me,"[/b] snarled Starlighter, placing his hand on Flare's chest. Golden light spread from the point where he made contact, and spread slowly through Flare's body. After a moment, Starlighter removed his hand and took a single step back, satisfied with his work.

[b]"Derek!"[/b] cried Echo, scrambling to her feet and running towards her team-mate, but Novus grabbed her arm and pulled her back, shaking his head. Magnus got to his feet and grabbed Echo pulling her face into his chest to protect her from what was inevitably about to happen.

Flare turned to face the group, golden light slowly spreading through his body, seeming to hover just under the skin. He held his hands up and looked over them through the visor, front and back, now radiating golden light. His whole body pulsed with light, as though he was holding it back.

But he looked up at Magnus, breathing deeply.
[b]
"I'm sorry I let you down..."[/b] he said softly, before tearing his visor off and throwing it to one side. With another breath, he stopped holding the energy back, and bright, golden light exploded outwards from his form.

He looked peaceful, but Magnus knew that the energy was tearing his whole body apart, and a single tear ran down his cheek as he watched his team-mate...no, his friend, die in front of him.

A sudden flare of light exploded outwards, burning through Magnus' eyelids even though he had pressed them closed, and when he re-opened them there was nothing left of Flare but his visor lying on the floor.

[b]"You see what happens when you **** with the Big Five?"[/b] snarled Starlighter, floating above the ground, before flying up to the top of the building. Magnus watched him go, white-hot fury filling his body, and turned back to the building.

[b]"I'm going to kill him,"[/b] growled Magnus, throwing his open palm out and bursting the metal doors of the hideout off their hinges, slamming inside the lobby of the building. He ran into the building, not caring for whether or not his team-mates followed him, a singular task in his mind.

---

OOC: It's your choice what you wish to do from here, guys and girls. If you stay outside and mourn the loss we've just suffered, go ahead. If you want to follow Slate into the building and kick some Blank ass, then that's even more encouraged. Just bear in mind, you're unlikely to be able to catch up to Slate - he's pretty driven to kill Starlighter right now.
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[b]"DEREKK!!!"[/b] Vegas found himself screaming at the top of the lungs once the light had cleared and his vision was once again restored. Everything seemed to go silent as he knelt down to pick up the visor, even the wrenching sound the doors made as Slate ripped them off their hinges was muffled.

Tyler felt a hand softly grab him by the shoulder and give him a small nudge, [b]"Vegas, I'm so sorry,"[/b] Ri's voice broke him from his silence as he rose to his feet. She was one of the few people who realized the bond Derek and Tyler had made during their first mission together.

Rising to his feet he wipped a tear from his face and put the visor into a pocket on his belt made for extra magazines for his .45's. He felt angry...pissed even. If Geist wanted a killer than he was going to give Geist a killer.

Hands to his side he unbuckled the leather straps on his weapons and pulled them from their holsters, the pearl handles gleamed a bright pure white giving Tyler a little chuckle at the irony since the weapons were created for a very deadly purpose. Throwing all sense of tact aside Tyler rushed into the building behind Slate, knowing the battle would start before he caught the man.

[b]"Vegas calm down we have to think of a...."[/b] Tyler was sure Aimanan's next words were going to have something to do with a plan but it didn't matter. Tyler was after vengence that could not wait, he remembered once hearing one of the many people he'd ripped off over the years telling him that 'Revenge was a dish best served cold', he always thought he'd agree with that, but his thirst for vengence would not...could not wait a moment longer.

Rushing into the building's lobby area Tyler saw Slate go through a doorway and pursued, desperate to catch up to the small team's leader. Suddenly, however, the doors behind Slate slammed shut and all around spot lights shinned blinding Tyler.

[b]"Damn we missed the leader, should we call the boss and let him know he's on his way?"[/b] a voice to Tyler's left caught his attention, he tried to focus on it but there were to many of the spotlights and he couldn't make out the lay of the place to get even a decent shot.

[b]"Yeah, call him and let him know we missed him but we..."[/b] the second Blank's voice was cutoff as one of the spotlights shattered near his head, the ensuing gunshot told him his prey wasn't as helpless in the lights as he thought.

As fast as he could Tyler began firing while looking straight at the ground, letting his periphreal vision tell him where the spotlights were, and in a matter of seconds all 8 big lights were obliterated the men were now in plain sight. Tyler could here the footsteps of his companions. He lowered his weapon at the closest blank...then he froze as the face changed to the first man he killed.

Tyler's bloodlust was immediately taken away and his weapons dropped. He heard the weapons cock back, he was less afraid he the ensuing storm of bullets then he was of the man with the face of death, and a bullet wound in his head.
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[font="Book Antiqua"][size="2"]Addley stared at Derek's visor, too shocked to cry, let alone follow after the vengeful slate. The sensation coursing through his body was foreign and cold to him. Derek was one of them. He was an ally. Not but five minutes ago he had been [i]alive. [/i]He had stood alongside them, prepared to take on Starlighter. And now he was simply gone. [i]Gone. [/i]And there was no body to cry over, to bring back, to bury. There was nothing. Derek wasn't just dead. Starlighter had practically erased him from existence. Addley's fists clenched as his shock violently turned to rage. Starlighter had to pay. As Addley felt the strength of that resolve pass through the team, he turned to face them, though his eyes rested on Esfir particularly. Addley extended his hand to Esfir.

[b]"Let's stick together, right?" [/b]he said, echoing a request she had made to him the other day.[b] [/b]She nodded and took his hand. Addley looked to the others, and they grabbed his hand as well, and he teleported them all into the building.

***

Warp and the others had managed teleport just behind Vegas as a Blank was about to shoot at him Warp focused and created a large wormhole in front of the Blank's guns, which redirected the rounds into the Blank's skull. Warp then tackled Vegas, warping him out of the line of fire of the other Blanks and back with his teammates. Novus had already erected a wall with his mysterious abilities and Phoenix was giving the Blanks a flaming bath, so they were safe for the time being. As much as Warp wanted to console his teammate, he knew that now wasn't the time. They would die if they didn't stay moving.

[b]â??What do we do,â? [/b]cried a nervous Night Terror. With the current wave of Blanks defeated, Novus dropped the wall and addressed the team.

[b]â??We clean up after Magnus' sloppy work. We go floor by floor, taking out whatever Blanks he carelessly left behind. The Blanks may be less dangerous, but if there are too many of them left when we engage Starlighter we stand even less of a chance then we do now. But most importantly we stay focused. Running off haphazardly will get you killed. Follow my lead no matter how you're feeling right now,â? [/b]he said authoritatively.

[b]â??Warp,â? [/b]he continued, without actually looking at Warp, [b]â??we'll need to you take us up as a group level by level. It's faster than traveling on foot and it'll help the rest of us conserve energy. Understood?â? [/b]Warp nodded without responding. The group huddled around him and touched his body. Warp focused his mind on the layout of the building they had been given, deciding on a suitable area to drop everyone. As soon as he decided, he took a deep breath and spoke to his teammates.

[b]â??Brace yourselves.â? [/b]The world spun for one long second, and then they were on the second floor, behind a group of Blanks monitoring the staircase and other entrances to the floor. Warp exhaled quietly despite his blood racing through his body. He felt exhilarated. Thanks to his suit and his recent training, teleporting the group both times so far had been [i]easy[/i]. He wasn't cocky enough to think that his new found control would let him beat Starlighter, but it was a confidence boost. Feeling empowered he joined his allies in their assault on the Blanks.

OOC: Sorry for the short post, but I didn't want to take to much creative freedom away from everyone else.

[/size][/font] Edited by Vongola
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[color="#696969"][font="Tahoma"]Everyone but Warp and Novus stumbled a bit as Warps teleport ended - a few people falling to their knees, completely disoriented by the trip. Cody felt his head spinning while he tried to find solid ground, fumbling over his own feet. A few seconds later everyone had re-adjusted themselves and were ready to take on the Blanks up ahead. The group was crouched around the corner in an empty room to the behind the staircase. Cody peeked around the corner. There were two Blanks standing at the staircase railings keeping a close eye on the stairs while a third Blank patrolled two flights of stairs.

[b]"Okay, we want to take care of this as quietly as possible. No need to give away our position."[/b] Novus stated. Warp couldn't help but smirk.

[b]"I can always move the group again if that happens."[/b] he said, Novus merely shook his head in reply.

[b]"That would only be a short-term solution. Unless Starlighter has informed all of the Blanks in the building of our arrival - they probably only think Magnus is here. We need to use that to our advantage. The longer they think Magnus is alone the better."[/b] Novus explained. The group nodded understandingly.

[b]"Alright,"[/b] Cody stood up and cracked his knuckles. [b]"I've got this one. You guys stay here."[/b] Cody was about to waltz around the corner when Novus grabbed the back of his uniform and pulled him back into the group forcing a few others to catch him.

[b]"I don't care what you have planned Critter, you're not going in there alone."[/b] he said sternly. Cody sighed and looked at the group. All of them look ready and willing to kick Blank ass, but Cody had already thought up a plan. He snapped his finger and pointed at Addley.

[b]"Addle-- I mean Warp, can you do that wormhole thing again?"[/b] Addley nodded. [b]"Okay, I'm going to make these Blanks fall pretty quickly... Can you catch them in a wormhole and drop them around this corner so it doesn't alarm the Blank on the stairs?"[/b]

[b]"Well, yeah I suppose but I should really conserve my energy--"[/b]

[b]"Awesome, here I go!"[/b] Critter leapt from behind the corner faster than anyone could react to stop him. Everyone poked their heads around the corner expecting to see a full grown man sneaking up on the two henchmen. Instead all they saw was a tiny black frog with bright yellow markings hopping quietly towards them. Critter slowly made his way towards the pant leg of the Blank on the right - completely unnoticed. Phoenix scoughed at the frog.

[b]"What's a stupid little toad going to do?"[/b] she said, rolling her eyes. She pulled her head back from peeking and leaned against the wall, flicking her lighter. [b]"Let me know when it's ov--"[/b] Phoenix was interrupted by the thud of a paralyzed blank falling directly behind the group. She jolted and looked around the corner again. One Blank had already been taken care of and she could just make out frog-Critter latching onto the neck of the other.

The Blank seemed to have noticed the sudden disappearance of his partner, but he was grasping at his throat as if he couldn't talk or breathe. A few seconds later the man fainted falling directly backwards. Warp stuck out his right hand pointing his open palm at the ground where the man would land. A large wormhole opened up and swallowed him whole, closing behind him instantly. With his other hand Warp opened a wormhole behind the group in the air and the Blank dropped down, this time being caught by Novus who laid him on the ground gently as not to make another loud thud.

Critter leapt off the neck of the second Blank and morphed back into Human form, a large smirk across his face.

[b]"That wasn't so bad was it?"[/b] he said. The rest of the group stood on their feet, stretching their muscles after crouching around the corner for so long. Phoenix patted Critter on the shoulder.

[b]"Not bad toad-boy."[/b] she winked. Critter gritted his teeth and mumbled to himself. "[i]Well, actually it's a Poison Dart [b]Frog[/b]--[/i]"

[b]"Okay, we still need to take care of this patrol on the stairs before we move the next level. Preferably in the next... minute."[/b] Novus said. Critter gave him a confused look.

[b]"Why a minute?"[/b] Critter asked.

[b]"That's how long it'll take him to reach the top of his stairs."[/b] Novus explained. [b]"If he does, he's going to notice his friends are missing. 40 seconds now."[/b][/font][/color]
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  • 1 month later...
[font="Garamond"]Autumn pushed her hair back from her forehead in frustration and let out a long breath, her eyebrows furrowing together. As if she didn't already feel useless with the team most of the time, when it missions required that everyone silently use their attacks and be as quiet as possible, she was even more of a liability. They had lost a friend today and, down one man, they would all have to rely on each other more than ever. She could only watch as Novus directed the others with the more appropriate powers to take down the last Blank on the floor.

"Warp, I know it's a lot to ask of you right now since you're already our main mode of transportation up, but could you drop Vegas from the ceiling onto that last Blank? Like, now? He's the only one who just can't miss. Vegas? You're going to be dropped on that Blank now."

"Wha-" Before he could finish the question, a portal appeared under his feet and he was falling through it, hurtling towards the man who was a mere few steps away from the top.

[b]Thud.[/b]

"Vegas - status?" Novus called out

"Yeah he's gonna be out for awhile... His head broke my fall." Vegas called back to the group as he appeared at the top of the stairs, rubbing his shoulder. A nervous chuckle ran through the group and for a moment it could've been any mission at all.

"Alright, good work Vegas, thanks Warp - let's get up to the next floor?" Novus looked over at Warp.

"You got it." He replied. Esfir grabbed his hand and the rest of the group followed suit, moving in close to one another so Warp could work his magic. A disorienting moment later, they were on the next floor up, slightly less dizzy than the first time. There was no time to organize this time though, they had appeared in plain view of one of the Blanks making his rounds.

"Oh ****! More super-" Brawler swung a fist out and connected with the jaw of the blank before he even managed to raise his gun. Unfortunately, having lost contact with the group on the floor below, and the entrance of Magus, the Blanks were now on high alert. The remaining Blanks had drawn their weapons already and had begun emptying rounds in the general direction of the group, spooked.

Novus looked annoyed more than anything and flicked a hand, disintegrating the guns before they had had a chance to do any real damage. Phoenix pulled her lighter out, prepared to finish them off with a nice barbecue.

[b]Click.[/b]

Fire exploded down the hallway in their direction, not giving them enough time to move out of the way.

Autumn noticed movement out of the corner of her eye and turned around, only to come face to face with a particularly large and nasty looking Blank. She opened her mouth to scream but quickly closed it when she realized it would alert every Blank in the building as to their location. 'Damnit...' The Blank laughed and leaned forward to grab her with one hand, a massive knife in the other. Without really thinking, she ducked down so that the clumsy giant bailed over her, falling down. She darted away and managed to squeak out a quick "Critter!" before the man could get back up again. In a flash, Critter was there. Gorilla Critter, rather. The much larger gorilla grabbed the man and knocked him against the wall, rendering him unconscious.

"Echo - I'm happy you didn't decide to use your power on that one. A wise decision." Novus looked over at her with what could almost be called approval.

"Yeah well," she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. "I'm [i]polite[/i], Novus, not stupid."
[/font]

not great.. but it's movement! gogogo everyone~
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With a small effort, Magnus shouldered the door to one of the top-floor rooms open, revealing a large, open-plan office space, with a few empty desks scattered around. The room was cloaked in shadow, with no power going to the electric lights, and the windows were boarded up, and Magnus had to squint to make his way through the room. He knew Starlighter was in here, and his mind was clouded with thoughts of vengeance for his fallen friend. He felt around the room with his ability, identifying the metal objects within in case he needed to use them as weapons.

[b]"I know you're in here, Starlighter! Come out here and face me like a man,"[/b] he snarled, and was met with a short burst of booming, derisive laughter, the echoes within the room making it near-impossible to tell where it had come from. Magnus spun on his heel, desperately attempting to pick out where the noise had come from, when something slammed into his torso with great force, sending him sprawling across the room. He looked up from the floor, and saw Starlighter standing over him, fist outstretched from the blow he had just delivered.

[b]"I'll be honest,"[/b] said Starlighter with a smirk, kneeling down so his face was much closer to Magnus', [b]"I don't even know why you're bothering. You saw how easily I killed your little friend out there, I can do the same to the rest of your little group. Maybe I'll start with that girl, the one you were protecting. She looked...ripe."[/b]

[b]"**** you!"[/b] shouted Magnus, enraged at Starlighter's threat towards Autumn, and he slammed his fist into Starlighter's chest, propelling his arm forward using the metal filaments lining his suit. Starlighter was knocked a few steps back, but seemed largely stunned rather than hurt by the attack. Magnus got to his feet, flicked his hand across the room, and sent three metal desks flying towards Starlighter, who flicked his own hand up and sliced the desks in half with thin, bright beams of light from his fingers. The Big Five member was clearly getting impatient, as he aimed his fist towards Magnus, and fired a much thicker beam of light at him. Magnus ducked out of the way, feeling the heat of the beam rush past his ear as he did, and launched himself at Starlighter, propelling himself forward just as he had done in his one-on-one with McKnight two days previous. However, Starlighter merely smiled, ducked to one knee and slammed his fist into Magnus' solar plexus as he went past.

Magnus slammed to the ground, winded and coughing, as Starlighter rolled his prone form over with his foot.

[b]"It's a shame. Geist have really lost their touch,"[/b] he sighed, aiming his open palm at Magnus' head as he did. Magnus looked up at him, and then started to do something unexpected.

He began to laugh.

[b]"And what exactly is so funny?"[/b] snarled Starlighter, lowering his hand slightly.

[b]"You...you just gave the game away,"[/b] replied Magnus between chuckles, [b]"That's the second time you've mentioned being acquainted with Geist, so I can only assume you worked for them at some point. Which means they helped to equip you. Which means, I'm willing to bet that your suit is largely the same as mine."[/b] On this last word, Magnus raised his hand, felt the metal filaments running through Starlighter's suit, and flung him backwards, keeping his limbs in place, and pinning him to the wall. He kept his grip on Starlighter, who began to struggle, as he got to his feet and walked over so he was inches away from Starlighter.

[b]"The man you killed was named Derek DeWitt,"[/b] Magnus whispered, his voice cold, [b]"The least I can do is make sure you know who I am going to kill you for."[/b] He reached out his other hand, and wrenched a leg off one of the desks. The end came away jagged, and the metal had a slight coating of rust, but Magnus brought it into his outstretched hand anyway. Holding Starlighter in place, he lifted the leg, ready to strike, when he noticed something.

A small red light, blinking gently behind Starlighter's left ear. He reached forward and turned Starlighter's head sharply to the right, pulling his ear back to see what it was. As he looked closer, the light was coming from a small device, similar in design to the power inhibitors Geist had used on them, but jet-black. Magnus reached out and yanked it off Starlighter's neck, a spot of blood dribbling from the pinprick-sized hole it had made in his skin.

He turned Starlighter's head back, and saw a drastic change in his demeanour. Where the Big Five member had previously been scowling, with true rage behind his eyes, he now looked terrified, his skin pale and a single tear running down his cheek.

[b]"What the hell is this?"[/b] snarled Magnus, holding the device up so Starlighter could see it.

[b]"It's...the Patriot put it on me..."[/b] he stammered, [b]"He's...been making me do things for a long time now...things I never wanted to do..."[/b]

[b]"He's been controlling you,"[/b] sighed Magnus, hanging his head but never relinquishing his grasp on the prone superhero, [b]"All this time, you were...innocent."[/b]

[b]"Yes...yes, I'm innocent!"[/b] Starlighter replied, nodding his head. Magnus looked at the floor, collecting his thoughts, then, having come to a conclusion, looked back at Starlighter.

[b]"I'm sorry,"[/b] he said softly, [b]"But I can't risk you becoming a weapon again."[/b] With a thrust of his hand, the metal table-leg hurtling through the air and crunching into Starlighter's chest. Blood pumped out from the wound, and Magnus held the young man against the wall as he twitched and spasmed, shock and horror etched on his face, the same expression becoming a hideous death-mask as he exhaled his final, gurgling breath.

When he was sure that there was no more fight in him, Magnus released the young man's body, letting it slump to the floor into an undignified heap. The adrenaline rushed out his body, and he began to feel the aches and pains of the fight, the blows to the stomach having done no favours to his already-injured ribs. He slowly made his way to the door, leaving Starlighter's body behind him, and headed down the stairs to rejoin the team.

---

ooc: Looks like one down, four to go! If you have a pressing urge to, please feel free to finish up your Blank-combat posts, but otherwise you can post your reunion with Slate now the battle is won! We'll be heading back to base shortly, so when a few people have posted I'll take us back there.
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