Young Bloods(IC, Reboot)

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Zarkenis Ultima
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Zarkenis Ultima » Fri May 22, 2020 7:28 pm

October 3rd

The Republic of Atria wrote:---
Tomia wrote:---

Fortunately for Megan her new teammates were fairly cooperative despite having only just met each other thanks to Jan's poor organizational skills. This meant that shortly after she called out for help, some sort of ethereal shape approached her, apparently identical to the dragon woman Jan had called here, except that she was blue and translucent. It picked up her head, and soon enough she heard the dragon woman's voice as she approached, following behind her astral projection or whatever it was. The way she worded her question caused the girl to let out an amused snicker.

"Oh, you don't have to do much, but I appreciate the lift." Megan spoke as her body parts started rearranging themselves below the head until she was once more whole. She grinned and gave the dragon woman a thumbs up before pulling up her hood and turning her attention back to the demon horde. As she appraised the distance that remained between their group and the reactor. As she did so, she heard the athletic blonde woman from before shout that they needed to keep moving, and ask the bomb man to cover her.

"Oh! I can make you an opening for you to charge in if you need one. Juuust watch." The hooded girl assured before turning to the oncoming stampede. Willing her scythe to grow in size to its very limit, she hurled the oversized weapon ahead as if it weighed nothing to her, sending it spinning forward and cleaving through the army, leaving dozens of horizontally severed bodies in its wake.

"Now you go, boxer chick! I'll watch your back." Megan said confidently. Looking at where her scythe had landed, she extended her hand towards it with the palm facing forward and scrunched her brow in concentration. After a moment, the blue flames appeared around the scythe, and gradually consumed it until there was nothing left. The girl smiled and let her hand down. "Prince Omega!" She shouted, and the weapon once more manifested in her hand. She brandished it and glanced at Hannah, waiting for her to make the first move.

October 8th

Absolon-7 wrote:---

While Casimir enjoyed his root beer, Icarus fished out another cold can from his plastic bag, this time a can of orange fanta. The blond boy paused and looked at his friend in worry as he nearly choked on the root beer, but Casimir seemed to bounce right back to his usual self, and he simply rolled his eyes at the shorter boy's remarks while opening his can and taking a long gulp.

"I think people would find you more charming if your throat never recovered actually." The young hero remarked casually, a smirk on his face. "Maybe if you could speak less you'd think your words through more carefully too. It's a win-win situation!"

Icarus chuckled, but decided against bothering his friend any further and instead followed him to the elevator while mulling over the options he offered. Before befriending Astrid he hadn't been one for videogames, but they had grown on him since, and now they reminded him of the simple days of his first two years at Thomsen High. Virtual Reality on the other hand was something that he had no experience with, and frankly he had no desire to try it out either. He decided to just ignore the remark about ants - that was classic Casimir and it would just get weirder if he asked about it.

"I could go for a round or two of Hero Rumble 6 if you have that. I'll warn you though, I've learned a lot from playing with the best."

October 24th

Galnius wrote:---
Bentus wrote:---
New Neros wrote:---

Astrid took another sip of her soda as the first of her motley crew of friends, Mika, arrived at their usual table, looking none too good as she shambled towards the table. Nodding in response to her greeting, the half-French girl simply chuckled at her friend's remarks and continued watching for the others to arrive. Hearing the compliment Mika offered her a moment later however, she smiled.

"Of course it does. I may be a lot of things Mika, but a shabby dresser is not one of them." She told the shorter girl, before shrugging. "I just felt like being myself today instead of trying to stay under the radar. The radar can go to hell."

Almost as soon as she'd made that last remark, another member of their little crew arrived. In contrast to herself and the other two black-haired teenagers that frequented the table, Ash was extremely naive and innocent, to the point that she tried not to curse near the moth girl even though she otherwise didn't care too much about sheltering her. She had to learn about bad stuff from someone, why not her friends?

Assuming that's what they were. Astrid still had her doubts, despite having readily welcomed the girl into her environment for the past three weeks. Even though she had no reason to dislike her, and she had gotten past the incident on the 4th of August by now, the fact that Ash was a Young Blood still weighed on her mind. But for the time being, she opted to ignore that feeling and simply waved back at her.

"Bonjour, Ash." She spoke, though the greeting was likely lost as the moth girl excitedly told them about her discovery of math championships. Astrid raised an eyebrow at her sudden fascination, but it was easy to simply brush it aside as another one of Ash's peculiarities. "Yeah, and they go to competitions and all that." She added before taking another sip of her soda. "Waste of time, if you ask me. If you know you're good at something, you don't have to go through a circus like that just so someone who's probably worse at it than you gives you a medal."

That train of conversation did not continue either, as shortly afterwards the fourth member of their chaotic quartet arrived... and promptly flopped on her seat, laying her head on Ash's shoulder. It was clear Ava hadn't had the best of mornings, looking even worse for wear than Mika did.

Are Ash and I the only ones who had a decent day today?

As soon as she heard the question Ava raised at the group, however, Astrid grinned. "Oh, I am doing great mon ami. Do you remember that asshole you saved me from the day we met? I forgot his name. Anyway, I shoved him up against a wall and told him I'd come for him first if he didn't leave me alone." The girl laughed. "You should have seen his face. He was completely pale, like he'd seen a ghost."

Tomia wrote:---

Alexis was very startled when Angelica suddenly shouted at her in anger, already starting to regret her words before fully understanding why she was in the wrong. She hardly had a moment to think though, to step back and analyze the situation and the words she had used, and of course it was too late now to try and defuse the situation - one look at Angelica, at how she was red in the face while shouting at her, was enough to make her understand that whatever she said at this point could only make her girlfriend angrier still.

But still, it hurt. Not just that her girlfriend was screaming at her in a rage. Not just that this was happening when they had happily expressed their affection for each other just a few moments ago. It hurt her that her inexperience with feelings and her lack of perception were thrown in her face like that, when both were thing she had expressed the day they became a couple.

And of course, it hurt when she was left alone there with one last hurtful remark.

As soon as the sight of Angelica's back changed to that of a closed sliding door, a vortex of emotions rose within Alexis. Anger at being accused, screamed at, reviled. Confusion at how she had caused things to deteriorate so quickly. Sadness at the realization that she had caused so much damage.

But one thing outlasted all others.

She didn't know what to do about this. She didn't know what to say. She didn't know if she should even try. How to fix it, or if she even could.

One thing remained, uncertainty, and the fear that it caused.

The girl remained sitting there in stunned silence for several moments, not realizing when her fists clenched tightly, nor when tears started streaming down her face. After a while, she mustered the strength of will to stand up and walked over to her computer terminal, sitting down and getting to work on some project or another. At least if she was working, her mind would be occupied and she wouldn't have to think about... any of this.
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New York Times Democracy

Postby Tomia » Fri May 22, 2020 8:29 pm

Hannah's eyes widen as she saw the scythe mow down dozens of demons. Hannah kept getting hit with a sense that she was really out of her element. "Damn, that's cool" She said to Megan. "I'm Hannah by the way, but we'll talk more when the demons are gone." From there she rushed forward and slammed a fist into a demon, like before the first punch didn't do much but by the third demon was pulverized against the ground. By the time her fifteenth or sixteenth punch came she was obliterating demons on contact. "Come on! the plant isn't that far, let's get this over with!" She shouted to those following behind her.

Roy headed down to Alexis' workshop. He didn't have any technical needs but he wanted to talk to her about Squad 2. He knocked on the door and seeing she was there working headed inside to speak to her. "Hey Alexis, I was watching some film of team practices and I think we need to find a way to change up your tactics, it gets one note after a few minutes..." He stopped in his tracks when he got a look at the tears that her on her cheeks as she worked.

"Woah... Forget about all that. Are you alright?" He had never seen Alexis cry before, this had to be a code red emergency. "I didn't mean to barge in but... do you want to talk about it?" He was the team leader after all. He was supposed to be supportive and all that. Still that didn't make a crying teenage girl any less daunting of a challenge.

Angelica did what she often did when she was upset, she got changed and headed to the gym. The sound of a punching bag slamming through the air could be heard throughout the large building as she slammed her fist into the hanging maize ball. The ball fly furiously back and forth but Angelica hit it back with equal intensity. She couldn't really describe why she was so angry. She knew Alexis wasn't trying to make fun of her and she knew she had been too harsh. But every time she thought of Alexis playfully talking about some of her worst moments in recent memory.... Ice starting forming around her right fist and she knocked the maize ball off the mechanism and sent it flying through the air across the gym. It landed with a thud and skidded to the wall. She stood there, breathing heavily. Hitting things usually made her feel better.... not this time.

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New Neros
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Left-wing Utopia

Postby New Neros » Fri May 22, 2020 8:56 pm

Absolon-7 wrote:"Well his it isn't big man himself. Heard you finally got out of detention," said Casimir mockingly as he walked by, "How's it feel being just like your friends you beat up for being so nice to you."

Mark Nemo

Consistency was key, and flying under the radar was a specialty Mark had perfected since childhood in order to avoid catching the anger of whatever foster parents the state stuck him with for a few months, and due to it, he was almost always at the bottom of popularity rankings with the team. Even Ava had some followers and fans, but Mark was more of an afterthought. Still, to please the ego, a quick scroll through some versus threads on the Young Bloods would give the teen hero a smirk, watching online trolls post clips and vids of his battles in the tournament to argue why Cosmic was underrated and the strongest on the roster.

An alarm rang on his phone to go to the kitchen, enough time finally passing between his bowls of cereal to warrant another delicious ceramic bowl of raisin bran crunch. He headed to the elevators as it opened in the distance, Casimir emerging out of it and the two catching each others glances. Mark gave the teen a polite smile and a nod, watching how quickly Casimir's facial expression changed to disgust and barely contained anger. He'd seen that look a few times before, and knew all too well how much the Great Kabuto disliked the interstellar hero for everything that's happened since the tournament.

"Hey man, they finally let me out, I'm -" Mark replied, Casimir continuing quickly though, the smirk Mark held fading away as well. "They prescribe me some meds for how I feel about a lot of things. Feels good to be the strongest Young Blood is all. I'm going to go get some cereal, though, so I'll see you later, man. I don't exactly have to live my life looking over my shoulder." He put his hands out of his pockets and kept them at his side as he walked toward the elevator, his eyes cut to the right, waiting for Casimir to respond, having enough knowledge to know that it could quickly get physical.

Zarkenis Ultima wrote:-The Quartet-

Ava Waldstein

Slurping her food still, Ava nodded as Astrid replied quickly to her question. "My man," She said with eyes closed, "That is rad as fuck, and you did it looking that bomb. Impressive." She gave Ash a quick snuggle, and lifted herself off of her teammate to sit up correctly. "Thank you for being my pillow, Ash, you're the most comfortable person I know." She turned to Mika and flashed her a quick, devilish smile, "So, how much you want to bet that dude Astrid beat up got a fuckin' rager at being smacked up and choked out by a hottie French girl?"
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Segral » Sat May 23, 2020 12:21 am

Whitney Alvord
October 8th

Alexis stepped ahead of the group as the elevator slid open, venturing into a corridor up ahead. For someone with such short legs, she moved fast, forcing Whitney to lightly jog to keep up with her. In general, it seemed as if Alexis had a nigh-endless amount of energy. Hell, nix the "nigh", it was practically endless. Whitney wasn't exactly a heavy sleeper, but every morning, she would come into the lab yawning and practically knocking back coffee, only to find Alexis in the same place, bushy-eyed and wait, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, as if she hadn't slept that night. She had once asked about it, and Alexis had given the very clear answer, consisting of a shrug and a non-committal grunt. Maybe it was just another superpower or something. After all, most heroes had two. It was never just pyrokinesis, it was pyrokinesis and heat resistance, or pyrokinesis and the ability to alter melting points. Kind of weird how that worked.

Whitney's internal rambling was cut off by Alexis saying something about a living room as she disappeared through a nearby doorway. Pretty inconspicuous looking doorway for a supposed living room, but the Tower was already full of surprises. And surprise it was, surprisingly...clean? As Whitney walked through the doorway, it was as if she was being barraged by an overwhelming sense of neatness. It looked like a hangout space for teenagers; couches, tables, remotes, what looked like at least three different video game consoles inside of a handsome TV cabinet, but it didn't feel like a hideout for teenagers. There was no...crumbs, or dust, or...anything! It was like when Gran "rearranged" her room while she was at work. Everything was in its perfect place and there wasn't so much as a hint of disturbance, but the feeling was all wrong, and there was lemon polish in the air. Still, she wasn't complaining; she liked tidiness and organization. A place for everything and everything in its place, all that bullshit. But man, if it wasn't weird...

She continued to drown herself in thought as Alexis said something throwing celebrations after a successful mission, trying to keep her eyes focused on Alexis' face. But instead, she felt them drift further and further down, eyeing her chest, her stomach, her waist...wait, no, stop, rewind. She didn't mean it like that. Alexis was a very fine lady and all, but she wasn't attracted to her, not in that way. No, she felt...jealous of her, jealous of her figure. Whitney sometimes felt as if her blouses barely fit in the morning, but Alexis would have no trouble slipping into one of her own blouses, or anything else for that matter, she fit into her clothes like a hand in a glove. Fuck, what wouldn't she give for Alexis' shoulders, her hips, her body in general. It made her feel like gagging and hurling right then and there, but that wouldn't exactly be professional, so she held it back and forced herself to listen to what Alexis was saying. Something about OK, that was helpful. She should be noting down the locations of all of these rooms, make sure that she didn't get lost and accidentally wander into any goddamn ant farms.

"Kitchen? Lemme see." Whitney said, moving past Alexis and poking her head through the wide-open doorway. Jesus fuck, it was big. She spotted the coffee-maker in a corner, which counter-tops practically stretched on for miles, there was like four different ovens, and the fridge...Christ, that was a huge fridge. And it was...clean? Something was definitely wrong here.

"Man, you guys keep this place spotless." she commented towards the dynamic duo behind her, turning around to face them. "Do you guys have like, a butler or something?"

Carter Graystone
Aye, can someone tell me why we're applying chronological chapters to Comic Book Ti-

Wyatt was going on about...danger? That story about SOMEONE screwing up that just so happened to not be Red was interesting, but this was more important. Who the hell did he think he was, lecturing him about safety?! He was a superhero for Christ's sake, a superhero who had also just so happened to have fought the world-famous, all-powerful Darkstar! Did he really think Carter was weak enough to be in danger on a movie set? The thought soured his mood a little, causing him to scowl slightly. Even still, after proving his worth multiple teams while on the team and breaking his own path away from them, they still thought of him as weak and prone to danger? No...Wyatt didn't mean that, he always respected Carter's contributions on the team. It was just Wyatt being Wyatt. He needed to toss that thought out of his head, it was doing him no good. Plus, he had a point, that guy from ICarly got fucked up. It was hilarious, but still...pretty gruesome.

"Jeez man, don't remind me of that, those screams still give me nightmares." he said with a slight laugh, running a hand through his hair. "That, and that 37 Baker gave me on the exam, I'm still not over that. But yeah, I'll be careful. Can't let my pretty face get damaged, I'm a man in a foreign country! Girls stop me on the street for pictures just because I'm a blondie! If I break my face, I don't know what I'll do..." he trailed off as Wyatt started talking about meeting...Captain Quake. Oh boy, this was juicy gossip, he needed that holy elixir, that sweet, sweet nectar of truth. And the truth was...that Quake was an asshat and a half. More of an ass-bowler. Ass-top-hat? Or, as Casimir (shudder) and Jason apparently named him, "Captain Cocaine". Hmm, not bad. Quake, coke addict? Yeah, seemed plausible. The dude was really peppy, a little too peppy.

"Yikes, sorry about that dude, must've been a bummer." Carter said with a groan of genuine sympathy. After all, how many members of the team had been dying to meet heroes like Quake? Wyatt, Casimir, Jason, maybe some of the girls. And Mars. Shit, Mars would've been crushed. "Poor Mars was probably pissing his Rocket armor at the thought of meeting his idol, now he's probably drying his eyes on his LA Stars t-shirt." Carter said somewhat lightheartedly, trying to keep the mood up. Although, the entire subject of the LA Stars as a whole was probably a sore spot for the team, considering the absolutely horrific beatdown the Bloods had endured. He had live-streamed the results from his room back home, and well, he couldn't help but feel a little thankful that Mothra was the one eating dirt instead of him. "Well, whatever, it's not a big deal. You guys are growing stronger every day, and soon you'll be able to break Quake's coked-up nose without a sweat, I'm sure of it." he said cheerfully, a pick-me-up that sounded rehearsed, but one that had all of Carter's big, loving heart behind it. And who could resist that?

"By the way, who screwed up during the mission, if it wasn't G.I Ginger?" Carter asked, employing one of his favorite nicknames for Red along the way.
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Finland SSR » Sat May 23, 2020 8:28 am

Zarkenis Ultima wrote:
October 3rd

The Republic of Atria wrote:Reject Squad

Tomia wrote:Hannah

Zarkenis Ultima wrote:
October 3rd

Tomia wrote:Hannah

Jan Sorok, the Champion of Heaven!

To Floyd and Meridiana, it was becoming increasingly clear that whoever was causing the ruckus was not going to be stopped by just a swarm of demons. Neither of them paid much mind to the battle in the outskirts at first - after the watch tower collapsed, Meridiana even stopped paying attention and made her way to the wall of the main fusion reactor. The succubus pressed her hand, applying melting force and forming a hole large enough for her to step through. Her senses began to ring too hard for her to bear, however. The Virgil was coming near, and so was all of the allies he brought.

"They have several strong mortals out there. You're going to have to take them down."

"That's a lot closer to my language," Floyd spoke, grinned, and pushed himself off the wall. He spat the cigarette in his mouth to the side and crushed it, his right hand instinctively pulling out his sword, cracks and bolts of blood red electricity bursting to life around his body. A massacre was taking place in the path towards the main reactor - scythes, grenades, rapiers and punches were all tearing through demons left and right, coating the ground with severed limbs and piles of charcoal. Plenty of fun stuff thrown all around.

"What language? I'm speaking the same language I always spoke, you idiot..."

" you're just fucking with me."

With a flash, the demonically empowered swordsman leapt forth, landing on a nearby warehouse building and continuing to hop from rooftop to rooftop, his enhanced senses kicking in and tracking the battle below. Meridiana stayed behind, folding her arms and watching the arriving breakthrough.

The demons floating and frozen in the air by Vince's grenade did not remain for long - suddenly, a blinding fast series of slashes cut them up into bits, followed by a man dressed in white and black dropping down from the sky in front of them. With a grin on his face, Floyd rose to his feet, focused onto Vince, and spoke:

"I ain't exactly a huge demon nor do I have large enough tits to attract tourists, but wouldcha think I can fill the part?"

Moments later, Jan swept down from the sky, landing next to the bomberman and summoning a psionic construct rapier in his hand - his eyes were locked onto the demonic swordsman, furious, waiting for even the slightest twitch. "That's the man who's been working with them since the start."

Hannah's punch and tear through the demonic hordes had formed a spearhead advancing rapidly towards the core reactor - but as soon as the boxer girl came close enough to see the pale white-haired baroness standing among numerous gate portals, a twin set of fireballs suddenly whizzed towards her and Megan, summoned from spinning pentagram signs which appeared next to Meridiana. A pair of demonic wings suddenly tore into life from her back, and she took to the air with a cackle, her finger casting an another spell.

Powerful flames suddenly burst out of the ground before taking a humanoid shape, four of these fire elementals cropping up and advancing upon the girls. Despite their seemingly physical appearance, they were about as tangible as any ordinary fire was - but that was not going to stop them from trying to hug their opponents regardless.

Galnius wrote:Mika, her room

Jan Sorok, the Champion of Heaven!

Hearing that Jan knew about Casimir's personal life and connecting the dots, Mika was overjoyed, beginning to ask about the hero, what he was like in person, and how did the two of them get to know each other. Of course, Mika being Mika, she didn't mince any of her words, taking her chance to crap on Kabuto, calling him dorkiest, having no chance to get a soulmate, making fun of his costume, calling him "Kabuturd"...

Of course, Jan wasn't happy about it, at all. Casimir was just about the only friend he's ever had in San Diego, he even went out of his way to give the psionic vigilante a home after he'd been freed and team up together against Drakon... to see someone badmouth him so harshly, and even for no particular reason except how dorky he was, didn't leave a good impression on him.

"That's... really uncalled for, and-"

Jan stopped and sighed. That really wasn't going to get to Mika's head, is it? Chances are, she was just going to laugh at him and continue on regardless.

"...You know what? I'm not going to tell you anything until you stop and take back what you just said."
Last edited by Finland SSR on Sat May 23, 2020 9:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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United Kingdom of Poland
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Scandinavian Liberal Paradise

Postby United Kingdom of Poland » Sat May 23, 2020 8:32 pm

Tomia wrote:Angelica
Angelica did what she often did when she was upset, she got changed and headed to the gym. The sound of a punching bag slamming through the air could be heard throughout the large building as she slammed her fist into the hanging maize ball. The ball fly furiously back and forth but Angelica hit it back with equal intensity. She couldn't really describe why she was so angry. She knew Alexis wasn't trying to make fun of her and she knew she had been too harsh. But every time she thought of Alexis playfully talking about some of her worst moments in recent memory.... Ice starting forming around her right fist and she knocked the maize ball off the mechanism and sent it flying through the air across the gym. It landed with a thud and skidded to the wall. She stood there, breathing heavily. Hitting things usually made her feel better.... not this time.

Wendy was just finishing up her own workout when she noticed Angelica walking into the gym, looking pissed off at the world. Sitting up after finishing her last set of sit ups, Wendy watched Angelica for a couple minutes. Ever since they'd both had their private lives put on full display by Warwolf, Angelica had become one of her closest friends on the team after Roy. For a second Wendy was afraid to say anything seeing how he was using the punching bag as a stress ball, but eventually mustered up the courage to talk. ""So did your dad try to recruit you to his team again, or do you just not want to talk about it?" She asked, making sure to stay out of arms length as she did so.
Last edited by United Kingdom of Poland on Sat May 23, 2020 8:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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New York Times Democracy

Postby Tomia » Sat May 23, 2020 10:17 pm

The Night of October 24th
It was 8 PM when Roy received a message from Naja, calling him to his office. He had been hanging out in the living room but wasn't doing anything particularly important so it didn't bother him. Still he was now wondering if she had a new mission for them. Was it a lead on Floyd maybe? He knocked on her door when he arrived at her office and opened it when she heard him say come in.

"Hi Roy, there's a situation the police have asked us to deal with. Some unknown villains, they've well... holed themselves up in a construction zone. It's a building that's set to be demolished. The police don't know what their motives are, protesting, a prank who knows. But they've fought off any police attempt at apprehension so the police made a perimeter and asked us to go clear them out."

"Do we know anything about them?" Roy asked her.

"As far as the cops can tell there's five of them. One has electric powers, blew up a police car with them. Another kept firing shot gun shells at them and then there was one with really big swords. They saw two other people, but no clear indication if they have powers."

"That sounds pretty routine, think we need everyone for this?"

"I'm not sure, but take them just in case, besides squad 5 needs some practice in the field."

Roy nodded at Naja's words. "I'll let the leaders know, we'll be out of here in thirty minutes."

Nightshade first sent a text message to the squad leaders, informing them of the situation and telling them to get their squads ready. He then sent one to his own squad, telling them to be in the hangar in twenty five minutes. He personally headed to his own room and suited up. He wasn't sure what was going on, but they would be ready for anything. He headed down early like he usually did, and sat waiting for the others to gather.

His mind drifted to Floyd like it often did these days. Where was he? What was he planning? These questions endlessly rattled in his mind. They needed to be prepared, he would attack eventually and Roy refused to let that man take anymore from him.

Earlier that Day
Angelica hadn't even noticed Wendy had been in the gym as she attacked the punching bag. At the smarter girl's question she turned away a bit. "The latter" She answered gruffly. However after a moment she let out a sigh. Wendy was trying to help, and Angelica hitting the punching bag wasn't making her any less angry.

"Alexis and I... we fought. It wasn't pretty. I screamed at her and stormed off. I'm angry and worried I ruined things and..." At this point tears were dripping down her cheeks. "So ya, shitty day."

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Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Absolon-7 » Sun May 24, 2020 12:33 am

Zarkenis Ultima wrote:Icarus
Segral wrote:Whitney Alvord

Casimir Herman October 8th

"Ha very funny Mr. Comedian," said Casimir jokingly irritated, "Thinking takes too damn long I prefer act-hck. Ouch dammit."

As they entered Wonder Tower's lobby floor and then into the elevator Casimir pressed a button without thinking and in a panic he double checked. Thankfully he had pressed the floor for the living room. Maybe he has a point... On the way there Icarus actually had the idea to challenge Casimir in one of many of his fortes, that of fighting games and specifically Hero Rumble 6. "I'm up for that. But letting you know I got a new DLC for it that I've gotten pretty good at."

When they got to the living room he rushed over to set up the gaming system as the enormous flat screen lit up with a soft flash. However, in the wide open area connecting the living room and the kitchen's cafeteria saw a familiar group or at least two out of three.

"Hey guys!" greeted Casimir full of energy at Roy, Alexis, and that new blonde girl whose name escaped him at the moment. He nudged Icarus with his elbow slightly before saying "Hey you remember Makeshift from yesterday right. Nighshade too. And uh....what's your name again?"

Auropa wrote:Mike

Viviana Couture October 24th

"I sure am baking something up. Hopefully without causing a fire," said Viviana nodding, "Oh you have ingredients? That's great! I have a tray or two of unused batter we can loads with tons of stuff. We'll have one batch of normal muffins and two others where we go crazy! And don't worry. I wouldn't let Casiboy's swarm anywhere near my food. Cause I don't it like it crunchy."

She placed a hand to her lip thinking back to what Casimir had told her about how Mike acted towards him and Icarus during the gala. She didn't approve of how it ended but she could guess Mike was feeling frustrated about something. His behavior in meetings left a lot to be desired just like a certain someone but he did put a lot of thought into at least what he though was right. Even if the delivery was about as subtle as the cooking explosions she wanted to avoid. She wasn't sure if she'd be the best to talk it out but there was always the option of just getting his mind off things with something fun!

"Wait what was thing bout Hadrian sweeteners?.....Well we can put it in one or just so we don't get too big of an explosion," said Viviana looking down to the side as she held her hands behind her back. She spaghettified her arms to retrieve trays of fresh muffin batter and then placed them in the kitchen counter behind her. She rolled up her sleeves to begin putting in the ingredients, "Oh do you want one or two trays to work on? There's like a third I left by the fridge. Damn, I think I honestly went a bit overboard with batter. But good thing you're here to my sous-chef!"

New Neros wrote:Mark

Casimir Herman October 24th

"Strongest? As if. If you have that much steam in your head it'll come out of your ass," scoffed Casimir at Mark, "If anything you're the weakest person in this whole Tower."

Casimir stood unwavering in his disgust and anger for the pathetic excuse of a hero they let leech off the team. It was absolutely maddening how he basically got a slap on the wrist for how he acted in the Tournament. The moment he had found out he hadn't been kicked out was the moment he had severely lost a chunk of his respect for Naja. With millions of people watching him snap out there and putting his own teammate in harm's way he was nothing but a danger that needed to get kicked out.

"I heard about you beating up some guys who used to bully you. Usually I'd give a thumbs up to that," said Casimir less angry and more annoyed, "But I just wanted to drive into your skull your the exact same as them for what you did to Ash. Just taking out your small ego on someone weaker to make yourself feel better at the moment."
Last edited by Absolon-7 on Sun May 24, 2020 12:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
Just passing by. Please no militarization of borders.
Giovenith wrote:...The past was not happier. It was not more peaceful, people were not nicer, things were not better. You only think of it that way because you are afraid of the chaos of the present and the past seems inherently orderly because you already know what to expect from it...

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Left-wing Utopia

Postby Aidannadia » Mon May 25, 2020 1:32 pm

October 30th
Undisclosed Location

Lacking on any map, Dead Site 000 was a treacherous facility to venture towards. The road leading to it was unmarked and narrow, as well as long and filled with holes. The fence around the facility was then preceded by a thick, iron wall that was patrolled by armed guards, using rifles that seemed alien in nature, within strange geometric shapes, almost artful in their presentation, which clashed greatly with the unmarked, grey uniforms that their holders wore as they strolled along the wall.

And so it was to great surprise that a pristine, white limousine had made its way to the facility's front gate. It pulled up slowly to the door and waited. Guards soon rode out to the front gate, armed to the teeth and expecting anything. A single guard, likely an officer, though no discernable marker as to his rank was present. He opened his mouth to speak, the gate opening to allow him passage, and as soon as his breath was taken, small guns erupted from the limousine's walls, shooting every guard present at the front gate immediately, before even a single trigger could be pulled.

And alarm sounded in the distance as the car launched itself over the many humvees that had come out to meet it with too long poles that shot from the bottom of the vehicle, and began speeding towards the inner wall of the facility. More guards began pouring from the building, lining themselves on the walls, and opening fire, their small arms not even penetrating the pure white limousine's paint. The vehicle continued to increase its speed as it began to close in on the heavily walled outpost, and the gunfire began to let up once they realized what was going to happen.

The limousine collided with the front gate, breaking through in a pile of rubble, but now sufficiently damaged so it lacked the ability to move. The guards began to climb down the walls and approach the car once more to investigate, but something mechanical began to churn inside the machine. The grunts didn't put down their weapons, taking secondary defensive positions as a group continued to ascertain the situation.

Suddenly, the top of the limousine opened up, and from it two long arms of bodies rose, attached to the mechanical limbs, hanging from it grotesquely. All fire ceased, each guard holding their breath as the bodies began to extend their limbs and fall from their positions. It was then that it was clear that the bodies lacked any face, a smooth rounded feature where one would expect such a thing to be.

As the bodies hit the ground, the concrete cracked under the weight of their descent. The guards opened fire once more, but whatever skin these... things had, it was almost as solid as whatever the limo had been made out of, with the bullets occasionally leaving a dent.

Each mechanical beast moved with inhuman speed to the nearest guard, and dealt with them very shortly. Steps leading to the rest of the facility descended into the earth below, as to deny the robots a path to the rest of the facility, but they simply lined up orderly, walking calmly to the wall, and climb one another, until the last robot reached the top of the wall, and effortlessly pulled the rest of the robots up to the level of the guards, whom were soon mangled beyond recognition.

As the minutes crawled by, and the machines continued to dismantled their opposition, the facility grew quiet. The machines continued into the halls of the complex, they came into a room with a set of cells on each wall. The room was quiet as each cell was greeted by a faceless stare, as the mannequins reached to the bars and bent them open. Several individuals stepped out from the cells, shrouded in darkness.

The mannequins spoke from speakers hidden on their person as the room reverberated with the same, half mechanical voice.

"Welcome to the Coven."
Hey, my name is Aidan and I am still figuring out who I really am. Most of my views are some form of leftism someone could probably tell me is not leftism. I'm a guy and I live in Virginia. I'm 20 years old.

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The Republic of Atria
Postmaster of the Fleet
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Founded: Nov 12, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby The Republic of Atria » Mon May 25, 2020 4:40 pm

Finland SSR wrote:Floyd emerges

Zayda watched as the strange human pulled herself back together and went straight back into the fray. Rather than get involved with that, she opted to hang back and be more defensive. All it would take is one demon to catch her off guard and she would be dead. Best to make sure she stayed alive since the others looked like they could take care of himself.

Vince on the other hand was loading more bombs into his homemade launcher when the man of the hour stepped out. Floyd... Whatever his last name was. Crazy Brit with a sword that killed people for shits and giggles. Vince shifted his gaze towards Floyd, who was calling him out, right after dicing a demon he had suspended in time. Floyd asked if he could fill the part of a tourist attraction without the tits and a demon's size. Vince smiled a little in reply. "Ya know what? I think you can. Here, just hold still and wait for the flash of the camera." He said, shooting a grenade that landed about 10 feet from Floyd's feet.

The grenade itself exploded, letting out a small, exceedingly bright orb that put out heat and light akin to a small sun, incinerating the demonic remains. Vince himself pulled down his custom made sunglasses. Floyd had survived this long, so he doubted that would be enough to kill him, so he loaded another grenade for when the light faded.

Oct, 24, The Tower

So far, the day had gone by like any other. With the exception of the phone call with Carter, nothing really stuck out about the day. Until the evening rolled around and they got a call about some supers holed up at a construction site and making a ruckus. He'd heard that story before almost word for word. Just replace the construction site with a warehouse. Well, it had been a few weeks, and they were due for what sounded like a fairly routine mission. At least as far as their work could be considered "routine." Rarely was anything ever simple or as expected. Last time they thought that, Ares showed up.

He was not planning on letting his guard down. So he texted Mike and Red the mission details: "Supers holed up in construction site. Making a mess. Get to the van within the next 10 minutes. Roy said 20 but I want to go over some basic plans first."

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The Rebel Alliances
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Founded: Jan 18, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Rebel Alliances » Mon May 25, 2020 5:50 pm

Scott Green-Present Day

"So, you gonna stop by for dinner tonight? Your sister has been bugging me all day about it. She wants to play Nintendo with you. She got a new Star Wars game just for you, you know?" I gave a smile from my end of the line. My sister and my family in general have been trying to make up for lost time. My youngest sister almost cried when I moved out last week into my own place. "Of course mom. You still making that Shepard's Pie tonight?" I could hear my younger siblings fighting in the background as my mom scolded them while she spoke with me on the phone. I was just finished tying my shoes as I sprung to my feet with my cell phone tucked between my left shoulder and ear as I kept my hands free to both scoop up an apple and open my apartment door. "Mom, don't worry I'll be there. I gotta go to the bank, see ya soon." With that the call ended as I dropped the phone into my hand and then slid it into my pants pocket. It's been what? Three months? I haven't talked to the Young Bloods since I left back when War Wolf was here. But I made sure to watch them on the competing against all the other NASL league along with the rest of my family. I especially cheered for Renata whom I still consider a friend, albeit one I haven't spoken to in months. And of course Shi was as impressive as always. I even gave a shout out to Casimir through the 4k display. Although I doubt he heard me.

I hummed to myself as I almost skipped down the apartment steps which creaked beneath my feet. My new accommodations were well... economy plus. But I just got my first check from my new job. I was recently hired on to a independent comic company as an artist here in San Diego. My current work is on a smaller character. A side kick who works alongside his heroic brother. And I'm on my way to deposit most of the check into the bank. My therapist, once told me to meet as many physical people as possible. I'm not seeing her anymore but I still keep the habits she gave me. And I enjoy these little trips. Taking a bite from the crisp red apple I exited the door as I turned left and strolled away from my humble abode to the direction of the bank.

As I made my way there on foot my mind began to drift. Probably my ADHD kicking in. I thought about how long it's been since I have flown, not like in a plane. But actually flown. With Spectrum. I had took note some time ago that Renata wasn't using it, and it had occurred to me that she must have been saving it for my return. And honestly, it was tempting. I have thought about it more than once but...nah, my life is finally good now. I have a job. A new place. My family sees me on a regular basis. Everything is just how it used to be...but, part of me wants it back. To be able to fly again. I miss that. And maybe I can visit them soon. I'm sure they would let me on the island again.

I stopped at the sidewalk as my eyes met the front of the bank building. Removing my hands from my pockets and picking the check out if my jacket and holding it securely in my hand I put my thoughts away and pushed ahead for business. Briskly entering the building there was a line which I positioned myself at the end of as I received a text on my phone from Bria. Asking how I was doing. She sends occasional check ups every couple days and we meet about once a week to hang out. I tapped a response on the screen of the phone as I resumed waiting for my turn. When it finally arrived I approached the counter where the teller recognized me instantly from when I was here to set my account up. She is one of those types who remembers literally everybody. A super power all it's own.

"Scott, how's it been? What can I do for you today?" She was just a year or so older than I and attractive but her constant smiling is just contagious.

"Just here for a deposit Kim-" I was interrupted by her sudden shrieking and before I knew what it was about I was slammed in the side of the head and knocked to the tile beneath me.

"Fuck the deposit, we're here for a withdrawal!" My right ear was ringing as I looked up and saw two armed gunman who was now robbing the place. One man watched the door while the second, the one who hit me, waved his gun in Kim's face.

"The hell man, no one's supposed to get hurt remember?!" The second man shouted to the first. My heart was practically about to rip through my chest and dash away from me as scared as I was. But seeing Kim completely frozen, I keep she was much worse off.

"And no one will be hurt if this fucking deaf bitch will move!!" At that she recoiled and closed her eyes almost entirely shutting down under the pressure. I slowly rose to my feet so as not to alarm anyone and the explosive gunman noticed me as he swiftly turned his gun on me.

"Don't be no hero asshole! I'll shoot you, get the fuck down!" My hands were out in front of me signalling no harm. "I believe you." I said in rapid breaths. "But I can help you."

He was visibly confused but I made no sudden moves as I spoke again, trembling myself.

"Kim...please look at me. Open your eyes and focus. Just focus on my voice alright. Everything will be fine." Her eyes slowly opened as her eyes darted back and forth from his weapon and my face.

"Kim...fill his bag with money. Focus only on that, don't look at his weapon alright." The man held his tongue as Kim started to finally move again and after a few moments his bag was full. With his partner's attention on the door and his now on the bag of money another good Samaritan locked eyes with me. Signalling he was about to make a move.

I hastily shook my head "no". Our best chance at everyone getting out of this alive is to just go along with it. They are almost gone and the police or even the Young Bloods can safely apprehend them. If I had Spectrum I could have stopped this minutes ago but I am just a scared civilian right now. I am as powerless as anyone else here.

But the man did not heed my plea, he dove for the gun and a struggle ensued. There was no turning back now. I had to back him up, I started to run towards him but a loud pop was heard as the gun went off. But something was wrong, both the Samaritan and the gunman both seemed unharmed.


I turned my gaze to the counter as Kim lay on the floor bleeding.

The gunman cut and run as sirens wailed outside. I jumped the counter and kneeled beside Kim as she bled all over herself, the tile and me.

There was nothing I could do. My eyes watered as I reassured her everything would be fine. But just like when I told her everything would be ok just five minutes ago, I knew I was lying to her again. I knew because her eyes were drifting away.
The Starlight wrote:Rebel Force: Noun - A strange power associated with street-level characters who are the weakest, yet most powerful of all.

Enjoy Magic? Academy RPs? Take a look at Kage no Sekai By Forest State

2nd Place Winner of "Best Sci-Fi Role Player" 2014
2nd Place Winner of "The Novelist" Award for Best Writer 2014
2nd Place Winner of the Silver Award "The Best Overall Role Player" in 2014

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North America Inc
Posts: 7483
Founded: Mar 07, 2013

Postby North America Inc » Tue May 26, 2020 11:32 pm

A Collaboration with Aidannadia

Shihong Smith
Aleta Lindell
October 23th

As the bright light of the new moon reflected through the ocean below, a lone motorcycle raced through the empty bridge; the overbearing monolith that was the Tower in full view. Most of San Diego had since fallen asleep with only the homeless and the odd entourage still lingering on the streets. Most of the lights had been green since she had ventured out of the tranquil desert of the Inland Empire, giving her some actual time to contemplate more than usual. That odd feeling of melancholy and confusion when she received that order, a man she never particularly cared for but was still a surrogate parent, one of many. She knew she shouldn’t dwell on it but for some odd reason she couldn’t stop.

The electric bike was quiet for its speed, a gift she had been paid to ride. Her body leaned forward to contort with the design, it was as aerodynamic as it was exhilarating. “Its 12’oclock here at the station…” the host of the late night AM station paused for a second, as he audibly wrestled through some paperwork, “The San Diego Police Department has not released any new updates on the disappearance of Doctor Thomas Chen. Thomas Chen who has been apprehended by the Young Bloods only recently had been alleged to be a part of a drug cartel syndicate and developer of a highly dangerous meta gene emulator. No word on suspects or how it happened, but many are pointing directly to his former employer as a likely culprit. The Sheriff’s office in a prev…” Shi turnt the radio off as it slowed and entered the compound.

As the bike crept into its parking spot, Shi did a few last minute checks. She had used a burner vehicle for the first half, no chance of tire tracking. Stepping off the bike, she walked a few feet before looking down. She had checked thrice before, but she needed to be sure. She raised her left shoe sole. Than the right. Nothing. It helped to be thorough. Taking off her helmet, she nestled it right on top of the seat. Unlike most, she didn’t have to worry about hat hair so she flipped and freed her hair as if she was posing for a commercial. She wore an all black attire: leather jacket and jeans; different but not suspicious.

Walking through the rest of the garage, she saw at the corner of her eye somebody working on their own bike. Aleta, but she knew little beyond that. Your run of the mill influencer with delusions of grandeur. At least Renata had a country to back her ego. Walking through the garage she kept to the walkway, holding only her gloves as she turned on her phone.

While Auntie had made a marvel of a machine in creating her bike, it still needed its regular maintenance from time to time. The somewhat tedious work of cleaning and lubing the bike’s chain, usually a chore, was something that had never bothered Aleta. It reminded her of her childhood; living above her dad’s automotive repair shop. Sure, cars came through like any mechanic, but Aleta’s eyes always lingered on the bikes. The openness and the freedom that motorcycles gave the rider was something she needed now, what with being stuck with Mars and Co here at the Tower, and working on it calmed her down quite a bit after her spat with her ‘fearless leader.’

When Shi walked past, Aleta looked up, and saw the Red Princess in an attire not unlike her usual outfit. It was a bit finer leather jacket than her own, but it looked sharp on her nonetheless. “I love your outfit.~” The honey rolled off her tongue effortlessly. “And how is our Princess doing this evening?” Aleta sat back from her bike, moving over to the sink to begin the process of cleaning up herself, her hands slathered with grease.

Shi looked over at her greased covered colleague, watching as the grim washed off into the sink. Taking off her second glove, Shi replied, “Nice of you to notice…” She paused for a second, unsure of whether she was really in the mood to have a conversation this late at night. She relented.

Unzipping the jacket to reveal the matching tank top underneath, Shi continued, “Fine. No worse than any other day.” There was a slight pause at the end of her sentence, as she waited to see if Aleta was going to interject with some low brow comment. Would have been consistent with her file. Leaning against the adjacent wall, Shi perched herself there as she watched the grease monkey finish the last of her work.

Aleta flicked her hands dry into the sink, and looked back up. “Well, I can hardly say that my day was lacking any tragedy.” She paused for a moment, considering stopping there, but something inside her needed to vent. “I mean, getting paired up with Marvin of all people…” She scoffed.

“You understand the problem, right? There are those that are fit to be a leader, and those that fall short.” She said simply, making her way to Shi. “If you were my team leader, I’d have no room to complain, but the Martian… I can stand to see him moved back to a position where he belongs.” Aleta pursed her lips, indulging in a bit of flattery in the face of what was clearly a woman of class and stature, but it was soon back again to spitting her poison at Mars.

“I’m not here to hear you grovel…” Shi exclaimed as she listened to Aleta’s insistent complaints about Marvin. Mind you, she had only worked with Mars a handful of times, but she still… she didn’t really care for the man either. The whole charade with WarWolf escalated rapidly because of him, and while the team came out of the situation for the better, it was no thanks to him. Still it wasn’t Aleta’s place to complain about her superiors, and no place for her to complain about a colleague. “Beyond that I’m not sure I follow. I’ve only heard about Renata’s spat with him, what do you have against Marvin?”

“He’s just… There’s a hierarchy in life. There are those that have it, and then there are those like Mars.” Aleta explained, but something else had clearly gotten her attention in the meantime. “I heard about that actually. I mean… I won’t say it doesn’t sound like Renata to get a little heated, but on a mission?” Her expression was a little overdramatically surprised. “I’ve been meaning to ask her about it actually. Do you know more about it?”

“Apparently a…” Shi held her tongue, Chen’s secrets outliving the man itself, “Terrorist challenged a few of them to a duel. Renata’s ego got the best of her so she blasted Mars because, wait what do you Americans say, because she called dibs. Something childish like that.” Looking over at Renata’s friend, “Then she did what she usually does and shut down and shut out any criticism. That’s basically it.”

Aleta suppressed a tsk in the back of her throat. That explains why he was so… pressed already. He’s probably stressed on top of being in over his head. I almost feel sorry for him. The teenage girl paused. “That’s…. That’s crazy.” She said simply, slightly shaking her head.

“Last I heard she was suspended for a month…” Shi spun her wrist, “I’m surprised you didn’t know. He got promoted for that little stunt. Guessing Renata isn’t exactly the talkative type.” Shi said with a thick layer of sarcasm.

“We uh… haven’t talked since then actually. I guess we’ve both been… busy.” Aleta scratched her head a little, uncomfortable with the thought of her best friend having actually blasted a teammate. It made her think that maybe… maybe Renata was a little more out there than she thought. She could be harsh, Aleta knew that but this was on another level. “Yknow, this was fun; dishing like this together. I could stand to hang out again some time.” Aleta added on the end, perhaps sounding a little hopeful.

Shi raised her eyebrow, Aleta was quick just to end the conversation at the mere indirect mention of Renata not sharing everything with her. That’s interesting. Shi leaned away from the wall and stood up, “Maybe, whatever works for my schedule.” Placing her hands into her jacket’s pockets, Shi headed towards the elevator.

Aleta considered letting Shi go, but something pushed her on a little bit more, just over the edge of what she’d considered cool, calm and collected. “Oh, actually, I was just heading up too. Can you hold the door?” Aleta vaulted over the handrail and covered the distance to the elevator in a few stretched bounds. Shi actually didn’t need to hold the door given the short time it took Aleta to cover the distance, and the pair was alone together in the elevator, listening quietly to the droning elevator music that Wendy and Alexis had programmed into the thing. “So, I’ve been meaning to ask you, do you have a system for Capestagram posts? I’ve been trying to really streamline my process, because with the whole shifting to Paragon from Pitch... It’s a bit of a learning curve. I’m still getting new to the professional stuff I guess.” She looked down at her feet, kicking at the air.

“It’s like, posting my victories and fight scenes was more popular when I was Pitch because it was raw and people thought it was genuine, but ever since I came out...” Poor choice of words given the situation Aleta was in, but she continued dauntlessly nonetheless, “ Paragon so to speak...” Nice Save.. “I am getting more requests for personal stuff or out of costume posts with some of the team.”

Shi stood on the far side of the elevator, listening to Aleta go on about her social media feed, saying nothing beyond a complimentary smile and nod. Aleta was making small talk, but it seemed as if she couldn’t decide on how she felt about it. Shi watched as Paragon went from almost determined to talk with her to a nervous expression to a bored pose that she wasn’t even sure how she was supposed to respond. Adding to the confusion, every now and then, she would catch her partner look over in a very specific manner, suspicious but nothing concrete. Beyond her exhaustion, she was running out of patience. On the other hand, the last time she dissed another teammate they almost killed her; so, a gentler approach was probably for the best. “But ever since I came out…” was enough to actually get her to crack a laugh. As the elevator passed the tenth floor, Shi finally spoke up and asked, “Well I could, I suppose.” A few seconds passed before she added, “Exactly how many followers do you have right now?”

“1,287,026 last I checked.” She dictated, leaning against the side of the elevator. Aleta also knew that Shi’s was significantly higher, but then again Aleta hadn’t been in the game for quite as long. Shi was in another class of celebrity, while Aleta’s own career was like a ship on the high seas, vulnerable to the shifting of the winds and seasons. The former vigilante might not want to admit it, especially aloud, but she needed… something to gain an edge in this life, and Shi’s tutelage and perhaps… companionship could present an opportunity.

“I didn’t mean like…” Shi held her tongue as Aleta went on to state the actual amount, “You’re probably higher than most on the team, not that it’s a high bar.” Shi slid her hand into her jean pocket and felt her phone, “Well at the very least I can give you a mention on my next post. I don’t post often myself, my social media team handles most of that now.”

The elevator rang as they approached their floor. As the two walked out into the dimly lit hallway, Shi asked a simple question, “Can I be honest with you for a moment?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Aleta said immediately. She could sense her partner’s eagerness to end the conversation, and was beginning to think about retiring herself.

“What exactly do you want?” The two reached Shi’s suite, with Shi perching herself against the doorframe. “The last time we talked at Thomsen lasted for about five minutes. Renata, your self proclaimed best friend, hates me. Beyond that I know nothing about you. We’ve rarely interacted but now for some reason you want to know everything about me.”

Remember to be gentle. Gentle… “I’m not saying you’re a fake. I’m saying its’ odd. Look at it from my perspective.”

Aleta’s tone took on a new characteristic; instead of its casual and somewhat sweet nature that was laced into the words she had woven thus far, it took a business-like and almost cold tone that reminded her of her Aunt. She blinked once slowly and sized Shi up one more time.

“There’s hardly ever one reason for why anyone does anything, and I imagine there’s hardly a truth you’re going to be satisfied with. I imagine you’ve not had people be true with you for most of your life.” She popped out a cigarette from a pack in her pocket and held it to her mouth, speaking out the other side of it. “It’s a little... “ Aleta looked up to try to think of the correct word to place here. “Dramatic to say that I want to know everything about you given what I’ve asked so far. Renata doesn’t own me. And I approached you before at Thomsen before we were rudely interrupted despite the company you had, so I’ve shown at least marginal interest in you before.”

Aleta cut off her own tongue before it got sharper and leaned against the other end of the doorway. She didn’t want to scare her off or have this end in an argument. It was late and she’d already been on the losing end of an exchange today, but honesty was perhaps the best policy in this circumstance.

“You intrigue me for a few reasons, chief among them being your features, but also your stature and your experience. Your attractiveness is undeniable, and I’ll admit the bike didn’t hurt that image for me. Your position presents its own unique concerns, which are admittedly thrilling, and your perspective after having been in this game for what seems like your whole life is simply not something I can get from anyone else. Now if that answer satisfies you, could I please get a light, Princess?” It was a gambit, being this direct with someone, but Aleta respected Shi. Perhaps the idol would find it refreshing.

Shi listened to Aleta’s honesty and said nothing several seconds after she finished; the cigarette held itself at the tip of her lip waiting for a light that would never come. Her arms crossed and her face expressionless, Shi contemplated her next decision. It was rare that someone was so stupidly honest about their opportunism, and even rarer still was the practical use of it. She usually had to use her charm or intimidation to get people to do what she needed them to do; this was different. It was easier.

Her exhaustion waned, and Shi contorted a proud smile of her face. Shi walked a single step toward Aleta, studying her intensely. She had it. Still smiling, she reached over and plucked the cigarette. She walked into her room, flicking the cigarette as she did. Aleta stood at the frame, waiting for any semblance of a response.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.”



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