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Lunas Legion
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Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:52 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

CAST // Antares ‘Khione’ Gray, Fayza ‘Nefertet’ Ghazaway, Lupe ‘Morph’ Cuevas

The exercise would start with Team Antares being one member down - Noelle hadn’t shown up, instead opting to stay back in her room and to ignore the summons from the producers and eat the consequences. She was happy with her odds of getting off without much in the way of punishment, and she also believed that staying out and letting the team crash and burn without her was… One of the first steps in her plan. That was to say, she believed that slashing the popularity of her newfound enemy would begin by letting her see what things were like without her and without any other experienced help.

And so, as they were dropped in the jungle by helicopter, the cameras having been placed in strategic locations already, most of them hidden from view and only able to be found if one really looked for them, they had one less member than the other team and they were at a disadvantage already. All according to Noelle’s plan… They had been dropped in a clearing, and there was a backpack waiting for them there just like there was one in the other starting area. It had a few basic things, a couple of first aid kits and some bottles of water mainly as well as some energy bars. If they wanted more, they’d have to find it in the field, which was part of the challenge. There were ‘loot boxes’ stored around the exercise zone but their locations weren’t always obvious, and if they were, they were definitely contested.

This training takes place in the middle of nowhere...
Beyond the clearing, there was a trail leading deeper into the jungle, with only one obvious path to take - there was sure to be opposition down there, and yet, there wasn’t an alternate way, not yet, the training area hadn’t split yet with multiple paths being available. The goal was simple. Get to the flag that was located in the middle and remove it from the stand before the other side managed to do the same thing. If they wanted to do that, though… They’d have to brave the dangers of getting to the middle in the first place, which consisted not just of the environment but of a number of constructs of magical origin, laid out by some of the League’s metahumans…

It was a live fire exercise. Just because it was a controlled environment didn’t mean it was going to be easy. And as the helicopter took off in the sky once again, they were here for likely the next three days, if things went according to the usual schedule and one side didn’t jump out to an early lead and beat the other to the flag without conflict in one or two days. With the helicopter disappearing from view, it was… Time to get started.

“Well, let’s get going I guess.” Antares sighed, her entire body still aching and sore from where Daniele had beaten her not so long ago as she moved to pick up the backpack, hauling it over one shoulder. She wasn’t in the mood for this right now, everything ached but at least she wasn’t sweating, having used her power to make an area of cooler temperature around herself to stave off the worst of the jungle heat. “Lupe, can you do camouflage, go in front of me and Fayza? We’re a person down, the only way we win is getting there first.”

“You realize it takes, uh, some time to shapeshift?” Lupe asked, looking to Antares. “Can’t exactly keep changing on the fly to match the surroundings, if we were just staying in one spot it would be possible…”

“I figured you could just do camo patterns or something, not chameleon type stuff, but whatever.” Antares shrugged, moving to leave by the trail, hovering slightly off the ground. “Let’s get going anyways.”

Lupe nodded silently as Fayza followed after Antares, none of them… Particularly in the mood for this, it wasn’t like Lupe or Fayza were out of the loop with them being down their top pick while the other team had all of theirs. Lupe’s skin shifted, a green and brownish camouflage pattern appearing as they made their way through the jungle, nothing quite showing up… Yet. But even though they had just started, it didn’t really sound like they were alone per say, there was still the sound of rustling and branches being pushed around, not too far off in the distance.

“Looks like we’ve got something up ahead.” Antares said, motioning for Fayza and Lupe to stop as she summoned her ice, small flecks of it beginning to orbit around her as she hovered there. But she couldn’t afford to waste time, not even a little. They made it to the flag before the other team, long before the other team, or they lost. “Probably angry.” Antares added, moving forwards slowly and warily, keeping her eyes peeled. Without Noelle, they didn’t have much in the way of offensive firepower. Fayza was good defensively, Lupe out here was… Not much help, which left her as their main source of offense.

Fayza simply stood back, she wasn’t about to put herself in the line of fire for a leader that she didn’t trust all that much after witnessing the saga of events that had led to them being a member down in the first place - not that she knew the full story, but she knew enough to say she didn’t exactly think Antares was competent. “And you have a plan to deal with this, yeah?” she asked, eyes glancing to the side as the sounds grew closer, it becoming apparent there were multiple contacts in the area.

“Don’t know what we’re up against yet.” Antares said, more specks of white appearing around her as she eyed the sides, eyes darting between them. “You know your power, use it however you want but keep yourself and Lupe safe. Some form of walls off to the side would be nice though.”

Letting out a slow sigh, Fayza nodded and worked on hardening the dirt and raising it up next to them, leaving them in something of a funnel which rose up to her head height. It would be harder for something to flank them, sure, but the trees already served as a natural barrier and she had the feeling it could backfire. “And if we need to run to the side?” she asked, raising an eyebrow.

“You made them, you can destroy them.” Was all Antares said, still keeping her eyes and ears wary and rising up slightly higher, looking for a better view or as good of a view as she could find in the jungles.

“I wouldn’t have made them in the first place if I was running the tactics here,” countered Fayza, looking from side to side also to see if she could see what was approaching them.

The attack, however, came fast and furious. Eleven quick moving shapes bursting out of the trees and running towards the walls they had just created, heading towards the middle section where Antares was located as well as Lupe and Fayza behind her, Fayza taking a hard step backwards when they showed up. Their appearance wasn’t like something that had been seen before by the three heroes, not in person anyway - they seemed to be made of a black liquid, they took the form of dogs but they weren’t living and breathing animals as much as they were some kind of magical puppet, the liquid dripping slightly as they moved, their forms unsteady. As the wind brushed against them when they ran it seemed to alter their form ever so slightly, but whether this flexibility was an advantage or disadvantage or not remained to be seen.

“If there was a time to do something…” Fayza started, preparing her own power as she kept her eyes on the enemy, counting the shapes. “It’d be right fuckin’ now…”

Antares said nothing, not bothering to reply to Fayza as she launched her accumulated shards of ice at the oncoming pack in a wide spray, more shards of ice forming up around her as others were expended as ammo, orbiting around her before she added them to the spray when they were at what she hoped was sufficiently high speed.

The ice hit the… Magical dogs at high speed, ripping straight through some of them and causing the black liquid to spill to the ground before dissolving entirely once it had formed a puddle… At the same time, Fayza was moving for an attack of her own, but she was better with hitting with large projectiles than she was at hitting with a number of smaller ones. She ripped some of the hardened dirt from the wall telepathically, throwing two of the large chunks onto the incoming path of the dogs after six of them had been downed from the initial ice attack - four more of them were caught up in the path as the rock hard dirt blocks skidded for a yard or two before coming to a stop, exploding the liquid constructs as it ran headfirst into four of them.

It seemed they had been approaching fast enough that the constructs hadn’t been able to change directions or jump to avoid the attack, each one of them practically a mini car when they were at full speed… Fortunately, the attacks had begun before they had reached full speed. But, the battle wasn’t exactly done yet, there was still one that had swerved out of the way of the block before starting to run once again and accelerating in the direction of Antares, hitting near peak speeds once again - maybe about sixty miles per hour - before launching itself into the air aimed right at her face, claws forming out of the liquid as the thing aimed to land right in the middle of this little formation of Antares, Lupe, and Fayza. It slammed into Antares at that high speed, going through some of those shards which tore off some of the mass but didn’t kill the thing outright like they had the others, leaving Antares to fend for herself in close combat.

“Fucker-” Antares swore loudly as the dog slammed into her, summoning ice just in front of her and attempting to just ram it into the dog while flying backwards, trying to throw the dog off herself. The attack would work - some of the mass went flying too, the dog staggering as it went backwards before some of the mass was distributed once again through the body, leaving it stable, and it seemed the dog had recovered quickly, launching itself forward once again as Fayza took another step back to stand clear of the situation.

“You need to get that thing off you unless you want to risk me breaking something if I crush it for you!” she barked at Antares, ripping off another block from the hardened dirt wall telepathically and hovering it near the site of the battle but not bringing it down just yet. No, that would be a bit too risky considering it would likely result in the thing turning to liquid once again and the block would go straight through the dog, crushing Antares instead.

“I’m trying here-” Antares grunted out, trying to throw the dog off her with physical force rather than using her ice, briefly jerking downwards at high speed before stopping just before she hit the ground. The evasive move, however, didn’t work, and it just allowed the dog to get closer to her, pushing her on her back while it nipped at her face with its mouth, sharpened teeth forming from the same liquid the entire thing was made out of, the entire jaw shifting on the fly as the thing adapted and went from hunting mode to attack mode, now that it had its enemy right where it wanted it.

Antares just glared at the dog before slamming herself upwards, trying to break away from it yet again with her flight and put enough distance between it and herself so Fayza could finally get a solid hit on the thing. Finally, her evasion worked and as she accelerated into the air, Fayza was able to bring the block down on the head of the dog as Antares stayed out of the range, the thing dissolving into the liquid once again before the liquid disappeared entirely.

“Fucking hell, you get hurt by all that?” asked Lupe, as the one that was carrying the backpack with the first aid supplies in it. Fayza, meanwhile, didn’t move to pick Antares up but did look around to see if there were any other enemies in the area as she dissolved the dirt walls next to them and took a few more steps forward down the trail, silent as she usually was.

“I’m fine.” Antares shook her head. “Thing had to make teeth, didn’t get a bite into me. Let’s keep moving.” Antares started moving after Fayza, heading down the trail, more white flecks spinning back up around her as a pre-emptive measure. At least they now had some idea of what they might be up against out here.

“Can’t wait to get out of this place…” muttered Fayza, walking ahead of the rest of the group, keeping her distance. She wasn’t the most social person but she seemed especially distant at the moment even if she had done her part in the fight - and even though she had done her part, it hadn’t been out of any greater concern for anyone that had been picked for this team as much as it had been out of, well, a desire to do well in this exercise. Which meant not letting any teammates pick up injuries when they were already down just by virtue of not having Noelle around.

“Big fucking structure up there that looks too new to have been here before,” Lupe said, pointing out a building that they would see when they had walked down the trail a bit more, the trail still not splitting - but it seemed a split might come up soon, with one path taking them to the structure Lupe was pointing out. It looked like it was designed similarly to some of the traditional temples of the area. “Might have loot in it, are we checking it out or are we going ahead?”

Antares paused, thinking. This wasn’t the type of thing she was good at, she wasn’t a tactician by any stretch of the imagination. Someone who was more experienced might’ve had a better idea of what to do but that wasn’t her.

“We’ll take a look I guess.” Antares shrugged. “If there’s too many enemies we can always backtrack and go around.”

Could be a trap, could not be.
Lupe nodded and Fayza looked back to see their decision before nodding also. They did come across a small split in the road, which would lead them to a more narrow path which took them to the building in question, which was tall enough that they could see the top of it beyond the tree line. It appeared to be pyramid shaped, with multiple levels. Perhaps the top had the loot Lupe had spoken of, it was impossible to know just from observing it from the outside.

When they moved down the single file trail they would find themselves running across… A clearing of sorts. A lot of empty space, the temple in the middle of it, and at the other end of the clearing the trail continued. Probably a path to take them to the next part of the main trail, since it seemed like this was an optional detour. “Yeah, this has to be new,” said Lupe, looking it over. “Are we headed inside? I see an entrance but I don’t see anything around as far as, well, enemies go.”

“Expect some inside.” Antares said, more flecks of white ice appearing around her. “Hopefully this is worth it.” Antares moved forwards, hovering across the clearing towards the temple.

There was no door or anything of the sort, simply an entrance which led forward into a hallway, the walls made of stone and wide enough for two people to walk at one time. There was very little lighting, however. No lighting in the hallway, actually, and it seemed like most of the lighting was coming from within the building itself, but… It didn’t seem like there was very much light even in the room that this hallway apparently led to. “We’re not going to be able to see shit…” Lupe muttered under his breath as they continued. They couldn’t even tell exactly how long the stone hallway was for that matter, or what it was made of other than some kind of stone which was smooth to the touch.

“Stop here.” Antares said, stopping herself. “I’ll be blunt, we can’t see shit and we can probably expect something down there, if it’s more of the dogs those things will be out of the darkness before we even see them. Fayza, I’m assuming you can’t use your powers in here?”

“Not really…” muttered Fayza, trailing behind Antares and stopping in her tracks, watching for anything that might be off in the distance. Not that she could actually see much more than anyone else.

“Then we turn back, we leave and we hope there’s another chance to grab more loot later, unless you two want to continue on. We can’t fight in this darkness.” Antares said, moving to turn around. She didn’t expect the loot to be unguarded, and if it was more of the dogs… That was the very definition of bad news.

Fayza offered a simple shrug, while Lupe wasn’t sure either way. “It looks like there’s more light up ahead, but on the other hand, the final decision is up to you,” she stated. It did seem like there was more light at the end of the hallway… Not a lot, but enough that they weren’t moving in darkness.

“Well, we’ve come this far in.” Antares said, starting to move forwards again, her ice floating away from her into a line in front of her around knee height, spreading across the hall. Hopefully it might give a little bit of warning if they were about to walk into anything. “May as well have a look.”

It didn’t seem like they ran into anything in the hallway - they showed up in another room made of stone once they had gotten through it, a spiral stairway in the middle which seemed to lead to some of the upper levels, while surrounding them there were four walls lit by torches, providing not a ton of light but enough that the entire room wasn’t hidden in darkness. There were sounds, however, of something stirring now that they had entered this part of the room, and as they passed through, they possibly stepped on some kind of pressure sensor - a metal door fell down from above the hallway, blocking the path from being used again. If they wanted out, it seemed they would have to use the one on the other side, but there was no telling what that hallway held that the other one didn’t. But… Nothing was immediately visible just yet, other than the walls and the stairway.

“Well, looks like the only way is forwards.” Antares sighed, flying up to one of the torches to try and pry it off the wall. Light would help, after all, since if they could see, they could fight. “And we’ll be going up, unless you two have any objections.” Antares continued, flying back down to hand the torch she’d collected to Lupe before collecting a second for Fayza and finally a third for herself before moving to lead them up the staircase, torch held in front of her.

As they started moving up the staircase, though, they would still hear something stirring in the background - and about halfway up, they’d be able to turn around and see ten figures moving from the shadows which were made from the same liquid as the other creatures, the dogs, but took a different shape… No, these ones definitely weren’t dogs, it looked like they took a more humanoid shape, as they moved towards the lit stairwell it looked particularly like they had the form of skeletons, the liquid once again dripping slightly as they moved.

“Up!” Antares shouted, launching herself airborne to let Lupe and Fayza move past her and up the staircase. In here she was their only actual fighter, and that meant it was her job to be the rearguard as she flung all the ice she’d pooled earlier down at them in a single stream rather than a wide spray, moving her telekinetically controlled volley of ice shards across the shadow-liquid skeletons, aiming for legs and hips as she slowly moved back up the staircase.

The group of skeletons quickly dissolved form the attack, it didn’t seem they were that durable or even as durable as the dogs the group had fought before, but there were definitely more of them, they would arrive on another floor shortly after they started moving up the stairwell but even on this floor there were more noises than there had been on the last as it became apparent that this building had more traps to it than it seemed to at first, another group of eleven skeletons making their appearance known as soon as they entered the floor.

Well, at least these things were nowhere near as bad as the dogs were, Antares reflected as she spun more ice up around her and flung it at the approaching skeletons, not going for precision this time given the skeletons seemed to be far less durable than the dogs had been, she didn’t need stopping power, she needed area and more chance of hitting.

The attack took about four of them out but they were still advancing on the group, large in numbers but not exactly as strong, but still, if they ended up getting right up on them, they could pose a problem… They were at about mid range as the group settled onto the second floor and took defensive positions. “Might be able to turn back, but they’re still here even if we cleared the bottom floor…” Lupe muttered, trying to determine the best option.

“We don’t know what’s down the other hallway, and you know we heard something moving down there, that isn’t clear for sure.” Antares said in response, moving forwards slowly towards the skeletons while staying airborne, firing off ice as soon as she could make it appear around her. She could fly, so if she could keep the skeletons focused on her she didn’t need to worry about Lupe and Fayza. Stupid fucking Noelle, she’d have been more than useful right now.

Some of the shards of ice hit, some of them missed, but enough of them hit to make an impact and to thin the numbers down to where they weren’t in immediate danger, the only ones of the skeletons that were remaining being the ones that had been further from the heroes in the first place… They had a chance to move up to the next level before they were caught up with but that depended on whether or not they wanted to take the risk. And there was definitely risk involved.

“You guys want to try our luck some more and head up again, or head back down and hope to God there’s nothing in the other tunnel?” Antares asked, casually flinging a few poorly-aimed shards of ice after the last remaining shadow-liquid skeletons. “Lupe, how many floors do you think this place has?”

“How the fuck am I supposed to know?” asked Lupe, pausing and keeping behind Antares. “But we’re two floors deep, we… Might as well keep going and see if the loot is anywhere around here, I think we’e getting pretty high up.”

“You saw it first, so…” Antares shrugged. “But on and up it is.” Antares didn’t move immediately, instead pausing for a few seconds to summon more ice around herself until she was almost a small tornado of ice, but she’d pretty much reached her limit there with the amount she could hold and not risk losing control over it all. Letting out a barely audible noise that might’ve been a groan, Antares led them on up to the third floor of the temple. Really, there better be something worth it at the end. They were losing considerable amounts of time here, after all.

When they reached the third floor they would find that it was a bit better lit up than the ones that had come before it were, and there was one wall in specific which had a large chest on it - this was one they were looking for, possibly. However, it seemed to be guarded by two enemies in specific, both of them skeletons like the ones they had run into before but larger in their size and stature, having a longer reach and being more capable of doing damage to the heroes that were facing down with them. In the hands of each of them was a sword made of the black liquid material meaning… They had something of a challenge on their hands here, more so than they had before, with each of the enemies standing at about ten feet tall.

Not the best situation to walk into when only one of them had much capability to fight back right here.

The sole bit of good news was, the skeletons weren’t moving towards them quite yet. “You two go down to the second floor.” Antares hissed out, keeping her eyes focused on the skeletons before turning to eye the rest of the room. They were nearly twice her size, and if they got a solid hit on her, well, she was done for. But she had room to maneuver, to dodge and weave, and really they wouldn’t last the exercise on just what they had. “If I can’t take them I’ll fall back down the stairs and we’ll leave by the tunnel.”

Lupe and Fayza nodded and they didn’t have to be told twice to back out of the way - they did just that, both of them heading back down the stairwell to the last floor which had been cleared, waiting for the results of the fight above as the two skeletons moved into action, a bit quicker than their counterparts while still being slowed down somewhat by their large size, one of them starting to wind up for a large swing towards Antares that took some time to build up to.

Antares grinned, rather uncharacteristically for her. She normally wasn’t eager to fight, but right now two big skeletons to pummel sounded properly fucking thereputic. “Let’s dance.” Antares shot forwards, aiming to go between the pair of skeletons and dodge the very telegraphed swing from one of the skeletons as she did so, offloading the entirety of her built-up tornado of shards of ice at the skeleton’s leg joint as she passed. Step one, cripple the things. Step two, when crippled, fly out of reach and just sit there and blast with ice until done. Simple, effective, not very risky… Even if it was slow.

The attack did send some of the leg joint’s mass flying but it wasn’t enough to cripple it, probably because the thing had more mass total than the other smaller enemies such as the dogs and the other skeletons had - and it didn’t stop the skeleton from completing the wind up, swinging the sword in the direction of Antares and striking her in the side, the thing not quite being sharp enough to cut her in half but still being plenty sharp enough to injure and send her flying as it slammed into her, her weapon against the skeletons gone also because of how she had used all her shards in one attack… And it just put her in position for the other skeleton to move to make a flanking move.

Antares shot back up, groaning out in pain, not moving back to engage and instead flying towards the opposite side of the room, ice slowly flickering back into existence around her. Fighting these things was not an option. Too tough, she simply didn’t have the firepower to put them down, but she should have enough time to open the chest, at least see what was there and maybe grab something and run. Hopefully.

As she went towards the chest, though, she would just find herself in the path of an attack coming from the rear, from the second of the two large skeletons, which could keep up with her fairly decently considering the size gap between them - she’d be able to evade the attack narrowly, the sword slamming into the stone floor and breaking it a bit where it had hit, but the other skeleton was still moving to block her from the other direction… She was in for a fight if she wanted to go for the loot, a fight that was hard to deal with on her own.

“Alright, fuck this noise.” Antares swore, swerving in midair and turning back towards the staircase, flying up towards the ceiling and aiming to go over the top. These things were too fast for her, maybe if there was one she’d have been able to outmaneuver it, or if she’d crippled one with her first strike, but she hadn’t. And as it stood, she honestly didn’t think she could take both of them as it were, she’d been getting lucky so far and she wasn’t about to test that out more.

“Didn’t go as expected I suppose,” said Lupe, once she had returned to the floor below, Lupe and Fayza waiting right on the stairwell for her to get back so they could start moving without having around for too long and exposing themselves to danger.

“Yeah.” Antares grunted out, her wounds obviously hurting. “Let’s get out of this stupid fucking place.”

The trio was able to move back to the ground floor without further incident, the tunnel not having much either in terms of threats. It seemed the tunnel had been safe, but the other one had been locked to prevent them from getting away without clearing the first floor since they’d have to cross it before they could reach the exit tunnel. The only thing that was left for them to do now was, well, continue down the trail...
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
Posts: 4359
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:05 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

CAST // ‘Linzey Pennington,’ Ella Merx, & Yu ‘Casanova’ Ngai

Moscow - one of the famous cities of Europe and the place that was playing host to the first round of ‘The Ultimate Hero.’ One of the first shows to become a part of the Hero League’s growing TV empire, the show was very simple in its format but it managed to draw viewers every year. Each season took a certain amount of people, typically heroes on minor teams, and offered them something in exchange for their efforts - the winner received a spot on a better team, and in this case, it was a bit of a different season… The spot was for a spot on Team Futures, and the field were all younger heroes who had spent time on the junior circuit recently. Sixteen heroes from around the world were competing, and one would walk away with a spot not just on a better team, but on a famous reality show.

Of course, that was just what they said. Some believed that the Hero League’s scouts would be watching even the losers and might be offering more than one new contract depending on how things played out. Other circumstances, such as a sudden need, could also change things. Really, it just depended on how many heroes showed up with top tier skills and made themselves attractive for the Hero League to pick up. For now, however, it was too early to focus on the end result. Linzey was more focused on ensuring that the two heroes she was entering got as far as possible and that at least one of them became the winner by the end, securing the spot on Team Futures.

After all, the only member that NDES had on the team was practically just a useful idiot, and… It would help tremendously if they could get someone more competent inadvertently pushed in terms of popularity by the Hero League, through a presence on the show. Linzey, the team she was working with for this, as well as her two heroes who would be entering the competition had just entered Moscow, the city where the round of sixteen was taking place, and the mood was… Somewhat tense, to say the least.

There was pressure on them. It was possible neither one of them would win and that would mean they wouldn’t be able to get someone on the show without pulling strings within the League, the possibility of which still hadn’t been determined. Winning the competition… That was the easiest way to get the automatic spot, but first, they had to actually do it.

The three of them showed up to the hotel they would be staying in downtown, without much crowds or fanfare. People were outside the hotel, alright. But most of them were looking for some of the better known heroes… Not one from the Arcane’s junior program and one from the Brussels Gamecocks - the former team being the Hero League’s main defense against purely magic based threats, and a team that often shared an icy relationship with the rest of their team. Prestigious, but since Yu Ngai was still young and hadn’t yet made a name for herself, there wasn’t all that much known about her personally other than the fact that a few months ago she had signed a contract to join the Arcane’s youth program. Apparently, she was in this tournament not just for her own sake, but as training to prove herself to the team that held her primary contract.

“Our rooms are on the same floor near the top, makes it easier to get between rooms when we need to,” said Linzey, as they stepped into an elevator, already having the keys to their room. There was a short period of silence before the doors to the elevator opened up once again. “Start getting your things unpacked, I’m going to pull up the footage on your opponents for the round of sixteen. Which, by the way, is tomorrow night in case either of you managed to forget that fact.”

“Wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Ella said, not even bothering to hide the note of eagerness in her voice as she headed off to unpack, or to be more accurate, just drop her suitcase off in her room without bothering to unpack it. She could be lazy like that.

Linzey, meanwhile, stepped into her own room and set her bags down, reaching for her laptop and setting it up on the desk, opening it up and waking it up before moving to look for the footage she had stated - it didn’t seem like Ella’s opponent was the hardest in the world but at the same time there wasn’t anyone in the competition that they could afford to not take seriously… In this case, the opponent was Emil Nikolovski, otherwise known as The Macedonian and relying not just on enhanced athleticism and speed but on the equipment of a hoplite. The fight would be conducted from close range and yet the opponent here had more tools for that kind of fight than most, able to counter Ella’s timing with speed and able to deal quite a bit of damage while hitting too.

“Well, well, well…” muttered Linzey as she opened up YouTube and searched for a compilation of the Greek hero’s fights. At least, the ones that had been captured on camera. Reading reports wasn’t enough - a good manager checked out their client’s opponents with their own eyes whenever possible, and was good at making their own judgements aside from just trusting what so called experts said.

“So-” Ella said, all but shoving the door to Linzey’s room open, letting it slam shut behind her. “Who’s ass am I, hopefully, going to hand to them?”

“Emil Nikolovski, northern Greek hero that doesn’t have the flashiest powers but does have good equipment, enhanced speed, enhanced athleticism overall, and as you’ll see from this footage, a good understanding of close range fighting tactics. Not the most exceptional guy in the world but can still end you in one blow if you slip up too much… That spear isn’t a joke, it’s good defensively and still has one hit power offensively, the shield isn’t the easiest thing to get through…” Linzey said, her voice trailing off as she read off the list of powers and continued watching some of the online footage she’d found. “Favorite move seems to be letting the opponent swing and miss and then stepping up and going high with the spear.”

“Fighting like a hoplite in single combat’s his first mistake.” Ella noted, moving to sit next to Linzey for a better view of the footage. “Sure, cool aesthetic, but they’re formation fighters historically. The shield’s big and unwieldy, get round to his off side if possible and he’ll go down. I’m armoured far more likely, I’ve got better mobility, I should, hopefully, be able to dance around him.” Ella paused, thinking briefly. “Can you send me all the footage we have of him? I want to have my power get a read on his timings later, how fast he actually is.”

“Yeah… As for getting to his off side, though, keep in mind that he’s fast as fuck, it’s not as simple as winning in a footwork battle. Seems to stand in place a lot because there’s not a lot of people that are going to beat him in the footwork area, really,” Linzey remarked, pointing to the footage. “And you’re going to have just as hard of a time getting behind. This guy’s one strength is being an athlete, beating him in that area… Isn’t the easiest.”

“Then I don’t beat him in that area.” Ella said simply. “I can’t wear him out physically, and although he’s fucking fast, he isn’t going to win a footrace with that shield. I might be able to piss him off, force him to make a mistake, but I don’t like counting on that kind of thing.” Ella paused, stopping to think. “I think my weapon has more reach than his does, but I lack a shield which evens that out.”

“Don’t count on winning a footrace, you don’t have any help yourself in the department of athleticism,” warned Linzey, pausing the footage and sitting back in her chair to think a bit, running a hand through her hair. “Overwhelming force straight forward might be an option but there’s also… Plenty of risks with that, of course…”

“Too many. I could try hit and run tactics to a degree, force him to keep his shield up, dance around the edges of the reach of his spear but he could blitz at me and I wouldn’t be able to do all that much.” Ella mused. “I’m more agile than him, not in the footwork sense, but I’m more lightly equipped, in the mid-range area I’ll have more freedom to maneuver around him.”

“We’ll see how that one turns out tomorrow night. I’ll send you the links to check things out for myself, I could give more of my own advice but… Some things you need to learn for yourself after judging more of these things with your own eyes,” said Linzey, resting back in her seat still, opening her eyes after having them closed for a moment. “Regardless, I’ll be in your corner for the fight.”

“Thanks.” Ella said dryly. It wasn’t like Linzey would be in the other guy’s corner. “And I have a better idea of my own abilities after all, I’ll get back to you at breakfast.”

Linzey stretched, nodding. “I would hope that you do… After all, as soon as you step on this show and on this tournament, the audience is going to be the whole world for once…”
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Forest State
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Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sat Aug 17, 2019 9:59 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Durmatagno

CAST // Sun ‘Primace’ Choe, Peyton ‘Stormcaster’ Chase, Lubi ‘Gonoe’ Yeh-Jin, & Yuli Rose

“Here it is… Starting area.”

Sun watched the helicopter flying off into the distance, disappearing from sight after the team was dropped in a jungle clearing for what was going to be the first leg of the long training exercise. They were predicted to be out here for three days, with no contact with the outside world except for the hidden cameras that observed them and sent the highlights back to be posted to social media in anticipation for the episode that would follow the conclusion of the exercise… That was to say, they were already being watched in a way by the fans that cared enough to check the online feeds, Sun was pretty sure their entrance was being caught on camera right now and would be shown.

“We have any idea how we’re going to do this?” Sun asked as she looked at the one backpack left for them in the clearing, opening it up to see the medical supplies and food that had been left inside of it. “We have this to start off with but anything else we want is going to have to come from loot found in the field. There is, of course, something of a choice to make… Hunt loot more or head right for the flag and have less stuff, they are saying we’re going to be out here for three days after all.”

“Don’t care about that, just want to get into a scrap and do something,” Peyton said predictably, always the fighter, always the instigator. Wasn’t surprising she wanted to get right into a fight, but right now, they weren’t faced with anything ahead of them.

“Well, these Green Flag battles tend to send a lot of stuff at both sides, so I don’t think we’ll have to wait all that long before we have a chance to fight,” Sun replied, glancing over at the rather unstable team member she had picked. “Just use your powers to help us and don’t act on your own and you’ll be fine.”

“No promises on not acting alone…”

“If you act stupidly and end up hurt and having to head back earlier,” started Sun, fully turning to Peyton to counter her point. “You’re not going to get to fight the other team in the end.”

Nothing was said after that but Peyton seemed to accept the answer, and Sun took a step forward while hoisting the backpack over her shoulder. “...Just don’t take too long, eh?” asked Peyton, referring to getting to the end for the last fight of the exercise. “I dunno if I can help myself.”

Sun stopped in her tracks, standing at the edge of the clearing at the head of the trail which would lead them deeper into the jungle and closer to the flag. “Like I said, they’re saying we’re going to be out here for three days, I don’t think turning it into a sprint is an option that they’ve left for us. I’ll try not to lag around too much, though.”

“Well, if we find the right plants I can...coax them to give us some food. Otherwise, I can make myself fit for the forest. Blend in, see in the dark, better hearing and smell, and so on. It’s somewhat painful, but I can do similar to anyone willing, and even heal them.”

Lubi turned her eyes to the sky, orienting herself before shaking her head. She didn’t know for sure what they were facing, but she could heal as well as cripple, it’d give them some staying power if they were smart.

“Just uh...when I heal you it’ll hurt as much or more as when you got the wound, though I can keep it from sending you into shock.”

“Well, that’s fucking useful to know,” Peyton stated, following after Sun as they moved through the trail once again, Sun reaching out every now and then to brush branches away from them as well as leaves. “S’pose I won’t get hurt, then…”

“Basically everything I do hurts, only way to avoid it is to...take away your ability to feel pain entirely. Has a catch though, for the moment before it’s severed everything hurts, and when I reconnect it...well, you’ll feel like everything was bruised for a week or two. It’s not...pleasant, less painful to just cut your voice till I’m done with everything else so you don’t scream.”

As Lubi walked, her voice kept getting cut off by short low growls, or her gritting her teeth. Her eyes were shifting, turning almost...catlike, and the area around them was becoming sharper, clearer as she talked. She licked her lips after she was done, eye aches like that were such a bizarre pain compared to general injuries. She could only imagine what it was like for Yuli to lose her eye and arm, plus the other damage, including some stuff she’d had to patch no doctor in the world could fix.

“Annnyway, if you do get hurt, I’ll patch you unless you wave me off, I can understand wanting to avoid the pain, especially on worse injuries. Just point me at a target though, that pain is just a side effect, oh when I envoke it...that’s a whole ‘nother story.”

“If you do any furry shit around me, this fist is going up your ass,” Peyton threatened, glancing back at the sound of the growls, slightly unnerved by the presence behind her, before looking back to the front.

“Too early to argue about shit,” Sun said, letting out a slow sigh. “Let’s talk about something that actually matters, how conservative or how aggressive are we going to take this thing? From what I know, we’re going to have chances to… Take some more risks for more rewards.”

“If I’ve got fur, it’s either to block an attack, ward off water, or go against the cold. Never actually done it though.”

Lubi shot back to Peyton, frowning as she considered Sun’s comment. She mulled it over in her head, but while she was still thinking, Yuli piped in.

“We can start aggressive, easier to pull back and reassess than suddenly ramp up when we realize that our opponents might be ahead of us. Besides, between me and Lubi, we got good forward scouting. Lubi can adjust to most any environment given enough time, and most of my scouting puppets are small and hard to see, especially the spiders.”

To punctuate her point, a little polished black bird, somewhat resembling an owl, was circling her head. It was simple enough to see through its when she needed to. She couldn’t quite get night vision and color yet, maybe eventually, but for now she could see in the dark through it, it could fly, it was small, and it was dark. Even if it was seen it’d be tough to it.

“Maybe-” Sun started, before she was cut off by something, a large shape that seemed to cast a shadow over the area before, in a near flash, consuming the owl completely and causing it to disappear, before the… Shape or whatever it was came crashing down directly in front of the group, apparently made out of… Well, it looked like it was made out of pure darkness but it also looked like it was made out of liquid, and it didn’t take long for the thing to spin around and spread its wings, revealing itself to be some kind of flying creature. “And that would be the first enemy,” Sun concluded, waiting, the thing watching them with eyes of pure white, almost like a vulture and a hawk in physiology but far, far larger, the wings stretching about ten feet in either direction when fully extended.

“Don’t let it touch you!”

Yuli backed away quickly, keeping her left her guarded in front of her. If it must take a limb, let it be the one she was already without.

“The glass inside it is dissolving, and quickly. Whatever it is, I’d bet it can eat through just about anything short of raw energy, and even then I’m not sure.”

She used her powers to try and thrust the glass out the back of it, as fast as it could go. Either she could reshape what was left, or she might hurt the thing. If it failed it gave her more information on what the thing is. Lubi leaped back, sensitive eyes focused on the thing, studying it. It could take an entire limb from someone and she could restore it, eventually. Still, she’d rather avoid so serious an enemy. The glass, however, seemed to be dissolved too quickly to be much use, and the thing… Was tough enough that pulling the glass out forcefully wasn’t an option.

“Yeah and what are you going to do about it? Or what are we going to do about it is the question?” asked Sun, backing away and going into a crouch, looking up at the thing which was blocking their path but wasn’t necessarily making moves towards them just yet, just getting in position to keep them from going where they wanted to go. It seemed, though, that an attack would come at some point…

“Well, I didn’t use enough force to get what’s left of the glass out. Whatever it is, it’s strong, I doubt my glass can do much to it unless it cuts fast enough to prevent being enveloped. Not enough to try again. Energy might be the way to go, either that or we scatter and flee. I don’t like that option, so I’m hoping you or Peyton might be able to manage something.”

Lubi piped in at this point, having kept quiet through gritted teeth as hard muscle was rippling across her form, better to move quickly with.

“It’s definitely liquid of some kind, some heat might do well. Sun, what’s the call?”

“Let’s see just how strong this thing is, I suppose…” said Sun, shifting into her powered form, a glow coating her body as she dove towards the thing that was blocking the path, the beast charging at her at the same time, air kicked up across the trail as the two figures moved towards each other, Sun’s body… Passing completely through the thing once they had made contact, the black liquid exploding and landing all over the ground as Sun came to a stop and exited her powered form. “Guess… It wasn’t as intimidating as it looked-”

There were more of the things, however, four more of them in specific, coming down from apparently the treetops, two of them slamming into the ground behind the group and two of them slamming into the ground in front of it, forming a single file line each time and posturing themselves to attack at any moment. Of course. The challenges here, they were rarely known to be easy. It was almost expected that the somewhat powerful enemies hadn’t traveled alone.

“So they need good heavy blows, still wouldn’t want to touch them with skin.”

Yuli worked as she talked, fiberglass hidden throughout her costume flowed forth, forming into a solid mass about the size of a softball, maybe larger. With it formed she rocketed it as fast as she would go, fast enough that it would probably smash to powder if it hit something solid, at the closest remaining form. Lubi meanwhile used her enhanced body to tear a large branch free from a tree, wielding it as a club. She still waited on the defensive, wary to get in close.

The ball of fiberglass went straight through not one but two of the flying creatures. However, it didn’t seem to kill them, it displaced mass and sent some of the pitch black liquid flying but the things reformed themselves, turning back into their original forms albeit slightly smaller as they adjusted to move their mass around. It was Peyton’s turn, however, to attack, spinning around to face the two creatures towards the back of the group and sending a blast of lightning forward, which… At the least, seemed to send one of them into a damaged state as it sent mass flying once again.

Lubi jumped forward, using this chance to drive her makeshift club through one of the two Yuli had injured, with a swift sing. Wasn’t as much power as she could muster, but she wanted some control so she could still react if needed. Yuli meanwhile furrowed her brow, and looped the ball around a tree, bringing it back towards the other one, flattening it out some to give it a large shape, and hopefully do more damage. The makeshift club, however, would find itself stuck within the enemy, not moving very much as the liquid stiffened and hardened, getting caught in the creature itself and becoming impossible to pull away without significant effort.

The second attack, the one from Yuli - sliced through the thing and sent mass flying but once again it was able to shape itself up once again, not going down just yet although it was smaller from losing mass.

Lubi grimaced as her club stuck, but it was not the end. She had no doubt it would start dissolving soon, so she lept back, free from it. However, the thing about that branch was...most of it was still alive, for now, and she was a biokinetic. She grinned and reached out with her magic, forcing the branch to contort and writhe, trying to violently expand, almost as if it was exploding inside the...ooze? Slime? Flann? She did not know, it mattered not, it was in her way, and so it needed to die.

The expansion worked somewhat, forcing the mass apart and forcing the thing to reshape itself into a form which wasn’t as dangerous, going into survival mode for a moment before Sun shifted to her powered form and threw herself into the thing, reaching deep with her hand and searching to see if there were… Any internals, anything to use to damage it, but there weren’t, and she found herself passing through the other side, the thing dissolving behind her and leaving the broken branch in the puddle of liquid that was left. “Two down,” she said, shifting back out of her powered form.

She spun around - one of the other ones was coming directly towards them from above, and Sun rolled backwards slightly before looking to Lubi. “You might be able to impale that thing with something…”

Lubi looked down at the remains of the branch, to much of it had died in it’s practical explosion to reshape it for use. Instead, she rolled backwards, and willed the trees around them to jab out wooden spears into the path of the creature. Some might impale it, others impede it, others miss entirely. She was not used to moving plants, human was her normal medium, and mostly her own flesh.

Yuli frowned as the attack failed again. Frustrated, she reshaped the fiberglass into a pole, drawing some more fiberglass from the costume, though wanting to leave some for later incase this was damaged. She twirled it with practiced ease before slamming it down onto the thing from above, at the same time a small bird, clear glassed and resembling a sparrow, launched from her pouch to hit it from the side. Not what any of this was meant for, but the thing needed to go down.

It seemed the combination of attacks ranging from the sparrow to the branches was able to rip apart the third creature, sending splashing mass everywhere before the black liquid dissolved entirely, the number of attacks doing more damage than one singular attack. “Incoming…” Sun said, looking at the last one which was currently aiming to fly over the mess of branches, but it seemed Peyton had her eyes on that one…

There was a bright flash and she sent lightning through it, dissolving it immediately with a large hole in the middle of it, the liquid falling to the ground before disappearing. “And I believe that’s over and done with…” she said, looking back to the others, some of the liquid landing on her body before quickly dissolving. “Everyone alright after all that?”
Last edited by Forest State on Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:54 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

CAST // ‘Linzey Pennington’, Ella ‘Rhythm’ Merx, and Yu ‘Casanova’ Ngai

Arriving in Moscow during the day was one thing but stepping into the outdoor stage that had been set up for the Ultimate Hero fight was another thing and something that was an entirely new experience for the two heroes that were about to make the walk inside the competition area as Russian music blasted in the background through giant speakers, fixed above the rest of the area on massive poles and pointed downwards towards both the crowds and competitors - one of the heroes was going to compete, the other one was simply in the corner, and would be aiding in giving instructions from the red side’s dugout at the side of the fighting area.

That area, of course, was a circular ring with walls that measured eight feet tall on all sides, the crowd pressed right up against the fighting space with the closest seats being situated right at the edge of the walls and a sharp and steep incline both giving a good view and making it so, for the fighters, it would seem like there was a wall of people on any side of them if they looked up. This wasn’t the usual setup of an arena, hence the custom ring being built outdoors just for the occasion, to the likings of the Hero League and the showrunners. After this, they’d pack it up and take the entire thing to their next location.

On either side, the wall opened up to allow the competitors to enter from the outside, and at the moment, both of the teams were waiting - they all had the same composition. One fighter that would be participating in the fight itself, a couple of others who would head into the dugout and give instructions, not much differently from an MMA match - but an MMA match didn’t allow for weapons, powers, and all holds… It was dangerous, yes, with even low caliber firearms being allowed, but they had metahuman healers on hand to deal with the injuries. And this, the fact that it was a modern day bloodsport, was the reason why people tuned in to watch metahuman fights. Especially when there was a spot on the Hero League’s popular reality show on the line for the winner.

However, this was just the round of sixteen. The winner here… Would still have plenty left to do, and focusing on the end goal too much was a pitfall. Linzey, though, was fairly confident that one of the fighters that was ‘in her pocket’ would be able to win. She wanted one of them on the show, which one of them it was didn’t matter. She’d prefer Yu Ngai, the brawler from Hong Kong who had more to fight for than the Belgian, but Ella winning wasn’t out of the question either. The best scenario, though, would be for them to meet in the final. A scenario that could get both of them a nice new spot after the contract, or contracts, were dealt out.

“Let’s roll,” said Linzey, slapping her fighter on the back while the group started moving. Ella was the fighter this time, Yu would be next to Linzey in the dugout, and they didn’t believe they needed anyone else on their team. Linzey… Had seen enough metahuman fights, had been in enough metahuman fights, to handle this herself, she believed. She probably had more experience than most of the ‘coaches’ here that had hardly experienced what things were really like out there, with some of them just being knowledgeable friends and others being parents. The fact that her little ‘team’ had actually been in bad spots before, for real, was an advantage in Linzey’s eyes.

The group started moving and the cameras were fixed on Ella and her new costume for the first time, going for a specific look and owning it well - silver mask that covered the top half of the face, in the style of a masquerade mask. Black leather jacket, black sports bra, black booty shorts, fishnet leggings. Not much in the way of protection but it was an outfit that at least made a mobile fighting style possible… Not everyone could wear plates of armor like some heroes chose to, and Ella was the right person to own the light look. Now, she just had to put on a good performance as the crowd saw her like this for the first time, her ‘Rhythm’ persona making its debut after she’d had a relatively unassuming look during her time with the Brussels Gamecocks, the team that she would find herself back with if she couldn’t get a better contract either within a regular team or on the Lights, Money, Heroes! Reality show.

At the other end of the arena, the door had opened up and the other team, led by their fighter, Emil Nikolovski, the Macedonian, and the one who was dressed as a hoplite of old. The other team was a bit larger with more staff in support, but Linzey was pretty sure they weren’t going to get much of an advantage out of it. It seemed like they were more hip analytics types than anyone that had experience with actual fighting… Even if their fighter could be quite the challenge for opponents to deal with, despite not having the flashiest powers.

The announcer stepped into the middle of the ring, going through a series of advertisements for the different sponsors of the Hero League and the Ultimate Hero show in specific, before getting to the announcement everyone was waiting for. “And now, live from Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation… IT’S TIME! The first fight of the evening here in the ULTIMATE HERO fighting challenge! In the red corner, from Antwerp, Belgium… From the Brussels Gamecocks… Ella ‘Rhythm’ Merx! Standing across the ring from her in the blue corner, a free agent hero looking for a team, from Thessaloniki, Greece… ‘The Macedonian’, Emil Nikolovski!”

The announcer stepped away and the two fighters were brought up to each other, so they were standing in the middle of the ring while the referee went over a couple of things they had already heard in the locker rooms. “... Have a clean fight, and shake hands if you’re willing to do so.”

“Good luck.” Ella said, offering out her hand, an eager grin on her face. There was no harm in not shaking, even if she had every intention of using every last trick that wasn’t banned to win. Honour didn’t matter, winning did.

Her opponent took her hand, leaning in somewhat to speak. “I will break you, alright?”

The words were simple and to the point, before the two of them went their separate ways to opposite ends of the ring, the announcer and others that were standing in the ring leaving before the referee signaled that it was time to start the fight. “Are you ready? Are you ready? FIGHT!”

The bell was rung for the first time, and a chance for either side to make the first move was presented - the first, out of up to eight three minute rounds had just begun.

“En garde, motherfucker.” Ella grinned, her rapier in her right hand thrusting forwards as if stabbing at thin air, side-stepping to the right as she did so. Her power projected the edges of her weapons in front of her until they impacted something just like if she’d been standing right in front of them, which was exactly what she’d just done, using the point of her rapier to stab forwards at Emil, her parrying dagger still held in her left hand in front of her, unmoving.

Emil’s shield, however, was up, the rapier’s projection slamming against the surface with a resounding sound that could be heard in the stands, causing audible noise from the crowd as her opponent circled, not making too many aggressive moves just yet but slowly closing the space between the two of them, keeping the shield facing forward and keeping the spear readied in the other hand for an attack when there was a good enough opening.

Slow and steady, huh. The complete opposite to her fighting style, really. Ella kept pacing sideways, her rapier held back, her arm bent and ready to lunge forwards once Emil closed to within striking distance. She led the distance shrink, slashing out with her dagger’s projection towards the spear-side, testing Emil’s defences as they circled each other. The attack did seem to beat the movement of Emil’s shield, hitting the arm and drawing blood, while Emil dug in slightly more and postured to leap forward and strike when the moment was right, not backing down because of the attack and keeping the shield raised with the other arm, covering most of the body.

Ella’s grin widened ever so slightly under her mask, invisible to the watching crowds. First blood was hers. She shifted slightly, lowering herself down and leaning forwards, slashing out again with her dagger, this time in a long wide slice aimed towards Emil’s ankles. If he wasn’t going to move in quickly and more importantly sloppily, then she was going to make him. This second strike, however, was avoided by a quick hop backwards which was powered by superhuman athleticism and reflexes, the jump having started at just the right time thanks to those reflexes.

“Nervous to fight with a real weapon,” Emil said over the noise of the crowd, referring to the projection attacks and holding his ground, hitting the shaft of his spear against the side of the shield. “Didn’t think you were anything but a bitch…”

“You too scared of some little projections to get closer?” Ella taunted back, slashing out with her dagger once again before switching the direction she was circling, trying to move around to left, Emil’s right, the side without that large defensive shield, looking for her own chance.

The shield once again deflected the dagger and the footwork of Ella was matched perfectly by that of her enemy - it was hard to beat someone that fought with footwork and fine body control using the same thing, not when it wasn’t in her own powers. “Not scared. Waiting to end the fight in one strike,” Emil stated simply, not panicked or fazed very much by how the fight had gone so far.

“Confident, aren’t you?” Ella smirked under her mask. She wasn’t going to be able to outmaneuver him, which meant she had to close the distance. Not too much, she had the advantage in reach after all, but enough to engage properly. Slowly, she edged forwards, rapier still held poised and her dagger lashing out at the shield, deliberately aimed at it; she couldn’t get through it, but that didn’t mean she couldn’t put pressure on it, keep it in the same place and then strike for a weak point when an opportunity presented itself.

The dagger deflected off the shield and the round ended with the bell ringing and the announcer stepping back into the ring, quickly going into some promotional speech about how the audience should buy from the sponsors of the show. They would have a short time to speak with their coaches before being sent back into the fight, and it was safe to say that Linzey… Wasn’t the happiest as she stepped into the ring.

“Whatever the fuck that was, start doing something else,” she said, not taking a seat or giving more specific instructions. “Not going to get points from the judges for forcing a thousand deflections… And you don’t want this thing to go to decision in the first place. If you’re winning by decision in the round of sixteen, I fear for you later on.”

“First round is getting a feel for the opponent, more importantly, misleading.” Ella said in response. “I’ll be much more aggressive this time. He wants me to come at him though, which is a problem.” Ella paused. “But I think I can outplay him, in a sense. I know exactly how fast he is, how fast I am. One strike somewhere, force the shield away, strike the opening with my other weapon. My power should let me time it well enough.”

“Make it work,” Linzey said in response, parting with those words and heading back into the tunnel before getting situated in the dugout, the gates closing once again as everyone else except for the fighters vacated the ring.

“FIGHT!” said the referee to signal the start of the second round, and the two fighters were once again able to begin closing on each other like they had in the first round - although this time, Emil had a trick or two up his own sleeve, pushing forward and moving with the shield high, using it as well as his own upper body as something to slam into Ella if the gap between the two of them was closed… And it didn’t exactly help Ella that she was fighting an opponent with enhanced athleticism, which by extension included enhanced speed while running.

And there was what she’d expected earlier, the headlong charge that she couldn’t face head on. But she had no intention of meeting it head on, instead sidestepping to her right, away from the spearhead, lashing out to her side with her dagger as she tried to dodge. She drew blood - but at the same time, just sidestepping wasn’t enough to get away from such an attack, the shield still turning and slamming into her even as she landed a hit on her enemy, Emil allowing his mass to transfer into both of them - if it sent both of them to the ground, it could be considered a favorable outcome on his own end, after all.

Ella took the force of the blow, moving to roll backwards from the force to put some distance between her and Emil, give her a breath to recover and recenter herself before she could regain the initiative. She was not going to lose, she just needed to figure out where she had an advantage here. But she wouldn’t get a chance to recover, she would find Emil’s upper body and all of the momentum with it, and the shield, propelling her into the ground as hard as possible, the enhanced run up having added to that momentum and the hard surface of the shield contrasting somewhat with the more flexible ground which was designed to break falls to an extent. The ground wasn’t what had a chance to break bones. The inflexible shield was, as it ended up coming down full force on her ribcage.

Ella let out a pained grunt, but she didn’t let the situation get to her, her dagger hand lashing out from her left side, moving to stab into Emil’s side, raising her rapier slightly and thrusting down into where she thought Emil’s thigh roughly was. She wasn’t out quite yet. She did manage to get her opponent to pull back by delivering the blows but it wasn’t a retreat as much as it was posturing again for another attack to get the engagement over with, Emil moving over her and starting to dive down with the shield once again before switching the center of his mass to the other side and coming down with the spear instead, headed for her midsection to end the fight in one blow as he’d promised.

Ella moved to roll to her right, attempting to get out of the path of the spear and get back to her feet again. Once she was back on her feet she’d have another opportunity to have a shot at Emil, hopefully. Except, her speed wasn’t enough to keep the spear from being driven into her stomach and for the referee to come over to stop the fight immediately so the healers could rush onto the scene, the result apparent - it didn’t take that long for them to get to the scene considering a finish was something that looked like it was coming for a while, even before it actually happened.

“And the winner of the fight…” said the announcer, stepping into the ring as the gates opened on either side. “And moving on to the round of eight… Emil, ‘The Macedonian,’ Nikolovski!”

But for Ella, it was just something that would be heard in the background as the healers came over and started working on her injuries, the screens showing replays of the end of the fight in the background. “Fuckin’ hell,” Linzey said, approaching and looking down at her, folding her arms in frustration with the scene in front of her - she was down to one fighter left in this tournament, unfortunately. “Could have gotten deeper in the tournament before going out like that.”

Ella just groaned in pain on the ground, eyes shut. She’d lost, and… With it went her hopes of being anything.
Last edited by Lunas Legion on Tue Aug 20, 2019 4:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
Posts: 4359
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:11 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State, Lunas Legion, & Durmatagno

LOCATION // Rural Thailand
CAST // Team Antares & Team Sun

It seemed that the trails over the past days, which they had followed while fighting tooth and nail through a series of enemies that always seemed to be waiting for them, had led to one thing - towering in the distance, there was a peak, and it looked like that towering part of the landscape and the peak that was at the top of it was where the flag was going to be located. Only thing was, the other team would likely be coming here too, to reach the top, and the base of the mountain only offered one path up and around the side. One path, two teams, there would be conflict at some point unless one of them made it there early enough to avoid meeting the other team, but somehow, it didn’t seem like that was going to be the case.

“Looks like that’s where the flag is going to be,” said Fayza, pointing out the mountain and the winding trail which would lead upwards towards the place where they could seize it for themselves… “Long climb, though, and it looks like we’re also going to have to get past the other team whenever they show up… I’ll bet it’s not that long till they do.”

“I only see one path up.” Antares noted, squinting in the direction of the mountain. “It’s not a race to the top, it’s a race to there. Whoever gets to the bottom of the trail first wins this.” She paused, silent for a few moments, lost in thought. “We get to the base, Lupe, head straight up. I’ll do recon, see if Sun and her group beat us to the mountain. If they have, it’s over. If they haven’t, then I’ll head back down to the bottom of the mountain. We’ll hold a rearguard action a short ways up the trail if that’s fine with you Fayza, buy enough time so Lupe can reach the top of the mountain and grab the flag, if you think you can manage that?”

“The if is the key word, you’re assuming they’re not going to overrun us,” Fayza stated, scratching her head as she continued looking up the mountain, letting out a sigh. “We’re already a person down as things are right now, you know.”

“Believe me I know that.” Antares said, rubbing the side of her thigh. “It’d work better if me and you staged a fighting withdrawal up the mountain, you ruin that road with every single obstacle you can come up with while I keep their heads down with ice and that freezing zone of mine, I’ll put that down a good way up the mountain so it’s, well, not going to be pleasant. We don’t need to hold them off forever, just long enough for Lupe to get to the top and find the flag.”

Fayza let out a sigh, looking forward and reaching out with her ability, moving the dirt that made up the path in front of them. “I can block the trail and keep them from reaching the base… But that’s not going to last very long, it’s slapping a band-aid on the problem and Sun is going to be a threat to catch up with Lupe if she uses her powers…”

“The other option is I go for the top, I’m faster, and the pair of you and Lupe run interference around the base of the mountain, but it’ll be you alone versus all of Sun’s team bar her effectively.” Antares scowled. Stupid. Fucking. Noelle. “You’ll have to hold out for less time, but it’ll come down to me versus Sun potentially on who’s fastest. Neither option is good, but we were never going to have a good one. If we lose, we were fucked from the start. If we win, well, I don’t fucking know.”

Lupe just offered a disappointed shrug, looking to Antares. “And what the fuck am I supposed to do against Lubi and Yuli exactly? Or fucking Peyton for that matter if she decides to go after me instead of Fayza? You think that dirt wall is going to stop lightning?”

“That’s why the original plan was sending you up instead of me.” Antares grumbled. “Like I said, neither plan is a good option, it’s just which you guys think is less shitty.”

“I think that if they meet us before you get to the top of the trail, we should throw in the damn towel,” Lupe stated, folding his arms and shaking his head, seemingly unwilling to take a beating so maybe, just maybe, Antares would be able to get to the top of the mountain. Or risk getting beat down by Sun by heading up himself. No matter which way they looked at it… They were at a disadvantage.

“Fine.” Antares scowled, crossing her arms, obviously irritated with Lupe’s choice. “You can stay here or do whatever you feel like doing. Fayza?”

Fayza turned and started walking in the other direction, holding her hands up in the air. “Nope. Nope, nope, nope. Not worth it,” she said, heading back down the trail in the way they had come in the first place. “Already bad enough that Noelle isn’t here, not going to fight them with just me and you. We already know what the result of that is going to be.”

Antares said nothing, instead sitting down on the ground. Alone, she didn’t have a hope in hell of taking on the entirety of Sun’s team in a fight. She wasn’t stupid enough to think that. In terms of speed, though? That… That she might have a chance at. Not a good one, sure, but it was better than nothing…

Antares let out a sigh. But really, was there any point? It was just an exercise. Lupe and Fayza had both left it to her, effectively. It all came down to how lucky she was feeling, and really, she wasn’t feeling that lucky considering recent events but… She watched the mountain in silence. It was so close, and every second she spent deliberating was a second lost.

Fuck it. Fuck it all, fuck Noelle, fuck this stupid fucking jungle, fuck Lupe and Fayza. She’d do this herself, or at least try to. If they caught her in a fight, she’d just give up, but there was no sense in not at least trying to get to the mountain first.

With muffled swearing, Antares got back to her feet, jumped off the ground and settled into a low hover, and flew off. Stupid, yes. But she’d either beat Sun and company to the top, or she’d just surrender. At least she could say she tried. More than Lupe or Fayza could say. Not much longer after she got back to her feet, however, the wall exploded with a blast of lighting as Peyton showed up, leaving enough of a gap for a couple of the members of Sun’s team to show up.

“Jesus fuckin’ Christ, Antares, oh how the mighty have fallen…” Peyton said in a snarky tone, the first one through the gap, looking in the direction that Antares had flown off in, Lupe and Fayza already comfortably far away by the time she said anything. “Are you trying to do that all by yourself?”

“Was going to try, yeah.” Antares shrugged, stopping suddenly and turning back to face Peyton. “Emphasis on was. I’m not stupid enough to try for it now you’re here.” Antares sighed, dropping back down onto the ground. She couldn’t outfly lightning, after all. “Congrats, go win this stupid fucking thing.” Antares waved in the direction of the mountain, starting to walk in the other direction after Fayza and Lupe. “I’m sick of it all.”

“You talk a lot of shit for someone in lightning range,” Peyton replied, leaning against the remaining column of the dirt wall as Sun stepped through, amused by the situation and not passing up on the chance to get one over on her rival.

“And who do you have to blame for being in this spot?” Sun asked Antares, starting to walk towards the trail leading up the mountain and to the final location, the one with the flag.

“Oh, go fuck yourself too Sun.” Antares snarled, continuing to walk away. “I know who the fuck got me here, believe me, I know why I’m here better than anyone else.”

“Well, fuck you,” Sun said, flashing her middle fingers in the direction of Antares as she turned around. “You being stupid is going to cost us the ratings from a final fight, you know. But whatever. No one to blame but yourself in this one.”

“Fuck your ratings.” Antares growled, still not turning to look back before she kicked off the ground, hovering in place for a brief moment. “And don’t I fucking know that.” She shot off back down the way she’d come, not caring where she went.

“‘Least I’m still going to be on the show after all this, you fucking cunt,” Sun fired back, waving for the rest of her team to follow after her as she headed further in the opposite direction of Antares, starting towards the trail and stopping at the base of it to shout one more thing. “I’m sure some nobody from Indiana is going to have a real good time fighting the Ethier clan!”

There was no response, Antares having vanished into the jungles to who knew where to do who knew what.

Lubi was more bestial looking than ever before, she had been prepared for a fight. There was a pang of disappointment as she turned to follow after Sun. The claws on her fingers and fangs in her mouth receding. It’d take longer to undo the muscle changes, and thin her skin back out, but otherwise she was much more...human looking now. She’d never take on fur or true animal features if she could help it. Yuli sighed and the small glass sparrow she had hidden in the trees came back to her and returned to her pouch. She wasn’t as excited for a fight as Lubi had been, but she had been ready. She’d been careful to reinforce her arm, a waste of energy it seemed, unless some other surprise waited for them at the top.

The trip to the top was a hike but it wasn’t the longest one in the world, especially after they had been walking already and covering plenty of ground over the past days - they had moved miles, a large section of the jungle in Thailand sectioned off for this exercise. Eventually, they reached one more bend, and when they came around the corner, they saw what they were looking for. The flag was just like what the exercise was named for… A green flag, waving in the wind, ready to be picked up by whoever the winner was here.

“We did it… Even if there wasn’t a fight in the end,” Sun said, stepping forward and reaching for the flagpole, pulling on it until it was uprooted from the dirt and the gravel at the peak, raising it in the air - cameras were watching them from somewhere, even if they didn’t know exactly where, and it would make for a good shot. “First real moment in the spotlight… At least with this team.”

“Decent team in general, flexible while still effective.”

Yuli commented, arms crossed and looking towards the sun. This had just been a training exercise, but she’d wanted a true team fight, she’d get it eventually at least.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

for: the anime right
anti: people who step on snek

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Founded: Oct 10, 2011

Postby Durmatagno » Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:28 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Durmatagno

LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Sun ‘Primace’ Choe, Yuli Rose, Lubi ‘Gonoe’ Yeh-Jin, Fayza Ghazaway

Yuli looked down at her phone, frowning as she debated with herself. She was by the garage, while they’d been away in Thailand her bike had finally arrived from home. Some kind of customs problem, it was all sorted now but she still wasn’t sure why it’d taken so long to come in. She wore a short sleeved shirt, the first in...years. The glass arm was public knowledge at this point, no need to hide it anymore. With the short sleeves it showed clearly that her arm became glass about two inches above where her elbow should be, and extensive scarring marked what parts of the arm were still flesh and bone. Finally she hit send.

Hey Sun, my bike finally came in, wanna go for a ride?

She leaned against the wall and sighed, nervous after...what’d almost happened in Thailand.

It didn’t take Sun long to get the message, she had been in her room and she had been going through some of her business related things, but she couldn’t claim that it was what she wanted to be doing. Sending emails back and forth with corporate people and using fake formality wasn’t what most wanted to do, and she was happy to get some reason to look away from it.

She looked down at her phone and typed out a reply quickly, smiling softly as she pressed the send button, apprehension also existing in the back of her mind but not quite causing her to back away from the offer.

is this because of that night before? lol

The reply wasn’t a no, and as she turned her attention back to the computer and continued typing out an email, she knew she was most likely going to say yes, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t curious about this and didn’t mean she didn’t want to know the answer.

Not really, I’d been planning to offer you a ride before that night.

Sun’s reply had only made Yuli more nervous, worried Sun would say no, that she’d start avoiding her. She began pacing nervously again, footsteps echoing off the walls of the garage. She looked down at her glass arm now, worried that her sign of trust was going to be taken...badly. She was good at hiding when she was nervous around others, but on her own...that was a different story.

Looking back at her phone when Yuli’s answer came in, Sun paused before doing something that she wasn’t sure yet if it was a good idea or if it was regrettable - she would find out in due time, but she was going to take the risk at least.

yeah sure gimme two minutes

If she was going to go out with Yuli, she was going to look nice for it. She moved to her closet, not wasting any time with shedding her current clothes before she put on a pair of black denim shorts - they showed a decent amount of her long legs, which was the most notable thing about them - and a matching black tee shirt which had red text across the front reading ‘INVEST IN METACOIN™,’ in a retro style. Just because she had sponsors didn’t mean she had to look bad when she was showing them off. She finally looked herself over in the mirror and threw on a black cap with her own brand’s logo on the front in white, before throwing her phone in a handbag of hers and rushing down to meet Yuli.

Took a minute to find her, but Sun entered the garage eventually, breathing deeply from the rushing around. “Well… How do I look?” she asked, smiling slightly.

“You look good, better than I can manage.”

Besides the short sleeved plain black shirt, Yuli had on jeans, and would need to put on a jacket and helmet while she was driving. She didn’t have anywhere in mind to go, just a nice ride around on the bike. Spend some time out of the house, and...away from the cameras. She didn’t think anything wouldn’t happen, but it’d let them speak more freely for a bit. Besides, it would be fun. Grabbing her helmet and putting on her jacket, she twirled her keys around her finger as she made her way to her bike, swallowing a little at the prospect of having to be touched to let Sun ride with her. She could do this, she...she had to be able to do this.

“Pffft. Enough time will do the trick… I don’t wake up looking like this,” Sun said, following after Yuli, lingering next to the bike for a long moment before she climbed onto the back, making sure to hold on by putting her arms around Yuli’s waist - wasn’t like she didn’t have plausible deniability here if anyone questioned her on why she was doing it. She legitimately did need something to hold onto, after all.

Yuli stiffened for a second, before forcing herself to relax, it’d be worse for them if she remained tense the entire time. She turned on the bike, and pulled out of the garage. Her bike was fast, but not the most comfortable thing in the world, they’d probably need to stop after an hour or so to stretch or head back, depending on how they were both doing.

“Yeah well, it’s still better than I can manage. Not much you can do when half your body is cut up, burned, or both.”

With that, she pulled onto the road and made her decisions to head down to the 401, and head east, along the lakes on the highway. It’d be a decent enough view.

Lubi was elsewhere in the house, sitting in a comfy chair, biting her lip as she stared at her phone. She was texting with her dad, and her mother. They’d given her some advice she needed, but there was still a problem with courage. Fighting was one thing, this...this was another. Finally she sighed, and scrolled through her contacts, where she had at least one number for every member of the team, in case of emergency, and hovered over Fayza. She sent the text, already having made the decision.

Hey Fayza, they’ve got some new shit stocked in the bar down here, wanna try some it?

Fayza, meanwhile, didn’t notice the text as soon as it came in. She was in the gym, pounding away at a punching bag, her hands wrapped in tape and much of her body sweating as she wore a workout outfit that allowed her to breathe - she had headphones on. She did, however, finish this ‘round’ only a couple of minutes after the text had been sent, looking down at her phone to adjust her music and then noticing that someone had sent her something. She stopped, to read what it was.

just let me get this tape off my hands and we can?

She pressed the send button, pulling her headphones off as she finished up with her workout and sat down on the bench near the punching bags, working on removing the tape from her hands and then reaching for a towel to get some of the sweat off of her… She wasn’t going to get all the way cleaned up, but well, being covered in sweat at times was just part of being someone that spent practically all the time in the gym, training to get stronger and better.

Sure, I’m in no real rush. See you down here whenever.

Getting to her feet, she allowed herself a small smile before making her way down to the bar. She’d start with something light, didn’t want to be hammered if something distracted Fayza on the way down here. She was going to start with some Prickly Pear Shiner, something from Texas she’d never heard of before but Yuli seemed to like.

Fayza eventually showed up after heading up to her room to change into an actual tank top and a pair of jeans, her eyes scanning the bar as she looked for Lubi, approaching her… A bit slowly, some things still on her mind, but she didn’t let it stop her from approaching and sitting down next to her. “Don’t really drink that much so… I’m hoping you can lead the way with this,” she said.

“Well then, start with something lighter. This...Shiner thing I’ve got here isn’t half bad, little tart, but not to overwhelming.”

Lubi popped the cap off another one and held it out, offering it to Fayza. It wasn’t very strong, definitely something light to start the night off with. She could see why Yuli enjoyed it, but she doubted she’d drink it very often.

Fayza took the bottle in her hand slowly, looking at it for a moment before drinking. She looked ahead, drumming her fingers against the table absentmindedly. “You know, ever since that fight, the training one, I was pissed at first,” she stated, slightly distantly. “Felt like I deserved to win. But… Once some time passed, I found myself wondering more about you. Made me start wondering… Just who is this person that was able to get one over on me?”

“Some of it was luck but mostly...mostly it was because I could deal with the pain. That leg lock would have won the fight against almost anyone else. Even in a real fight I’d have just broken my ankle to get out of it, when everything you can do hurts you...pain doesn’t seem like as big a deal.”

Lubi had worried this would come up, Fayza hadn’t been happy about the loss. Lubi had barely won that fight, Fayza quite nearly had her more than once. It was only because of her experience with pain, and her training back home that she had even had a chance.

“I’ve been fighting since I was little, I had the experience to hold my own, and shrugging off the pain won me the day. Just means I can’t win the same way again, you’re too smart to fall for the same trap a second time.”

“Well… Can say I’ve always been fighting too,” shrugged Fayza, taking another sip from her drink, still resting her arm on the table and still looking forward, not quite looking towards Lubi. She was a fighter, yes, but she could still be awkward like this when it came to social things. “So dunno if that makes me feel better or not, I guess. Growing up in the shadow of the pyramids… Isn’t as easy of a thing as you’d think. And just losing in training… It’s still losing.”

“Losing never feels good, doesn’t matter how or why. I didn’t grow up anywhere particularly...nasty in of itself, instead I had a very strict father. Part of the reason I even came here was to get away from him.”

Lubi finished off her Shiner and poured herself some soju instead. Much stronger, and a drink native to Korea. She was getting into...difficult subjects, she didn’t want to be sober for them.

“At least losing here just means bruised pride, not...worse.”

“What are we fighting for if not pride?” shrugged Fayza, pausing for a moment before going into her own childhood. “Didn’t really have anyone growing up. I did what I had to do, spent plenty of time stealing from tourists around the pyramids, went from place to place as different places became unworkable and different ones opened up. Really, I’d still be there if it wasn’t for standing out so much, if it wasn’t for getting powers and making this hero thing possible.”

“Got lucky then, I had to pay a...heavy price to be allowed to come here. Well, lucky in how you left, I grew up with nary a want, except maybe to have friends and not tutors. A boyfriend...or girlfriend, not bodyguards. To go dancing, not get guns for my fifteenth birthday. I went a...little wild after I finally bought my freedom to come here, got some of that squeezed in between auditioning, and meeting my family here in the Americas.”

“Can’t say I would have complained much… Or at all. About any of it, really,” said Fayza, taking another long pause and bringing the bottle to her lips once again. “But… Different priorities for different people, I guess. Would’ve killed to have someone teach me the way to go in the world, or to have anyone but myself protecting me, or to shoot guns that I didn’t have to get myself with blood money. It’s… Too late to change any of that, unfortunately.”

“ least we can choose to go...pretty much anywhere we want to now. Just our imagination, and the limits of our contract holding us back now. I can go anywhere, be...anything I want. I chose here because it seemed...interesting, and let me finally be in control.”

Lubi finished her drink, a rosy color settling into her cheeks. She was tempted to pour more, but it was already getting hard enough to think straight, she didn’t need any more just yet. Instead she poured a small amount, about a shot, though it was wasn’t exact, and slid it across to Fayza.

“Try...try that. Stronger stuff, but it’s something from...from my home.”

Looking at the shot, Fayza reached for it and downed it quickly, pausing as she felt the effects, not quite as drunk as Lubi but still a bit more open than she would be normally, and definitely less coordinated, her hands and her movements not as… Measured and controlled as they usually were. “And… Where are you trying to go exactly?” she asked, following up on that Lubi had said before.

Lubi looked down at the counter in front of her, thinking carefully. Her phrasing had to be good, she didn’t...didn’t want to screw this up now. Not when she was so close, she took a deep breath, finally answering after a few moments had passed.

“Still...trying new things, finding interesting people. you.”

“Someone like me…” muttered Fayza, looking at Lubi finally and breaking the stare that had been directed straight ahead of her, away from Lubi. She had mixed feelings - this was somewhat uncharted territory for her, and she wasn’t even all that sure about the person that was next to her, she… Hadn’t heard enough to know, and she certainly would have called her ungrateful under normal circumstances but still… There had been an interest for a while on her own end and she didn’t know the next time something like this was going to come up for her. Wasn’t like she was the most social person in the world, or a person that put herself out there for others very much.

“Well…” she started, but she didn’t finish her sentence before she placed a hand on Lubi’s collar and pulled her slightly closer, pressing her lips against hers drunkenly, pulling back after a few moments but not moving the hand from her collar. “Don’t know if that was… Stupid or not, but…”

Lubi blinked in surprise as Fayza kissed her, when she pulled away, she smiled a bit.

“Sometimes...the risk is worth it.”

And Lubi leaned forward, pressing her lips against Fayza’s again. After a few moments she pulled away.

“Never know...till you try.”

Fayza’s heart was racing and it showed, the usually calm and quiet girl looking a bit visibly shaken up, but she didn’t let herself run from this, not yet. “We can… See what happens with it,” she said, offering up the indication that she was at least willing to try, even if what she was looking at scared her for a number of reasons that she wanted to keep her mind off of for now, because if she did let herself think of them, she knew already that she wouldn’t be able to stop.

“One step at a time, tha...that’s all anyone should ask for.”

Lubi remained calm on the surface, mostly because she’d been drinking. Underneath she was panicking, she’d never expected things to move so quickly, her heart was racing in her chest. Her only saving grace, the only thing that kept her from being visibly shaken, was that she’d been in far worse spots. Rejected more often than not, she had been surprised to end up here.

“We’ll move...only as want to.”

Lubi chose her words carefully, not wanting to terrify the obviously shaken Fayza any more than she already had.

“Yeah but… What do you even see in someone like me?” Fayza asked, managing to get her words out coherently as she looked Lubi in the eyes, her own eyes wide even in her drunken and less coordinated state, hyper focused in on Lubi as she contemplated… The situation… The offer.

“Always liked quiet ones, mysterious...tough...capable...”

Lubi had the first few words out of her mouth before she could even stop to consider what she was saying. She swayed gently in her seat, but kept her attention on Fayza, trusting her balance to keep her rooted in her spot.

“...I dunno...I’ve always liked people that are capable of taking me on...besides, it’s nice talking to you.”

“I… I don’t know… About any of it… I’m not mysterious or anything, I’ve just learned some things from a young age, and that’s that… People like me, the actually desperate people… Move in silence,” Fayza stated. “I’ve just not put myself out there, never tried to be… Any of that, really.”

“Don’t gotta try to be what you already are. You are who you are...and I see something in you I like...admire really.”

Lubi wanted to lean in, wanted to kiss Fayza again, but...she could see Fayza was wavering, she wasn’t going to push this. Even if this was as far as they got, it was further than she ever suspected she’d get tonight. She’d only been hoping to smooth things over. Besides, she didn’t want to push Fayza to far to fast, she might panic and run.

“...Fine,” Fayza said, leaning away slightly, letting herself rest against the counter of the bar once again, her head lowered and resting against her elbow as she kept her arm on the countertop. Was hard to read her reply, and just what she had meant by it, but… It seemed like it was a statement of acceptance, but not necessarily a statement that she agreed with what Lubi was saying. Simply that she acknowledged it, really.

Lubi swayed for a few moments, watching Faza, wondering what the ‘Fine’ meant. After a moment, she suppressed a desire to sigh, and moved to stand up. She didn’t think she was getting anywhere else tonight, but as a parting gift...she poured one more shot for each of them, setting it gently in front of Fayza, before downing hers.

Fayza stared at the shot in front of her, taking it in her hand but not saying anything yet or moving further than that. “What… You pissed at me or something? I’m… I’m not stupid…”

“Not pissed just...unsure of what else to say.”

Lubi sat back down, it seemed Fayza wasn’t as done with her as she thought. She’d hang around then...till Fayza was done or she was out, she wasn’t sure which would come first. She could clear her head if she wanted to, but that defied the entire point of being down here.

“ know, I wish I had eyes like yours. I’ve tried changing mine never sticks.”

Fayza quickly downed the shot that was in her hand, offering a shrug, looking away still. “Wouldn’t know what it’s like to think about something like that… Always just… Focused on surviving… Even here, I don’t spend like the others do, or anything like that…”

After she had finished, she was the one to stand up this time, letting out a long and slow sigh before turning back to head out, probably in the direction of her own room. “Anyway… This is pointless… I’m gonna go,” she said, looking down with a disappointed expression - a lot of it probably directed at herself.

“ know where to find me if you change your mind.”

Lubi sighed, and looked at the soju bottle in front of her, and poured herself another glass. She’d hate herself in the morning, but she had come down her to drink, so drink she was going to do.

“Got my number to don’t want to find me, I can...come to you.”

Fayza stopped in her tracks, looking back one more time. “What’s the point?”

It was all she said before she rushed off, escaping the scene and the pressure and the apprehension that came with it and heading back to her own room, where she consequently shut the door not softly, but with a mild slam.
Last edited by Durmatagno on Tue Aug 20, 2019 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Lunas Legion
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Posts: 30124
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:41 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

DATE // October 7th, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Antares Gray

It was back to business as usual for Antares, after the trainwreck that had been the final few days in Thailand. She was still angry with herself, feeling that low, constant flame inside her, pushing her on. She’d been… Different, since then. Angrier, any of her previous relaxed, laid-back and easygoing nature simply gone, but that didn’t mean she didn’t have to keep up that nothing had changed.

She’d chosen what she’d be for the cameras on that first fateful day all that time ago, after all. How long ago and innocent it all seemed. She’d have jumped at the chance for a photoshoot back then, but now, it was just hard to muster the motivation and enthusiasm she’d had in spades back then. Just go out and pose. How meaningless it all seemed, but she could still channel who she used to be long enough for the cameras.

So she smiled, and posed as she was told to. As if this mattered to her like it had used to.

Things seemed normal enough. The camera people had her turning different directions and giving her different shots while she was wearing her hero uniform, in downtown Toronto not far from some of the recognizable sights such as the CN Tower and other such things, but… That wasn’t going to last forever, it seemed. There was something different in the air but it was hard to put a finger on what it was. Felt like something was just slightly off, or perhaps like there was a certain energy in the air, something disconnected from the previous feelings of it being a normal day in a normal place.

But with that being said, it was hard to make a judgement based on nothing more than a feeling and right now it was just that, a feeling, perhaps a tension in the air, something that could be felt on the skin, almost like the feeling of waiting for rain to come, but it was… Deeper than that, even if it could be felt both within and on the outside.

Not that Antares really noticed, the stormclouds in her mind and the need to keep the facade that until oh so recently had been anything but that up in front of the cameras firmly centered in her mind. Nothing would happen, because nothing ever did happen. It was a boring thing, she mused, as she turned to strike another pose. Honestly, she wasn’t even sure how she’d managed to enjoy things like this before.

However, she would notice something strange, people moving from their equipment and running, and brief shouting - it was too late to change courses. She hadn’t noticed the threat and by the time she did turn to see what the hell was happening, something had slammed into the ground behind her with a resounding thud, leaving both a dent in the concrete and leaving scorch marks, the… Person on fire seemingly after first landing, before the flames were extinguished to reveal an apparently female figure in a crouch, one hand planted on the ground, looking up towards Antares.

She wore a mask which took design aspects from the far east, particularly from Japanese legend, the two horns of an oni protruding from the top of the mask, which was multiple colors, including purple and green with some parts of it that had pink highlights… Her jaw was covered up by it but it allowed her eyes to peek through, and she had them dead set on Antares, one of her hands traveling to her side as she reached for a long and sharp blade which had been in a sheath at her hip. “How does it feel knowing that today is your death day, Antares Gray?” she asked in an accented voice, poised to spring into action but not doing so just yet.

Antares said nothing as she turned around, white shards of ice beginning to form into a vortex around herself as she kicked into the air, hovering off the ground. Once, she might have bothered to respond, but she wasn’t in the mood for talking right now. Instead, an uncharastically vicious grin formed on her face, although whether it was eagerness for the fight or something else was impossible to say.

The girl in the mask didn’t say anything for a moment before giving a disappointed shrug at how she didn’t get a response. “Fire beats ice, bitch,” she remarked before snapping her fingers, causing the air around the ice vortex to ignite, immediately taking away much of the ammunition Antares was building up as the air quickly burst into flames before the explosion disappeared almost as soon as it appeared… It seemed they would be left alone, anyone that was part of the camera crew was rapidly vacating the area, dropping their equipment and running for safety. No one wanted to be this close when two metahumans fought, especially not when one of them… Had a powerful aura about her.

“Well that’s just unfair.” Antares sighed. “Let me guess, you picked me because fire beats ice, you can do that fancy trick faster than I can fly, and it’s not like you’ll stick around long enough for me to freeze you like an ice cube?” If she could just set the air on fire, well. If there was ever a hard counter to her powerset, it would be this. She couldn’t build up enough ice as ammo to be effective, and even though she could feel the air cooling around her, heading downwards towards temperatures that would be lethal if her power actually reached them, that power could just heat it back up again.

Running would have been the smartest option, and the one she’d have done before… Before everything that had happened. But she wasn’t in the mood to run. Besides, one flick and the air in front of her could be fire and then she’d, well, might as well be dead at that point. No, the only option here was to win, or at least damn well try to, and if she couldn’t win then she’d at least make this masked fire fucker pay for it.

So she shot forwards, full speed, no scream or battle cry, just a solemn silence as Antares charged for her. Maybe her power was proximity-limited, probably not, but it beat running away and getting incinerated like a coward.

But it seemed that the girl disappeared from view after making a quick movement in the direction of Antares - she’d moved into the air after making another movement with her hand, and Antares would realize by the time that she hit the spot the girl had been that… Well, she was bleeding and the girl was standing directly behind her, blade in hand, blood running off the edge of it after apparently having slashed her. “Too slow,” the girl stated, facing the opposite direction of Antares but standing a few steps ahead of her back.

“Teleporter too, huh.” Antares mumbled out, shakily turning around to face her opponent once again, this time not bothering to keep the ice around her and instead shooting it off as soon as it appeared beside her in an unaimed snap-shot of desperation more than anything. She could feel the cut to her side, blood oozing out and running down her, but she wasn’t… Wasn’t done yet. The girl’s body, though, was once again covered in flames which seemed to eat up the ice without it doing any damage, thanks to the intense heat that came off the girl.

“Going to have to try harder,” she stated, taking a few steps forward calmly and looking around the area, as if watching for other threats, not bothering to keep her eyes on Antares. Didn’t seem like she even needed to keep her eyes on her at this rate. “We’re going to have to finish this somewhat soon, I know you’ll have allies here soon… At the same time, though, I could use more footage for my North American debut,” the girl added, spinning around once again to face Antares. “So is that really all you have?”

Antares said nothing, just breathing heavily, her mind flashing through options. Couldn’t run, no, wouldn’t run. Everything she’d tried so far had failed. Pyrokinesis beat cryokinesis. Teleportation beat flight. Or it seemed like teleportation to her. No, she… She shouldn’t try and fight her. She just had to hold out, she’d have reinforcements soon enough, more suited to this fight than she was. She shot backwards, ice flickering into existence before being shot off towards her enemy as soon as it appeared, trying to put some distance between them and hoping the ice was enough to keep her distracted, her attention off of her for however long. Every second she was alive was a second that she could have backup arriving.

Once again, the girl simply burnt away the ice using flames which consumed her before disappearing just as quickly, no harm showing up. She was clearly immune to fire, whatever her power was. She had multiple, she seemed to be a mage, but those details weren’t exactly relevant to Antares for now. “You know…” she said, still standing there and waiting, as if she wanted some more action than just a quick finish. “You’re only in this spot because of yourself. Ironically enough.”

“I’m not in the mood for talk.” Antares growled, still moving backwards, more shards of ice being fired off in what was a futile barrage, but it was better than nothing. “If you’re gonna incinerate me, just fucking do it.”


The answer was simple, and as Antares moved backwards, she would watch the girl spring into the air before accelerating forwards once again, a small cut appearing on Antares’ neck as the girl ended up in a crouch about two steps behind her, facing the other direction after having come down in a perfectly calculated jump. “You know you’re on camera, right? Is this really how you’re going to go out?” she continued, not shutting up. “And why don’t you want to talk? Because you know it’s all your fault?”

Antares said nothing, switching directions and launching into another reckless, headlong charge, ice forming up around her as if forming a shell as she charged. She wasn’t going to say anything, and if she was going to die, well, it didn’t matter how she died. She was dead. She didn’t need to worry about the how if she died. As she charged, the girl went back to her enhanced reflexes and jetted backwards, rolling out of her path and ending up behind her once again, facing her this time but not attacking just yet. “Oh, is that Svetlana I see? Must have been in the area…” the girl said, pointing to the figure at the edge of the plaza they were in. “Maybe things will finally get interesting. Maybe.”

Antares didn’t feel the need to dignify that with a response, once again ice appearing, this time under her and slicing up diagonally towards her opponent as she turned, using her power and launching herself wildly at her from point blank range. She wasn’t going to talk, wasn’t going to give her anything at all to work with here from her. The girl didn’t try to stop Antares from hitting her - she just hardened her stance and she let flames cover her body again, ensuring that Antares wouldn’t exactly be able to come in contact with her without taking burns.

“Your powers are just un-fucking-fair.” Antares swore, stopping just in front of the flames, feeling the heat of them on her skin as she pulled back a little, slowly starting to circle her opponent, more ice forming up around her. It was obvious her opponent could have killed her at pretty much any point in this fight if she’d wished to, but no, she was just playing with her. And she wasn’t sure how much longer that would last.

One of the team instructors, however, had arrived in the meantime - Svetlana Roux, out of uniform but still having the shield with her that was her most notable piece of equipment, otherwise wearing workout pants and a sweatshirt jacket, something that wasn’t that out of the normal for her to wear when she wasn’t doing hero activities. It seemed she’d been around here, possibly working on another photoshoot, and now she had rushed over to the fight as quickly as she could. “Antares!” she shouted out, readying her shield. “Get over here, let me handle this,” she added, waving towards Antares.

“See you.” Antares smirked slightly, flying backwards towards Svetlana, pulling back and firing off the occasional shot of ice just to keep her opponent on her toes. Maybe… Maybe she was going to get out of this alive after all. Maybe her opponent had miscalculated with how fast her reinforcements would show up.

Except, it seemed that Svetlana was the one that had miscalculated. The Canadian hero ran forward in the direction of the villain, ready to counter her and her shield raised to protect herself from any attacks that came her way - the thing had stopped bullets, magical attacks, and plenty of other things in the past - as she charged, but… Once again, the girl sprung into the air. This time, though, when she disappeared from view, things were a bit different. No longer was it silent. There was, rather, a thunderous boom, one that shook the ground and broke some nearby glass, a bright flash of light appearing and extending the distance that the girl had traveled, the more experienced hero thrown far off into the distance by whatever the attack had been, pieces of her now shattered shield flying off into the distance also, like bullets made of shrapnel.

And now, the girl was standing behind Antares, Svetlana out of the picture, wherever she had landed - she was alive but unarmed and shaken up and that was assuming she didn’t have any injuries that would take her out of the fight. The villain, meanwhile, was calm. Collected. Composed. There was definitely an arrogance to her movements, her words, and her actions, although based on her performance it seemed like it was a well deserved arrogance. “What was that?” she mocked, referring to Antares’ confidence and smirk earlier.

“Misplaced arrogance.” Antares shrugged, seemingly now resigned to her fate even as more ice spun up around her ready for a last stand as she turned around. “I suppose I don’t get to learn that lesson though, do I? Just… Get it over with, would you?”

The girl didn’t say anything for a moment, flames still covering her body. She did ready her sword, however, the edge of it now possessing an eerie bluish glow, perhaps what had made it capable of slicing through Svetlana’s shield. “The Ethier clan sends its regards,” she stated, not making a move just yet but deciding to add a slight bit of insult to injury by mentioning the fact… Although, the statement made more questions than it provided answers. After all, the Ethiers were involved in the hero business, and the girl standing behind Antares was decidedly not a hero.

Antares said nothing, just shutting her eyes and mentally bracing. She wasn’t one for last words and, well, it didn’t surprise her that Noelle would be petty and bitchy enough to hire someone to off her. Not how she’d imagined herself going but, well. No one was lucky enough for that. The girl sprung forward once again, her movement enhanced by whatever magic she was using, and well, by the time Antares saw her appear in front of her and looked down, she would have few moments left to realize that just as Svetlana’s shield had been shattered, she had been cut through. Cut in half, to be specific about the extent of the injury - and yet the cut was clean enough that for a few moments, there was… Nothing. No instant death, no feeling.

“Huh.” Antares mumbled out, eyes still shut as she felt more blood leave her, pouring out of the cut straight across her hips. It was… Surprisingly painless, dying, she mused as she tried and failed to open her eyes for one last time, before there was nothing to see anymore in the first place as consciousness left her.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Postby Durmatagno » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:44 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Durmatagno

DATE // October 10th, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Sun ‘Primace’ Choe & Yuli Rose

Antares was dead, quite bloodily to. Wasn’t the worst scene Yuli had ever seen, she’d seen herself after the explosion after all, kept alive only by the struggles of her friends. Still, it wasn’t a good way to go, and whatever family she had...well, they’d at least be able to get an open casket. Yuli didn’t really know Antares very well, she’d only ever talked to her on screen once, maybe twice. She hadn’t liked her much, but she didn’t know what Antares had done to deserve that kind of death, what kind of enemies she’d made. She shivered at the thought, her stump aching. She was in her Forge for now, still trying to perfect the process for the fully enchanted glass for a new arm. She still hadn’t named the material, but she wouldn’t bother till she got it right, but she mused that dragon glass might be fighting, it adopted a scale-like pattern during the creation that she could smooth out if she wanted.

Sun hadn’t been seen around the mansion earlier in the day, she had seemingly been preoccupied with other things - and she hadn’t been shaken up by the death of Antares, who admittedly, was a rival to her and someone she wasn’t the fondest of. In public, she did the same thing as everyone else and made a big deal out of it and out of getting justice against whoever had committed the crime. In reality, though, she continued as normal, a lot of other things on her mind with a more important priority before she even started to think about what had happened with Antares. It also didn’t surprise her because, well, she knew already that Antares had her enemies. And she knew that making a lot of enemies had its way of catching up with someone in this business, if they were the right ones.

As the afternoon continued and started moving into the evening, Sun found herself wandering the halls and looking for Yuli not long after she had arrived back in the building, from… Somewhere. She hadn’t said that much about where she had been, although now, Yuli was the person she was looking for.

Yuli threw down her tools in frustration, the latest arm had come out twisted, the magic hadn’t bound and it had ruined the glass entirely. Even with her power it was too brittle to be of use, it turned to powder at the lightest touch, though it also caused inflammation on her finger where she touched it. Maybe a weapon of a different kind, but not what she was trying for, she dumped the failed arm into a bin, she could figure it out later. Turning off the forge, and her other equipment, she took off the last of her safety gear and put them on the workbench before stepping out into the halls. Sweaty, red faced, and tired. She could use something cold to drink right about now. Thankfully, she kept a mini fridge in her room with spare waters, soda, and even a little bit of beer. She leaned against the wall, letting herself cool off before she went anywhere.

Sun looked over the scene when she finally came across Yuli, unsurprised in hindsight to find her here out of all the places she could be in this large mansion. “So,” she started, standing in the doorway and noticing the heat immediately. “I’m assuming you’ve been waiting to hear some more… Developments on all the shit that happened back in Seoul that we never had a chance to follow up on.”

“Yeah, not my biggest concern, but it’s been on the list.”

Yuli wiped the sweat from her brow and shut the door behind her, locking it with the key she had. It was dangerous equipment after all, if someone didn’t know how to use it, they could seriously hurt themselves.

“What’s going on?”

Yuli gestured for Sun to follow her.

“If you’d rather wait for some privacy, I’m getting some water.”

Even if it had been a hundred degrees in the hallway, it was much cooler than her glass forge. Wasn’t the proper name, but seeing as she mainly used it to make weapons, it was fitting. It was also perhaps fitting that Sun was here now, because Yuli had finished another project recently, something much less...frustrating. She wanted to see what Sun thought about it, because’d probably be fighting alongside them in the near future. It was small, only a prototype, but nonetheless, it could be useful.

“Besides, I have something I want your opinion on.”

Sun had intended to say something about the original subject that she had visited Yuli about, but she paused and stopped, waiting to hear what Yuli had to say. “Go on, then?” she asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Gotta show it to you, come on.”

Yuli waved for Sun to follow her. Sun just nodded and followed after her, although… She had to push some of her other thoughts to the back of her mind. She had come to tell Yuli about something rather important, after all, but… It seemed Yuli was interested in showing her something else first.

Once at her room, Yuli opened her minifridge and pulled out a cold bottle of water, letting Sun sit or stand wherever she pleased. The room was packed with shelves, all displaying different glass figurines, of various shapes, sizes, and designs. One spot was empty, where the owl destroyed in training had sat. Her question wasn’t as...pressing as what Sun seemed to have.

“Alright, you first, I needed this water more than anything else it probably couldn’t wait, I was in the forge for...most of the day.”

Sun leaned against the wall, scratching her head. “Uhhh… No, whatever you were going to show me, you can do it,” she said, slightly awkwardly, deciding to let Yuli go first.

Yuli shrugged and after finishing the water, moved over to her closest and opened it up, before a short green figure stepped out into view. In its hand it clutched a one edged sword of the same green glass, and it’s armor was strangely intricate with spiked green gauntlets, and a spade, the card face, emblazoned on its chest and helm, before saluting to Yuli and standing at attention.

“My first golem! He’s a tad small but...I wanted to get it working before I made anything big.”

Sun raised an eyebrow, nodding as she checked it out, the design looking fine to her even if the size wasn’t very large. “It’s, well… Interesting… I assume you’re going to make a bigger version or something like that?” she asked, looking the thing up and down.

“Eventually yes, but it’s time consuming and exhausting to make one even that big, and I have something else I want to finish before I make anything bigger. First big one will probably be him scaled up, but I have a few other ideas I could also do. Alright, your turn.”

“Well…” started Sun, pausing to wait to figure out how to phrase things. “I was out in the city talking to Mi-ran earlier. Apparently she managed to come to Toronto after heading away from Seoul. I, more specifically, pressed on the subject of the photographs. You know, whatever it was that had those people in camouflage coming after her. Told her that she wasn’t going to be able to get much help if she didn’t give the full details to the people trying to help her. Eventually, she conceded a bit and told me that she had been taking pictures around one of the training facilities run by XR. You know, places where some of their heroes come from… Before they earn their status as heroes. She said that when she came a certain distance to the perimeter, they came after her. She went there based on internet rumors because she wanted to see where I had come from, but well, didn’t turn out well for her. She never actually was able to get very close to the fence. I figured I’d get your thoughts on it.”


Yuli tossed the empty water bottle away and silently ordered the green figure back into the closet before sitting on the bed, thinking over what she’d just heard. She tapped her glass fingers on her leg, almost absentmindedly, as she came up with a few possibilities.

“Sounds like she most likely caught something on camera they really, really did not want getting out. Either that or they just thought she did, either way they were going to aggressively protect their secrets. Without the photos we can’t be sure what, but given her...obsession with you in particular, they may also have felt that if she was going to get that close, she might try to get inside. It’s like when...for legal reasons let’s call him Bob, a guy I once knew named Bob broke into my house in Chicago. If we’d caught the warning signs earlier he never would have gotten that close, maybe they were trying to keep her from even attempting. Still, given how they were trying to kill her, she certainly saw, or photographed some kind of secret, something that they never want leaking out.”

Sun let out a sigh, closing her eyes and running a hand through her hair. “Well, if there is something that she photographed that they don’t want getting out, she didn’t tell me about it. And her camera, or her phone rather, was taken by the police in Seoul… So there’s now way to tell what was on the camera reel before she lost it. I can think of one or two things that might get them to send someone after her… But I can’t imagine any of that being accessible to someone moving around the outer perimeter.”

“Maybe she isn’t telling the truth, and she actually got inside somehow.”

Yuli moved back to her fridge, she was still thirsty, and got another bottle, before sitting on the desk to keep talking.

“Makes her an even greater security risk if she’s already gotten inside once.”

“Yeah but… Does she look like the kind of person to make it past cameras, multiple armed guards, and a bunch of locked doors?” asked Sun, unsure about the prospect. “She hardly had any idea what the fuck was happening when they came for her. I… Don’t think she’s as competent as you’re making her out to be.”

“Maybe not, but she saw something they didn’t want her seeing. She pissed them off badly somehow.”

Pausing, Sun looked directly to Yuli this time, standing up from her spot leaning against the wall. “I hope you don’t mind that I’ve been working on her for the past couple of weeks, trying to figure this mess out,” she stated. “Hope you aren’t… Y’know.”

She let her voice trail off, shrugging and looking away slightly. “Jealous or something after I left you hanging that night.”

Yuli paused and looked down at the water in her hand, taking a deep breath, and sighing.

“...maybe a little, but I’ll be fine.”

It wasn’t like they were dating or anything. She had some shit of her own she had to sort out before she could really consider doing anything like that. Besides, Sun was free to do whatever she wanted...whoever she wanted.

“I don’t control you, you’re free to do what you want to.”

Sun leaned against the wall again, letting out a low sigh. “Yeah but well, I care about what you think, regardless,” she said, awkwardly. Wasn’t really any way to have this talk without it being awkward, considering the subject.

“Yeah’s not like you or me have the freedom to really do anything about it. You have your shackles...and I...”

She pointed first at her head, and then at the scarring.

“I have my own. Some days even shaking someone’s hand has me shaking for the rest of the day.”

Yuli’s voice sounded bitter when she was talking about herself. She didn’t blame Sun for any of the problems here, she had way to many hurdles of her own to blame Sun’s contract problem. Even if she really, really wished she could spend that time with you.

“...maybe someday....”

“As if I know what the fuck I’m doing with any of this, either,” Sun stated, not sounding too discouraged despite her words. “Don’t think either of us does, really… I guess I just… Don’t want to feel like I’m letting you down or something.”

Yuli offered a reassuring smile.

“Hey, the fact that you even care about what I think is enough. We can sort this all out eventually, just patient.”

She didn’t want to be patient. She didn’t want to have to reassure Sun that she was alright, that she wasn’t mad. She didn’t want to have any of these hurdles. It’d been years since the hurdles had first been put in front of her, and now...there was someone in front of her she wanted to get over them for.

Nodding slowly, Sun turned to face the doorway. “Also, I brought Mi-ran here. She’s somewhere around the building right now, not sure where, exactly. I hope that’s not going to be a problem… She should be gone later tonight.”

“From me? Probably not, but given her reaction the last time she saw me, I can’t promise that I won’t finish something if she starts it.”

Yuli tossed the second empty water into the trash and got off the desk, opening up one of the drawers. In it was a key, her room key. She had a spare, one she had made from glass, like she did so many other things. She picked it up, and looked at it for a moment, before walking over, and pressing it Sun’s hand. The message was clear, Yuli’s room was open to Sun anytime she wanted in. What few secrets Yuli really wanted to hide weren’t hidden by a door anyway.

Sun paused, looking down at the key in her hand, nodding eventually. “Thanks,” she said neutrally, an awkward silence hanging over the air before she started forward. “Well, I should probably find her before she gets into something. I’m sure we’ll see each other again tomorrow, I know they’re going to drag us in front of some cameras again to talk about Antares… But it’s whatever, shouldn’t take too long.”

“See you later Sun...I’m going to take a nap, I’m exhausted after all day in the forge.”

Yuli would have to change to do that, take a shower first to, and she certainly wasn’t doing that with Sun around. No, that was only for Sun once she...they could get past the hurdles. She opened the door, and looked into the hallway, checking to see that the coast was clear.

“We’ll talk later...enjoy yourself.”

It took every ounce of self restraint she had to keep the enjoy yourself from sounding anything other than friendly. It wasn’t Sun she was made at...she thought anyway, but that didn’t mean the entire situation didn’t bother her somewhat. More than she let on anyhow.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sun Aug 25, 2019 12:27 am

Collaborative post between Forest State & Durmatagno

DATE // October 12th, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Sun ‘Primace’ Choe & Yuli Rose

Yuli pulled into the garage of the mansion, carefully getting her bike into her usual parking spot. Shutting it off, she climbed off the thing and took off her helmet, smiling as she had just finished a quick ride around Toronto, just enjoying some time alone. She had helmet hair, but it was common among bikers, she could deal with it later. For now, she was going to head up to her room and put her gear away, then see what Lubi or maybe Sun was up to, hopefully something interesting.

It seemed that everything was normal around the house when she entered, at least, when she first showed up. Some of the team was in the living room, another one or two members were in the gym or perhaps in their own rooms, and there was nothing particularly eventful to note as she made her way upstairs towards her room on the second floor - however, before she could reach it, there was something… that was definitely worth paying attention to.


The sound of glass breaking. Sounded like it was coming from Sun’s room or at the very least the general area around it, and then… There was a little bit of silence, before there was another smash. Not one that featured the sound of glass breaking but a smashing sound nonetheless, and one that could be heard echoing through the hallway as a whole.

Yuli stopped, tempted to just keep going and let Sun workout...whatever it was that was bothering her. In the end, she decided against it, and turned around, moving back to Sun’s door, and trying the handle. Finding it unlocked, she pushed open the door to see what the hell was going on, and just what Sun had broken in here.


When she entered the room, she would find that a mirror had indeed been broken, but that, beyond breaking the mirror, Sun had put her fist through the wall entirely, where her arm was currently located up to the elbow as she worked on pulling it out slowly, it quickly becoming apparent that blood was running out of multiple spots as she revealed more and more of the extent of the damage by removing her arm from where it had been lodged in the wall. “Oh… You’re here,” she said eventually, not turning around just yet, her other hand also planted against the wall, in one of the spots where the mirror had been, the frame still hanging on the wall even after Sun had punched through the mirror itself and shattered the glass.

“Jesus Sun...what did you do to yourself?”

Yuli knew better than anyone alive just how nasty glass could be, and probably better than almost everyone dead to. If she had punched straight through the mirror, those cuts could be deep, and bad. She sighed and dropped her helmet, but hesitated to move closer. After a moment, knowing Sun would probably just shrug her off if she tried to help get her arm out of the wall, she pulled off her jacket and tore some strips out of her shirt, starting with the left sleeve around her glass arm.

“What’s wrong?”

“Would be easier to just ask what isn’t,” Sun said in a low tone, shifting into her powered form briefly and causing some more of the wall to crumble around her before withdrawing her arm and shifting back out of it, looking at the cuts and the blood that was running out of it - she was losing quite a bit but she didn’t seem that concerned by it… It was just something that she was observing, not something that he was concerned with. “Stress builds up… Have to get it out somehow.’

“Will you come sit down so I can bandage that?”

Yuli wasn’t going to push, not right now. Sun was in a mood, something had happened and she didn’t want to talk about what, so Yuli wasn’t going to try and drag it out. Instead she was just going to try and be a good...friend. She looked at the broken mirror on the floor, she could fix the glass itself, but the frame was done, and the wall would need someone to fix it.

“Or would you prefer to vent?”

“Don’t need fucking bandages,” Sun said, grimacing for a moment before she shifted forms once again, letting the glow of energy bathe her body as the cuts started to heal, not completely going away instantly but still making progress. She shifted back after spending a bit more time in this form, the extent of the wounds reduced greatly, the stream of blood having mostly stopped, leaving the blood that was already on her arm and was drying. “And I don’t see what good that would do, also.”

Yuli sighed again and stuffed the strips in her pockets, she forgot sometimes Sun could heal herself. Probably because she was used to having to do it the old fashioned way.

“It’s not as good as putting a fist through a wall, but venting does help with stress. Though personally I prefer working in my forge one something I can beat.”

Sun just sighed, looking at the pile of broken glass on the floor, and the hole on the wall, eventually leaning against the wall and looking away from Yuli. “Just not the kind of person I am. I’d rather change my problems, not bitch about them. And I’ve done worse than punching a wall, I’m fine…”

“Yeah well so have I, doesn’t mean it’s a good thing.”

Yuli leaned against the door frame, and thought for a bit, looking at the helmet next to her. She tapped her fingers as she mused over her thoughts for a bit, letting Sun be for the time being after a moment, she reached down and picked up her helmet.

“You want, I can give you a ride out of here, away from all this and pretty much any prying eyes. Give you a break from it all.”

“As if being ‘round you isn’t just going to add to it,” Sun said eventually, stepping away from the wall, turning her attention fully towards Yuli now, her face and her tone neutral but her words… Indicating that whatever this was had at least something to do with Yuli. “And no, I’m not telling you to leave or anything, but at the same time… I’m just saying I dunno if it’d help, considering… Y’know.”

Yuli gritted her teeth together as Sun spoke, as if it wasn’t frustrating and stressful for her either. That said...thought as the case may be, this wasn’t the time to bring it up or make a big deal about it. Once Sun was done, Yuli looked down at her helmet, and fought another sigh. She sighed far too often, it was a habit she needed to break.

“Yeah...I know…”

“That’s all you’re going to say,” Sun muttered, looking to Yuli somewhat disappointedly, feeling like there was a bit too much tension in the air to just leave it at one simple statement like that. “Not going to argue, not going to accept it, just… Tell me that you know? I mean, I’m pretty sure we’ve both known things were off for a while…”

Yuli chose her words carefully, she didn’t want another fight with Sun, especially not with how stressed Sun already was, and good hit from Sun could kill her if she wasn’t ready for it, and when people snapped...they snapped. Her stump ached at that thought, the last time she’d well and truly snapped it’d nearly cost her everything, and she’d always be carrying the marks of it.

“Yeah, I know. Almost a full month now, and a bit before that besides. What else do you want me to say? I know about that...tension, I know it’s not one sided, and I know it’s not easy. You want me to say that I...desperately wanted that moment in the woods? Is that what you want to hear?”

Yuli’s voice was calm, even if inside she wasn’t. She looked back down at the helmet, looking at her reflection in the visor, looking at the reminder of the disfigured mess she was.

“I don’t fuckin’ know. Guess I just expected something one way or the other. Hell… Even if you were angry, it would be better than just not knowing what you think,” Sun said, letting out a sigh as she started walking towards the door, but stopping in it and leaning against it. “And I didn’t punch the mirror because of a you problem, I did it because of a me problem. So don’t worry about it.”

“What I think is that you’re stressed as hell and need a serious break from it somehow, and if I’m part of that stress…”

Yuli paused as she looked up, letting her words linger for a moment before moving on.

“As for why I’m so calm...the last time I lost control, seriously lost control, I lost an arm, an eye, a kidney, nearly lost a lung and most of my guts, not to mention extensive burns and shrapnel. I learned a…lot of self control since then, but if you want to know what I feel...I’m pissed. At myself, at ‘Bob’, at your contract, and in general. There’s a lot of things I can’t change but want to, meeting you is not one of them.”

Yuli looked down at the broken glass and waved her hand, moving it to a corner, and turning it into a neat pile. Just getting it out of the way so Sun or someone else wouldn’t cut themselves on accident.

“I’m keeping calm because I don’t want ‘this’ to happen ever again.”

Yuli plucked her left arm off on the this, it’s movement stopping the moment it disconnected from her. She highly doubted this situation would make her lose control, but with everything that had happened to her, she’d rather stay calm and in control than risk having this happen again.

“Least of all to you.”


Sun just let out a slow sigh, seemingly not having taken Yuli’s words the best, and she stepped out of her room, lingering for a moment more. She opened her mouth to say something else, but she stopped, her words getting caught for now before she closed it and stepped out of the room fully, pulling her door shut behind her and heading… Somewhere other than there. Wasn’t clear where she was going per say. But she was headed in the opposite direction of her room, aiming to get far away…

Yuli sighed, and reattached her arm. She looked down at her helmet for a second, before turning and heading back to her, shutting the door gently behind her before chucking her helmet as hard as she could at the wall. With that done, she fell face first onto her bed, and just laid there, not moving. She was just going to...stay here where she couldn’t cause anymore problems.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:59 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

DATE // October 20th, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Ishtar Najjar

Ishtar Najjar was shivering. Not because she was nervous, although anyone in her situation would be nervous, but not enough to make her shiver. No, she was shivering because she was cold; she was used to the heat of the United Arab Emirates, not the cold of mid-autumn Toronto. She didn’t even know how she’d handle winter, but she would make do. She always had, and she always would. The streets and buildings of Toronto passed her by, dull by comparison to the modern gleam of Abu Dhabi or Dubai, but she knew better than anyone that appearance was worth less than actual substance.

She was not entirely sure where the car, a relatively nondescript but luxurious SUV that had picked her up from the airport with little fanfare, was taking her, but that did not matter as long as it was the right place. Her armour had been flown over the day before; it needed to be given a mechanical once-over, to make sure nothing had broken or shifted improperly during flight, so she could wear it at her introduction. No doubt it was there, ready and waiting for its wearer and power source.

Minutes passed as they drove. She wasn’t one to make idle conversation, words were to be saved for when they mattered, so they drove in silence, Ishtar just watching out the windows in contemplation of everything. Eventually, however, the SUV came to a stop and Ishtar shifted herself sideways before moving to climb out with a practiced grace. She was in public now, after all, and everything always had to be just so.

The actual place, however, was much less orderly. There were plenty of people moving around with cameras and various things that would be used at the scene of the recording, and a lot of people involved with the fine art of herding other personnel around the building. As soon as the SUV came to a stop, Ishtar would find one such woman approaching her right away and nodding to her. “You’re running roughly one minute late… Please follow me so we can get your makeup done and get back on track.”

Ishtar said nothing, simply giving a curt nod of acknowledgement and moving at a sharp walk towards the woman, indicating for her to lead on. She knew how this worked, if they were running late by any margin at all, it was something that would pile up. It may not have been her fault, but complaining would accomplish nothing.

They walked through hallways that also had plenty of cameras and sound equipment, more than there usually was around this place, before Ishtar was ushered into a room where she was sat down in front of a mirror, makeup artists immediately swarming around her like bees towards honey, three or four people immediately crowding her and starting to examine her face before taking out their tools of the trade to start working on it. The original woman, though, the one that had led her in, remained in the room. “Are you going to need to go over things with the producers before we start filming, or are you good?” she asked, one phone in each hand as she looked through messages.

“I’d like to run things over with them, if that doesn’t take too much time.” Ishtar said, keeping her head fixed forwards, letting the makeup artists do their work on her face with minimal discomfort on her part. She was used to it, after all.

“I’ll call the head producer and the director over here right now, then,” the woman stated, starting to type out a message on one of the two phones in her hand.

There would be a few minutes passed before a couple of other figures emerged - Amon Sadat, the man from the Eden Network that served as the main producer of the show. A wealthy Emirati, it was partly Sadat’s money that helped to make the show possible… And being from the UAE, Sadat was already somewhat familiar with Ishtar’s previous career in Abu Dhabi, and had perhaps been the deciding factor in bringing her here over some of the others who had been on the shortlist of possible candidates for the show. Ishtar had also met Sadat on a couple of occasions and had perhaps influenced that decision through some possibly questionable actions of her own.

The other man that entered was Nash Linwood, the director of the show and the one that was largely responsible for making Sadat’s vision of it come to life. The British director had worked on a few things before this but this was definitely his largest project and so far, had helped the careers of both him and the rest of the staff, after the ratings had went through the roof early on. Some would argue that Linwood’s raw style of filming things had played a large role in that.

“Ishtar, we meet again,” Sadat stated upon entering the room. “I assume you’re aware of the current situation on the show and how your arrival is a part in… Getting past that and keeping interest high, and major controversy low.”

“I’ve been keeping myself up to date.” Ishtar nodded. “Re-watched the latest few episodes on the flight over to make sure I know exactly what I appear to be getting myself into, or at least the side that’s shown to the cameras.” She wasn’t the biggest fan of reality TV, but that was because reality TV didn’t reflect reality for her. This show, well, it did. “I assume that I’ll be introduced to the rest of the cast in a similar way to on the first episode, no?”

“The long story short is that you should aim to attract attention to yourself and not to certain other situations, but yes, the format will be somewhat similar, although walking into an established team is something of a different case than walking into the team for the first time not knowing anyone. I expect that the early interactions will be of interest… Maybe in a good way, maybe in a bad way. We will see,” Sadat stated.

“I suppose we shall.” Ishtar nodded. “My armour is ready for me, yes? No need to fall any further behind schedule.” She’d be adding heating systems to it at some point for sure, she hadn’t needed those for obvious reasons back home but they would be quick and simple additions.

The makeup people were mostly putting on the finishing touches by now, and Sadat looked down at a watch for the time. “Yes, yes it is. I believe this makeup work will be done in the next couple of minutes, and then you can head to the garage area to find this armor of yours,” Sadat stated. “Although, I believe meeting the rest of the cast comes first.”

“I was unsure of the order, but it is of little consequence.” Ishtar nodded again, her eyes moving slightly to look at Sadat’s face in the mirror. “Armouring up after I have met the others does make sense, given its weight and bulk. I am sure you have more to see to, I know everything that I need to know. Thank you.”

“I’ll leave you to your devices, then,” said Sadat, stepping away as Linwood moved to give a couple of instructions.

“One of the most important things will be your persona on camera… Work on it, focus on it, and remember that this episode is going to have the first impression of it for, well, everyone. Do not fuck this up, alright?” Linwood said, nodding towards Ishtar.

“I’ve had a persona for years.” Ishtar gave a small nod of acknowledgement. “I see no reason to drop it now, given that it worked well back in the U.A.E, playing the calm, level-headed voice of reason. If you have any particular requests, make them now, I am rather practiced for the cameras and a change in how I act with a change of continents, country, screen and team, especially as I’m no longer the leader, would not be surprising.”

“And what exactly would this persona be? I’ve heard reports but I’d rather hear straight from you,” stated Linwood. “I could order you to act a certain way, but you’re going to be more natural doing what you’ve already done.”

“On my team in the U.A.E, I was the captain, the calm, level-headed, easy to approach one, for lack of a better term the more most ordinary and down to earth one.” Ishtar shrugged. “Not the most… Out-there persona, the bombastic one, the nigh PR nightmare, the joker, personas like that, I was the normal one that the others would bounce their own personas off to create a dynamic for the cameras.” Ishtar said, shutting her eyes as she continued. She… Hadn’t exactly been the biggest fan of her old team. “Obviously, that’s not going to be the case here with me entering a pre-existing squad rather than the squad structuring itself around me, hence the question.”

“I suppose I should be asking you this question - that is, if there’s anything that you would feel comfortable working with,” stated Linwood, with a slight shrug. “As I was saying. Natural dynamics tend to work better than giving someone a script. The scripts and the like… Are just to modify things slightly for the cameras. Not the core persona.”

“Not that persona, for one. It’s… Dull, playing that, but it seems you’re far looser with this type of thing than I’m used to. The persona’s rubbed off… Well, a lot on who I am, that happens when you play it for years.” Ishtar sighed, opening her eyes again. “I’ll stick to what I know, but more open and relaxed, looser, not as ‘calm and collected’ or as it might be better described unemotional, tense, distant and cold. Not all the way out there, I’m no show-off, but more natural if anything, less of an idol on a pedestal which is what I was. It gives me more room to develop naturally into a newer persona as I get used to everything here, unless you disapprove.”

“If you don’t know who you are, how do you expect anyone else to care about who you are?” asked Linwood, looking towards Ishtar as the makeup people finished. “And open and relaxed isn’t a persona - not when it’s the only thing of note that you can describe of it.”

“There’s a line for me between what I’m comfortable with being, and what the audience I’m used to are comfortable with me doing.” Ishtar said slowly, her voice measured, every word chosen carefully. “Do you want the me that those who know me are used to, that level-headed, calm and reasonable authority figure type which is what I and they are used to but I think would also be dull, boring and fade into the background, or something wilder, more forwards, more… Not aggressive, but more of a presence. Or, of course, I can wing it, act like I would if I could ignore literally everything else, which honestly would be refreshing for once even if it has a few risks back home. I’ve never had to do that, everything’s always been carefully choreographed and scripted for me whenever I did anything like this.” Ishtar smiled ever so slightly, the first genuine display of emotion so far. “It’s oddly liberting.”

Linwood just let out a slight sigh. “Well, you aren’t going to be an authority figure around here considering we already have an existing team and you’ve just showed up - and your record doesn’t exactly demand that the others listen to you. Winging it also represents a risk of not knowing what we’re getting. I would be inclined to tell you to… Avoid doing that. But something more forward isn’t necessarily a bad thing.”

“I can work with forwards.” Ishtar nodded. “Isn’t exactly hard, I just need to channel things differently, but…” Ishtar paused, stopping, lost in thought for a few moments. “Yes, I can work with that. Forwards, confident, social but not completely out there… I think this should work just fine then, no?” Her smile was wider now, her tone more eager with the previous politeness gone. If she’d known she wasn’t going to be on a choreographed script she’d have gotten on this show when it launched and she’d gotten an offer. “Shall we go now? I have a team to meet after all.”

Still not completely sure about things, Linwood nodded anyway, gesturing towards the door after the makeup team had left. “I do believe that is on the schedule, yes…” he stated. Taking risks had worked for them in the past, after all.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:23 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

DATE // October 20th, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Ishtar Najjar & Noelle Ethier

The news of the new member had spread through the team pretty quickly, and of course, one of the ones who always kept track of this kind of thing was Noelle Ethier, someone who had grown up playing social politics and who could be considered an expert at it. The daughter of the famous Alexadnre Ethier had managed to elevate herself to the status of one of the more popular people on the show - and had personally seen to it that her rival was eliminated behind the scenes, getting rid of the teammate that she believed was both too stupid to belong on this team and too much of a risk to the greater interests of the Hero League in general. In addition to being a person who had personally slighted her. That part couldn’t be discounted, it was a major reason she had done what she had done.

And while the public wondered about the circumstances of the death and the Hero League did everything they could to explain why one of the members of their reality show, and one of the more popular ones at that, had died… Noelle continued building her popularity, not spending very long in the public eye on the Antares situation. She hadn’t done more than the minimum. She wanted to focus on herself, not spend a few episodes pretending to mope around and be sad about something. Her own brand had continued to rise, just as it had ever since she’d went out on her own during the training event in Thailand, deciding that a better use of her time was working on that brand, on her popularity, rather than participating in a training event with a team leader that she hated.

Now, though, she had her attention on someone else. They were quickly bringing in a new member, perhaps to get people to move on a bit and not get so hung up about Antares dying. Could this new member be useful to her? Would this new member be her friend or her enemy? And just where did this person rank among the others? Those questions were all on her mind as the filming wrapped up for Ishtar’s introduction episode, and now that the cameras were no longer rolling, Noelle felt like she could get better answers.

She found herself roaming the halls, deciding to look for Ishtar and talk to her one on one now that the cameras were off. Sometimes, it was best to figure things out by going right to the source.

Ishtar was in the garage, crouched down on the floor and working on her armour, humming quietly to herself among a disorganised mess of spanners, wrenches and pieces of metal and wiring, her armour lying on the floor mostly disassembled down into its components as she made temporary modifications and mechanical checks to it. It was how she passed time, one of the ways she had to actually think to herself with no one to drag her off to do whatever. She glanced up as Noelle walked in, offering a smile and a wave before turning back to her armour. Heating systems wouldn’t just appear after all.

“All the things you could be doing and you’re working on armor?” Noelle questioned, finding it peculiar that Ishtar was here of all places even after being given free reign to check out what was a large mansion, with all the features of a place that was little more than a mega resort for the wealthy.

“Heating systems aren’t going to build themselves, they won’t take very long and I’ll thank myself for it when it’s winter here. And I need to remember to actually make the things before I need them.” Ishtar shrugged, setting the gauntlet she was working on back on the ground to look up at Noelle, shifting from a crouching position so she was sitting on the floor instead. “Otherwise I can and will forget, and it will inevitably be a mild annoyance at some point.”

“You have a fuckin’ mansion to explore, just figure’d you would be more interested in that. Don’t tell me you intend to spend all your time on this team hanging out in some workshop, do you?” Noelle asked, leaning against the wall of the garage and looking the scene over before looking back to Ishtar as she worked.

“Of course not.” Ishtar rolled her eyes, turning back to her project. “I’m working on this while I remember to, and I’ll go look around the mansion when I’m done with enough of this that I can finish this tomorrow.” Ishtar paused, peering into the gauntlet. “Most of it’s done anyways, like I said quick and easy job. Already has internal cooling systems so I don’t turn into a sweaty mess in it or have to literally peel the bodysuit off. If you want to talk, I can multi-task, but I should probably take a break anyways. Not like I’ll need this thing for tomorrow actually, I can probably just put it down for finishing… By the end of next week or so.” Ishtar patted the gauntlet lightly, moving to gather her assembled tools into a pile and pushing it and the armour over to the side of the garage, brushing herself down.

“I was just wondering how you were doing with all the new stuff, I guess,” shrugged Noelle, nonchalantly. “I guess you might realize by now that I’ve kind of been involved in all this stuff for a long time now. Figured you could probably use some help to keep yourself from ending up in over your head. Unless… I misjudged, in which case I apologize.”

“Depends exactly what you mean by help.” Ishtar said as she stood up, stretching her legs as she did so. “In terms of experience on paper, at least, I think I have everyone here beat, but…” She made an uncertain gesture with her hand. “There’s a very, very good reason reason I say on paper experience and not actual experience, this entire business here is… Different to what I’m used to by a few thousand miles. So it’d very much depend on the help offered, and, of course, attached strings. Nothing’s for free, but, well.” Ishtar smiled slightly. “I’m sure you can make me an offer I shouldn’t refuse.”

“Bitch, please,” Noelle said in a casual tone, the sound of her voice not necessarily matching the content of her words. “Let me give you some advice, which is not to think that you’re that special. And yes, that includes paper experience, too. You’re speaking with someone that actually did shit on the junior hero scene and I’ve grown up around some of the heroes that you’ve seen on billboards in this very city. Sun was a member of the Gangnam Stars and she’s captured the attention of Korea, one of the hardest markets in the world. Fayza is from Egypt and has hometown fans over there, she has the Arab market behind her… And you, you spent time in Abu Dhabi. How many villains are even in the Gulf?”

“Good point.” Ishtar admitted, nodding slightly. “And yeah, the villain scene in the Gulf is, well. It’s there, but… In name only. It’s mostly high-collar, hacker, schemer types not go punch in middle of street types.” Ishtar shrugged. “The only reason the U.A.E even has teams is because it has oil money, not because it has villains for us to fight, that and Iran exists. I’m… I can guarantee the team I led- Well, even saying led is generous in the extreme, it’s a PR stunt. Dubai had a government-run team, so Abu Dhabi wanted one too, I was just a local with powers lucky enough to get picked.” Ishtar sighed, slumping slightly. “Yeah, even saying I have the most experience on paper is wrong if you poke at it too harshly. Pretty sure everyone on this team, solely by virtue of being on this team, has done more than my former team did. It sounded good in my head, at least, but, uh, help, if we can get back onto that? I’m till quite interested.”

Noelle took a step forward, leaning in and placing her hand on Ishtar’s shoulder, looking down at her so their eyes would meet directly and putting a hand under Ishtar’s chin to push her gaze up. “I guess part of what I’m saying,” she stated, speaking slowly so each word came out clear and pronounced. Like she was speaking with authority. “Is that I’m more than just some average viewer. And if you don’t take me for an average viewer by saying things like that, I’ll take you as more than some rookie that’s going to flame out as soon as she reaches the big stage. That is, this show. Respect goes both ways, right?”

“Fair enough. I… Didn’t realise how bad it actually was by comparison until you laid it all out like that.” Ishtar nodded. “I’m supposed to be an ex-captain of a hero team after all, I… Guess I have one absolute nightmare of a bar set for myself if I’m meant to live up to that. It’s not like the average viewer will know or care that the U.A.E’s teams are just prestige projects, after all.” Ishtar sighed, reaching around to scratch at her shoulders. “So I’ll need all the help I can get now that I think about it.”

“How much control do you actually have for yourself? Because, I mean, if you want to do well with this going on your own thing, there’s some things on the business side that a lot of new heroes miss… Finding an agent, or in your case, one that isn’t tied to someone else’s interests… Contracts, new and old endorsements, things like that,” Noelle replied, placing her other hand on Ishtar’s shoulders also and massaging them somewhat. “Obviously, I know a lot about that kind of thing, I’ve grown up behind the curtain so to speak in this type of business.”

“Only contract I ever signed was with my team.” Ishtar said, loosening up slightly and relaxing as Noelle’s hands massaged her shoulders, tension leaving her. “Everything was run through contracts with the team, I was forbidden under that from signing any myself. Likewise, no agent personally, I signed onto the team without one and that contract prevented me from getting one personally, instead the team provided me one so they could control that too.” She let out a long sigh. “Sole perk of running everything through the team is that contract’s almost expired as I’m aware, and when that goes I’m free. If you don’t mind looking over that at some point, though, just checking over it with me that’d be great.” Ishtar let out a small laugh. “Honestly, this show is my way out of that hell of a team.”

“I have some people that would be able to do a better job than I could - that’s one thing for you to learn. Never sign things without an agent. You’re… Well, you’re a superhero, and unless you’ve been through years of law school, you’re not going to know enough about this kind of thing to keep yourself from getting worked over by fine print and the like. It’s a wonder you’re even here in the first place and they didn’t have clauses excluding that, which you would’ve missed since you didn’t know what you were signing,” Noelle said. “And… I kind of figured that might be the case, but like I said, this is in the ballpark of me and my family.”

“They had to agree to any loans of myself to other hero teams while I’m on the contract.” Ishtar said. “I think it may have helped that I’ve met Sadat before with my previous team, which is why they allowed the loan near the end of the contract. I’m out here to get more exposure which lets them reap more prestige for their own hero squad when I come back, I think. Bit odd having a nobody of a local as team leader surrounded by semi-famous foreign heroes there for those sweet, sweet petrodollars.”

“Well, you have people around you like me to help you figure things out… Or well, some people. Not everyone around here is trustworthy with this kinda thing, there’s people that will act like they have your interests in mind and push their personal opinions on you instead, to your detriment, and there’s others that just don’t know what the fuck they’re doing… I mean, Antares was one of the most popular ones and it’s not like she knew what she was doing,” Noelle said, continuing to massage Ishtar’s shoulders. “However, you’re in luck that I decided to talk to you first. Because the thing is, I’m transparent, I’m willing to say who I am, what I want, and all that, and allow people to decide for themselves what they want to do. I don’t do fake acts, really… If I wanted to be fake, I would’ve pretended to be friends with Antares back in Phuket and rode her popularity instead of going on my own path.”

“Mhm.” Ishtar offered a vague mumble of agreement, leaning back. “I don’t entirely know what the deal with Antares is, since, well, the show is cut to the best parts I imagine, and then we get censored versions of those since… After the first episode the TV networks got several complaints regarding her, so they started chopping her screentime down to the minimum. But I do appreciate the help, even if, well, you’ll want something from me at some point, but I figure you’re a good, reasonable person, you’re not going to demand I pay you five million dollars in obscure cryptocurrencies, it’ll be something in proportion or just favours to be owed.” Ishtar let out a small laugh. “I’ll send you my contract to send to your legal people whenever I bother to set my laptop up here, if that’s fine.”

“As far as wanting something from you… I dunno. Like I said, I’m already bigger than you, I have more experience, it’s not like you’re a major player in team politics, for now anyway, but…” Noelle started, letting her voice trail off as she moved her hand back to underneath Ishtar’s chin, pushing it up slightly once again, not finishing her sentence and simply leaving things for Ishtar herself to figure out.

“I’m sure there’s some minor way that I can help, I may not be a major player in any sense of the word with little to offer but myself…” Ishtar shrugged, something between a smile and a smirk on her face. “But I’m sure one of us will come up with something at some point, somewhere, that’s a suitable means of repayment, if anything in the little I have to offer at this time is in any way acceptable.”

“I dunno,” shrugged Noelle. She paused for a moment, not breaking from this position where she was firmly the one in control. “Maybe I’ll just help you because you’re cute…” she said, only giving Ishtar a moment to process things before pressing their lips together, leaning down to do so.

Ishtar just froze in shock and confusion, her brain mentally crashing as Noelle kissed her, trying and failing to process the mess of physical sensations, emotions and thoughts racing through her head at the time. Noting the lack of a response from her partner, Noelle took control a bit more, driving Ishtar back slightly, not… Breaking away just yet. That wouldn’t come until she needed to breathe. Eventually, Ishtar’s brain, emotions and physical sensations caught up with each other, but even then trying to figure out what the hell to do was a marathon in and of itself. Eventually, after a few long seconds of more stunned, confused motionlessness, she gave the most hesitant of pushes back. She’d grown up somewhere where things like this would get one stoned, after all.

Noelle broke away finally, as if nothing had happened between the two of them, the expression on her face not changed from one of calm confidence. No, smug confidence almost, like she knew she had an advantage when it came to that, and she knew she had more experience. “Anyway. I’ll go make a call or two and see what I can do about having your contract looked at. I’ll send you a report,” she said nonchalantly, stepping away.

“Thanks.” Ishtar nodded, moving to sit back down on the ground and turning back to working on her armour, likewise pretending that absolutely nothing had just happened. “See you around, yes? I’ll probably be here for an hour or three if you want me for whatever.”

“I’m sure I will,” Noelle said, before pushing her way through the doorway casually, exiting without a second thought.

An awkward situation, for sure. And another one that Ishtar was likely in over her head with.
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:57 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

DATE // October 26th, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Ishtar Najjar, Noelle ‘Lux’ Ethier

Ishtar made her way through the mansion at a brisk pace, muttering and cursing under her breath as she headed towards the garage. It was a general rule that surprises almost tended to be of the bad variety in the business of being a hero or reality TV, so when you were in both, surprises were going to be even worse.

It only took her a minute to actually reach the garage, not quite kicking the door open as she stormed in, her armour assembled and complete given she’d finished the minor modifications and tweaks she’d given it after she’d arrived, moving to stand behind it and stepping in, one bodysuit-clad leg snugly fitting into the armour’s legs. It was tailor-made for herself, after all, given she’d made the thing. Arms slid into armoured gauntlets, moving fingers in well-practiced sequence as the armour came to life, drawing off the electricity produced by her own body as it closed around her like an armoured shell, HUD elements blinking into existence in front of her.

She turned, armoured boots stomping against the ground, moving at a slower pace back into the house to wherever they were meeting, green lights of the armour’s self-diagnostics appearing one by one as it completed its checks as she walked, face impassive and hiding the mix of nervousness and eager anticipation she was feeling inside.

She would quickly be met in the garage by some of her fellow heroes - particularly, they were sending Noelle and Sun on this one, and they arrived before the cameras started rolling, one of the production aides following after them and explaining the situation. “You know, ratings tend to be a lot higher when you guys get to deal with something sudden and surprising,” the aide stated. “Which is why we’ve decided to have another surprise mission today. Of course, there will still be enough time to figure out what you’re actually doing here. Ishtar, how long do you predict you’ll have before you can move out?”

The aide asked the question as Noelle just looked Ishtar over and winked at her. Couldn’t be missed by someone that knew to look for it, and it seemed that maybe she just liked messing with Ishtar like that, from the way she’d done it. She said nothing, but had decided regardless to… Put her teammate’s nerves on edge for whatever reason.

“Now, if necessary.” Ishtar said, her voice calm and composed even as she blushed under her armour’s transparent visor, her face thankfully concealed by various projected screens onto the surface for the time being. “It’ll run diagnostics on the way to look for minor issues, it’s started up so there’s no crippling flaws in the system.”

“You aren’t going to have any accidents with that, are you?” asked the aide. “It would look bad on the ratings if one of the newer team members happened to combust in the middle of the mission because of skipping diagnostics. That’s not going to happen, is it?”

“Only accidents I’ve ever had with this are if I use my power too much, in which case it shuts down as a safety measure, and that’s not happened since I finished it.” Ishtar shook her head, the HUD elements vanishing from around her head to give the others a clear view. “I gave everything a look over personally yesterday and earlier today, nothing out of place then, if there are any accidents it’ll be from battle damage.”

The aide nodded before continuing, Sun and Noelle taking their places in wait in briefing. “Right. Anyway, you might know that a biker gang known as Pain MC has been causing a lot of damage around Canada in recent months and that while they’re based in Montreal, they have some presence down here, too. Today, there’s going to be a big meeting between their Montreal and Toronto chapters, happening just outside of the city proper, in North Toronto. They have a few metahumans in their ranks, which might make them somewhat more challenging than the average group of thugs - a lot of them carry firearms, too. Today, though, you’ll be heading to that clubhouse, breaking up the meeting, and having the news crew show up in time to catch you arresting their top metahuman member that’s expected to be here, Yanick Favreau. He uh, has a somewhat dangerous ability - specifically, he can create and manipulate metal projectiles, which is why the local crew knows him as Bullet. But your team composition should be good enough to handle that without incident, the rest of the gang isn’t too much to worry about. Any questions?”

“How many regular grunts are we expecting? They may be fairly easy to handle, but sheer numbers has a quality all of it’s own and enough bodies might be enough to allow him to run away.” Ishtar asked, her voice slightly different from inside her armour. “Nothing else from me.”

“About twenty six people accounted for in the main biker gang, there will also probably be a number of non member associates, but these guys should be less tough and they should be easier to take out or scare off. Now, if you’re ready, you can exit the garage… Make sure to perfect your walks, people! You don’t want the cameras out there to catch you slouching!” the aide continued, slapping Ishtar on the armor to gesture for her to turn to the garage door which was about to open to get a cinematic shot of the team moving out together, all of them in their costumes or in the case of Ishtar, armor.

“Difficult to slouch in armour.” Ishtar said dryly, turning around slowly in a circle before marching out the garage door. She’d walked out in front of cameras plenty of times, this was one part of everything that she did know how to handle. Even if the armour helped an awful lot with that.

“Well, the clock’s ticking, time to get a move on,” the aide stated, the VTOL transport waiting for the team outside and Sun nad Noelle walking out along with Ishtar like it was nothing. Well, for them, it probably wasn’t. They had more experience and they had walked out under more pressure than this during their careers.

Wasn’t long before the doors of the VTOL were shut and they were ready to head across town to North Toronto to deal with the mission. How they’d do… Well, that remained to be seen. Wasn’t like this was a team composition they had used in the past.

The rear hatch opened shortly after the high-tech vehicle touched down in the middle of a city street, and a voice came over the earpieces that Noelle and Sun had on, and through Ishtar’s armor. The voice of one of their instructors specifically, Young-gi Kang. “Alright, now that you’re on the scene… Head to the street sign and take a left. Ahead of you, you should spot a decent sized gathering of bikers. The building that they’re outside is the one that you’re going to target. Interestingly enough, it’s pretty clearly marked. This biker gang is of the type to hide in plain sight rather than masking their activities,” Kang explained over the radio. “You have authorization to engage anyone that appears to be a hostile contact.”

“Roger.” Ishtar said over her armour’s radio, nodding slightly. “Do you two want me to take the lead, at least initially? I can take bullets far better than either of you I think, just in case one of them happens to get a lucky shot off but they’ll hear me coming, if they didn’t hear the VTOL that is.”

Noelle gave a slight shrug. “You’re the rookie and you’re talking about taking the lead?” she asked, starting to walk towards the corner but not turning to approach the bikers just yet. “Eh. Fuck it. Go ahead, I’m going to raid the building, you and Sun should be able to clean up the outside part pretty well. Associates will scatter, actual members aren’t particularly strong.”

“I meant lead as go in first, not… Lead this thing.” Ishtar sighed, also starting to move forwards, her armour whining slightly from the electrical motors that powered it. “But that sounds like a good plan, don’t want the guy running off and I know I’m the weak link of the three of us.”

When they approached the building after rounding the corner they would find that there were eight biker gang members hanging around the outside of it, but the gang members didn’t notice them coming in time to take the first shot - that honor would belong to the hero team, from the looks of things. Noelle didn’t waste time going on the attack immediately, she struck out with a burst of white laser fire which burned a couple of the people standing outside and caused them to drop to the ground - probably full gang members based on their jackets - while some others rushed out of the building to see just what was going on. “It’s fucking superheroes!” someone shouted out before running and ducking under a car for safety.

“Take your shot,” Noelle said to Ishtar, as a word of advice, Sun shifting into her powered form in the background as she started forwards, moving to flank the building from the side. “But whatever you do, don’t hesitate and wait for it. You’ll find that these fights move faster than you would think as a spectator.”

Ishtar simply nodded, otherwise not moving as electricity flicked out of her armour like a whip, lashing out towards the group that was emerging out of the building’s doors in a horizontal strike. She might not have been in many actual fights, but she’d had enough practice learning to control her power to know how to use it. She watched in silence as seven or so of the gang members went sprawling to the ground, convulsing as the electricity ran through their bodies, moving forwards, more electricity cracking over her armour with the occasional spark lashing between plates. A minor bit of flashy showmanship, and making her armour untouchable unless someone wanted to get shocked.

The group was able to move further forwards as Ishtar’s attack forced some of the gang members to take cover and avoid getting hit themselves, others falling in it and Noelle’s laser attacks - the second one from Noelle dropped five more people but it didn’t seem like most of them had been actual members of the gang. It wasn’t that hard so far, but there would likely be more challenge when they entered the building. “I’m going to head inside with Sun, you good out here?” Noelle questioned, as Sun reached one of the side doors and kicked the thing, her powered form letting her smash right through with no problem before pulling back and ripping the wood cleanly away, making a large hole in the door that she’d then rip open using her bare but power enhanced hands.

“Yes, I’m good.” Ishtar nodded, not raising any objections about being left outside. She was sure Noelle had a valid reason for it.

“Shout if you need help,” Noelle said, following Sun into the building and deciding that she wasn’t going to get all the glory for the high profile capture that there was a chance Sun would get by heading inside there and looking for the man they were looking for, the one who was known as Bullet.

Outside, the opposition, however, had kicked up. “Let’s see what you superhero fucks can do about this!” shouted someone, rushing out of the building and setting up a squad machine gun - maybe a Belgian made one, on the back of a car and using the vehicle for cover while taking rapid shots at Ishtar’s armor, seeing if the high caliber weapon would be enough to make more of a difference than the various small arms that could be found at the scene.

Ishtar just glared in silence, rounds smashing into her armour with irritating pinging sounds; she could feel the muffled force of the impact, but her armour was designed against anti-tank weaponry which was a level above a machine gun in terms of damage. She didn’t move, flicking out another line of electricity, not aimed at the gun or its operator but at the car the gun was resting on, trusting the electricity to behave and conduct itself through the car to the machine gun and its gunner.

The attack did seem to do some damage but it wasn’t enough to take the man out as the gang member moved the machine gun. “What the fuck!?” the gang members was shouting now - Ishtar’s capabilities weren’t entirely known after all at this point, she had only recently joined the team. As this became apparent, more people started to flee from the scene, with others running to look for heavier and more powerful weapons. Not that they had too many of those lying around, considering these people didn’t usually fight high powered and armored superheroes. On the inside of the building the sounds of battle didn’t stop as Noelle and Sun worked on clearing it, but it didn’t seem like they would be done just yet.

Another surprising attack came, and it seemed with a lack of heavy weapons in the immediate area, someone who was trying to flee the scene decided that it would be a good idea to put their foot on the gas and accelerate forwards towards Ishtar, attempting to ram the armor with a decent sized SUV to get it out of the way rather than flee in the opposite direction and get hit from behind potentially.
Ishtar turned around at the sound of the engine, slowed down by the cumbersome nature of her armour so that she was barely pointing towards it, the SUV slamming into her and knocking her backwards, orange warning lights flashing inside the armour as minor systems failed from the force of the impact, her HUD going dark, active defence systems going offline. She lashed out reflexively as she reoriented herself, pushing herself back up off the ground and sending a pair of streams of electricity lashing out from her towards the SUV as she recovered, vision blurry and unfocused.

It seemed that at the least, the SUV was stopped by the electricity and the force of the impact, the driver either unconscious or dead, it wasn’t possible to check those kinds of things right now. It wouldn’t be the only attack, though - seemingly encouraged by something finally working at least somewhat against the seemingly invincible superhero, more gunshots from M-16s, AR-15s, and other such weapons as well as some high caliber pistols headed in her direction.

“You’d think they’d have learned firearms don’t work…” Ishtar growled to herself as she turned, her armour dented and scratched from the impact of the SUV and the earlier gunfire that her armour had sustained as she turned around, placing the back of her armour towards the SUV as more shots impacted her armour, scraping paint off and scratching the armour plating. She attacked again, much like she had earlier, electricity arcing out from her in a pair of arcs in the vague direction of where the gunshots were coming from, sparking wildly and uncontrollably, letting the electricity behave as it would if it were lightning rather than the more tamed arcs she’d used earlier. It tended to find the easiest way to earth which would, hopefully, be people, and with the gunfire even if it wasn’t hurting her it made it far harder to aim properly.

About five more people were taken down at the point that a hole was smashed in the front wall of the building as Sun pursued someone that was looking to get out through the front door, a man that was wearing a jacket of leather and had a number of metal projectiles swirling around his body, Noelle giving chase but finding herself stopped when one of them managed to get through her hard light shield, forcing her to back up for a moment and take pause because of the minor but still noticeable injury. This would be the main man they were looking for, the one called Bullet, and it looked like he was retreating along with the rest of the top members that had been at this meeting the bikers having realized the odds weren’t going to shift in their favor and also realizing that thanks to the wailing sirens in the background, things could only get worse for them from here.

Well, it seemed maybe Sun and Noelle couldn’t handle it after all. Ishtar stepped forwards, armour making a slightly concerning grinding noise and moving slower than usual, as if something inside was straining as she moved forwards at a slow pace, focusing on her target or trying to through the maze of slight fractures across her armour’s helmet, breathing out and trying to relax as she toned down her power, lowering the power of her strikes to that of a taser rather than one that straddled the line between lethal and non-lethal before a single, needle-thin line of electricity shot out from her towards Bullet, aiming to stun him before he could escape. They were here to capture him, after all, not turn him into a charred corpse.

The attack did seem to stun Bullet but that didn’t happen before Bullet let loose an attack of his own, a number of sharpened metal shards being propelled towards Ishtar faster than normal bullets, not quite the speed of some weapons such as railguns but still fast enough to pose a significant danger if hit by the pieces of shredded metal, which were very sharp and pointed - and the attack was already underway by the time Bullet dropped to the ground and Noelle moved to chase.

Ishtar couldn’t dodge; her armour was simply too cumbersome to move with any degree of agility, so instead she did her best to turn so that the side of her armour was facing towards the incoming projectiles in the brief moment of time she had before they hit, grunting loudly in pain as one struck her in the thigh, breaking through a spot that had already been weakened by the impact of the SUV and other bullet impacts but remaining on her feet thanks to her armour.

Noelle was able to slam Bullet into the ground, however, using hard light to restrain the criminal until the police showed up - apparently, this man was wanted, so they couldn’t just kill him. The police wanted a trial and all that, and the capture would look good on camera, anyway. “The police will be here any moment,” the voice of Kang said over the radio system. “So I believe you all have perfect timing wrapping this up right now. What is everyone’s status?”

“Took a hit to the leg, hurts but I don’t think it’s too bad.” Ishtar said, wincing as she spoke. “Won’t be able to tell until I get the armour off though.” It hurt though, but, well, she’d never exactly been shot before. It wasn’t like she’d encountered anyone capable of breaching her armour before given the limited number of villains in the U.A.E.

“VTOL will be arriving for extraction soon. Consider this a mission success,” Kang continued. They had accomplished their objectives even if the enemy had been a bit more creative than they had been expecting initially. Now… They just had to wait to be taken back to base.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:52 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

DATE // October 28th, 2025
LOCATION // Calgary, Alberta
CAST // Ishtar Najjar & Fayza Ghazaway

Calgary was the latest location where Team Futures would find themselves - it was their second trip overall after the Thailand one, and it was their first one within Canada, where they were seeing their ratings rise consistently, and where the team itself was based. However, Alberta was a far way off from Toronto, a place that was far in both distance and the general kind of place that it was. Calgary was, of course, a city on the frontier, not exactly close to the east or the west coasts of Canada, but the city still followed the larger hero teams plenty, especially the ones on either coast - the Toronto Northmen, the Montreal Hunters, and now Team Futures, which was being embraced as part of Toronto just like the teams that were natively from there.

After all, it had brought a ton of attention to the city’s hero scene and event to the city in general as the reality show became popular in the United States and in other markets ranging from Europe to Brazil and beyond. They would have a mission in Calgary before heading back there to Toronto, and while the mission would happen later, the team had arrived at their hotel already early in the morning, and would have had a bit of time to get some rest before they were needed for some of the League’s media events and then finally for the task that they were sent here to do.

In other words, it was going to be a busy day for them up ahead. The main media thing that they had to handle before they could get to the mission was a public sparring session, of which everyone was supposed to show up for, with some of them being slated to actually participate. The staff had told everyone to get ready for the sparring, but the memo hadn’t gotten across to everyone and Fayza was the one that had been sent to find Ishtar - Fayza was presumably one of the main ones that would be involved in the sparring considering her skill with hand to hand combat and her frequent practice with it.

She found herself wandering the hallways of the hotel, hands in her pocket and hood pulled over her head as she looked for her teammate, having to stop a couple of times when someone recognized her and wanted a picture or something like that, but she hardly said anything - she wasn’t the talking type, not really. Continuing through the halls, she eventually reached one which she believed was Ishtar’s, and the door was open ever so slightly.

Not being the type of person to be too concerned with being polite, she stepped in without saying anything, although she was almost surprised enough to have a visible reaction to what she saw on the inside of the room - Ishtar and the director of the show getting a bit close, or rather, intimate. She didn’t move from where she was, although she did make a mental note of it. Seemed this was how Ishtar had managed to get here out of everyone else they could have selected, but finding out about that fact didn’t change anything about Fayza’s demeanor or the neutral expression on her face.

She had killed her instinct to react to things long ago - it was one of the ways she avoided showing weakness, weakness that others could sense and exploit, or target her because of. Even with the rules for surviving here being different than the rules for surviving in Cairo on the streets, some things didn’t change easily. Instead, she walked further into the room, not treating the activity in front of her like it was anything out of the ordinary.

“Svetlana and Kang want you to head out for sparring… They’re setting up in some public square right now, we’re going to run late,” she stated, standing directly in front of the bed - and Ishtar and Nash, by extension, the latter of which mostly seemed to ignore her presence.

“Don’t you know to knock before entering?” Ishtar sighed, rolling over and standing up, quickly glancing over herself and managing to avoid showing any reaction; this was just business for her, nothing more. She’d wanted to get out of her team back in Abu Dhabi, and this was the price. “I suppose I am running late, even if I’m most likely not sparring.” Ishtar continued, moving slowly towards the door and past Fayza as she fussed with her appearance briefly in the mirror, moving her hair around. “Just… Give me two minutes to dress myself?”

“You didn’t lock the door, dumbass,” Fayza replied in a neutral tone with a slight shrug, starting to take a step to leave but stopping herself, as their director also got dressed in the background. “Should I tell Svetlana that you need to finish something before you’ll show up?” she added, the same neutral tone, although her words were clearly poking at Ishtar regardless of how she said them, especially made clear by where she put the emphasis in the sentence.

“Not my room.” Ishtar shrugged as she dressed herself quickly, not putting anywhere near as much attention into her appearance as she normally would for something public. “And please don’t, although I suppose I’m ready now, even if it’s nowhere near what I’d be expected to appear like back home.” Just pulling clothes on and expecting to go on camera would never have happened back in the UAE, she’d have been shunted off to makeup artists, costume, hair stylists… Far too much preparation for small things for her liking.

“If this was a few years ago I’d extort you over this,” Fayza remarked, sounding somewhat dismissive of her teammate, as if she… Maybe expected a bit better from her, rolling her eyes to add to the remark. “Guess you’d better be glad the show pays decent enough,” she continued, stepping out of the room and starting down the hallway, waiting for Ishtar to follow after her - they’d have a ride waiting for them outside, and she didn’t intend to get yelled at by Svetlana herself for being late to showing up there.

“Then it’s a good thing for the both of us that isn’t a few years ago.” Ishtar said, a faint hint of irritation creeping into her voice as she moved to brush past Fayza. “Let’s go, we don’t want to be late even though I know I won’t be sparring.” She wasn’t someone who’d ever needed to learn to fight unarmed, between her power itself and her armour.

Before she could move, though, she would find Fayza’s hand around her neck and she’d find herself getting slammed against the wall of the hallway, Fayza switching to using a language they could both understand, Arabic. “Look… I earned my way here. I didn’t have shit before, I’ve never been the most marketable, my success is because of me. I didn’t seduce the directors - never been appealing enough to go that route even if I wanted to. So I don’t want to hear attitude from the likes of you, okay?” she said, her grip… Rock hard, even though enhanced strength wasn’t even part of her powers. It was simply something she had picked up through plenty of conventional training.

“You think I want to do this kind-of thing?” Ishtar shot back, also in Arabic, but seemingly unperturbed by her current position; getting up close to her wasn’t something that really intimidated her much. “I’m here as a replacement, and I am not going back home.” She shivered slightly at the thought. “You earned your way on, yes. Think of it like this; even with that-” Ishtar gave a vague gesture. “I didn’t even get on at the start. I think that’s enough of a signal of worth here between the pair of us, so I have to do everything I can to stay on. No matter how distasteful.”

“You’re taking something you don’t deserve,” said Fayza, strengthening her grip and lifting Ishtar up slightly, grabbing onto her collar with her other hand. “Maybe if you don’t want to go home… You should have put more time into training,” she growled, the hostility in her voice showing. “Everyone else earned their way here… Guess that was too much for you.

Ishtar stayed silent, just staring down Fayza for a few long moments. “And? I’m here and I’ll fight for my place here, tooth and nail if I must. Yes, I achieved it by… Cheating. But I’m here. If you don’t think I should be here then, well, I’ll prove why I should.”

“Or, I fucking tell everyone the truth and watch as you get the proper punishment for cutting the line,” Fayza said, unconvinced by the argument, leaning in and nearly touching heads with Ishtar. “What about that, huh? If you yourself admit that you don’t deserve shit here, why should I believe that you do? And I don’t want to hear your sob story… It’s not exactly sad or tragic to anyone that’s had to fight to survive… You do underhanded things because it wasn’t enough for you. I’ve done underhanded things because the only other option is starving.

“I do underhanded things because it is necessary.” Ishtar’s eyes hardened into a glare, her voice turning cold. “If I don’t, I go back home. I would rather die than go back home if I absolutely have to. I will not be paraded around like some fucking statue on a plinth where everything is controlled down to the last tiny thing, not again. As far as I am concerned, everything was fair game to get out of there, and it is to stay out of there. I don’t deserve shit, because I am going to earn it through whatever is necessary. No matter what. You’ve been in desperate situations, you said it yourself, I’m not directly comparing them-”

Fayza didn’t let Ishtar finish her sentence before she pulled her away from the wall and slammed her into the ground, hard enough to bruise at the very least. She cocked her fist back before slamming that into the face of the girl on the ground too, not caring about the cleaner at the end of the hallway that apparently witnessed the scene. “That’s all very much a you problem - if you didn’t act like a fucking child, you’d realize that even back home you had it better than the vast majority of people do… If you want to act like it’s a bad thing, go ahead. Won’t stop me from doing everything in my power to make sure it’s where you end up,” she stated, releasing Ishtar and taking a step forward. “I may not like being on this team the most but I’ll definitely stick around long enough to make sure someone like you is off of it.”

“Perhaps, but neither of us have experienced what the other has. I may have had it better back home than you did, but I wanted out for my own reasons.” Ishtar said, her tone having returned back to a more neutral tone, her mind still churning with thoughts. “I said I’ll earn my place here, prove that I do deserve it to myself and everyone else, even if I got on here by underhanded means. If you want to try and throw me off for not deserving it without even giving me a chance to try to prove myself, then so be it. I was just happy to be here and to be free for once in my life, I didn’t want to get in anyone’s way or have any great ambitions or whatever.”

“Should have proved yourself before stealing a spot that could’ve went to someone who’s already earned it,” said Fayza, delivering a sharp and powerful kick to Ishtar’s liver before turning and walking away, heading down the hallway in the direction of the original destination they had both been headed towards.

Ishtar said nothing as she stood back up, brief sparks of electricity flickering across her skin. She reached down into the pocket of her jeans, pulling out her phone and starting to type as she walked. She knew how this worked, so her old team’s managers would need to know, there was no reason not to have them pissed at her because she hadn’t given them advance warning of a potential leak of something concerning her and thus the whole of her old team. Would Fayza destroy what amounted to her fanbase back home? Maybe. Would it result in her old team cutting her off? Again, maybe. But part of why she was here was for a new start, for something she’d earn herself, even if she hadn’t earned her way here. But for now, she still had a ride to get, and then she’d deal with other problems as they appeared.
Last edited by Forest State on Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

for: the anime right
anti: people who step on snek

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Postby Durmatagno » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:29 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State, Durmatagno, & Lunas Legion

DATE // October 28th, 2025
LOCATION // Calgary, Alberta
CAST // Noelle ‘Lux’ Ethier, Yuli Rose, Sun ‘Primace’ Choe

After the events of earlier in the day, it was evening time in Calgary and the team was in the briefing room to hear about their mission for today. In this case, the one giving the briefing was Young-gi Kang, who had laid out a couple of images on the table - one showed a somewhat regular looking girl, and the other one showed what seemed like some kind of abandoned warehouse.

“This, team, is why you were brought to Calgary,” said Kang, gesturing to both images. “The picture of the building is the place where you’re going to be headed. It’s an abandoned factory that’s now being used as a squat by a number of people, perhaps de facto led by the person that you see in the picture here. If she doesn’t look like the usual homeless person, that’s because she isn’t - you’re looking at Anaelle Favre, also known as Dagger, a former Haitian-Canadian member of the Hero League who had cadet status… Similar to yourselves. Dagger is a mage - a highly specialized one whose main skill is the creation and control of knives. She also graduated from the Long Island Hero League Academy, but ended up leaving the organization under strange circumstances… Since then, she’s been designated as a villain and she’s been tracked to here. Your job today is to enter the factory and capture her.”

“However,” continued Kang. “This isn’t going to be entirely straightforward. There’s a number of other people living in this abandoned factory aside from just Dagger, and if you want to make the capture, you’ll have to either deal with them or avoid them - and if you deal with them, you aren’t authorized to use lethal force for this one. The factory is also said to be… Trapped by Dagger, as a way of protecting it from the authorities. We can’t give further details on this because we don’t have them. We can just say to watch out and stay on your toes. When you make the capture, you will hand Dagger over to a separate team from Case Black… Now, are there any questions?”

“It’ll be best if I remain at the back if the place is trapped. Although I can most likely take most of them-” Ishtar tapped her armour lightly with one gauntleted hand. “I’ll set them off left and right just by moving and anyone close to me might not be so lucky, and I’d much rather avoid that. The other option is I go on point and alone and set everything off in front of me while everyone else follows, but I may run into more than I can handle so I would much rather not do that.”

“I have a few figurines I can send to spot ahead of us, but anytime I’m looking through their eyes, my own eye is blind. It can be useful to look forward, but I can’t do it while we’re moving unless the figurine can see me or someone else guides me.”

Yuli added, their tactical options needed to be laid out before they decided on a plan of attack.

“Considering that we don’t know much of what’s in the building… That might be the best option. Staying back, that is,” said Kang, looking to Ishtar before turning to Yuli. “As far as scouting ahead… The viability of that might depend on the entrance point. Entering through the front door would be the most crowded option but would allow for a methodical search of the building… Entering through the skylight on the other hand, would potentially allow you to reach the target quicker while cutting through the most crowded parts of the building. Of course, drop off and exfil are a bit more complex that way.”

“Everyone else could move in via the skylight while I and maybe one or two others move in from the front.” Ishtar suggested. “Not sure if it is the best plan to split ourselves up, but we don’t want to let the target have an escape route.”

“Well, my figurines are small, as small as the creatures they represent. Sparrows, spiders, I think I have a dragonfly but I left that at home. They’re hard for most people to spot, and don’t have a glossy finish that easily identifies them as unnatural. I could even send it up to the skylight now just to get an idea of the immediate area.”

As Yuli spoke, she withdrew two specific figurines from their pouches. One of a common sparrow, the other of a larger black spider, but still a small, easy to miss figurine. She had the sparrow flap up to her shoulder to show it was even capable of flight while she was puppeting it.

“You could, although this place is on the outskirts of town, it would be a bit of a trip,” said Kang, nodding towards Yuli before turning back to Ishtar. “And that depends on whether or not you think you can hold your own in this one.”

“Would depend what is required of me.” Ishtar answered carefully. “I can most likely make sure she does not escape via the front entrance, and if the majority of the team moves in from the skylight towards me sweeping then I would not be required to do anything other than hold my position, which I should most likely be able to do. I would not be able to form one pincer of a pincer move alone, but an anvil to the hammer of the rest of the team is a role I should be able to fulfill alone or with a single other person.”

Yuli mulled the option over in her head, it was a fair distance. Still, having some information on the place before they actually went in would be a major boon. After a moment, she nodded.

“I’ll send my sparrow ahead now, and see what it can find out for us.”

Her eye glowed with runes as her eyesight transferred into the bird, and then took flight. It would head towards the building for the mission while the others were still talking and discussing.

“I suppose holding your position is something you can do,” Kang said towards Ishtar. “Although, being isolated, that doesn’t eliminate the risk presented - you are, after all, going up against someone highly dangerous that has a lethal ability and has evaded capture by the local authorities ever since coming to this city and setting up here in the first place.”

“Very well.” Ishtar nodded. “I don’t have to take her down, only buy time after all. If we are lucky, the rest of the team will encounter her within the building proper, I simply have to stop any escape attempts she makes.”

“With that… I believe we can head out. Sun, Yuli, Noelle, you’re headed in through the skylight. You’ll take a separate transport. Fayza, Ishtar… You’ll be outside. Understood? Once we hear back about what’s beyond the skylight, we can depart,” stated Kang.

“I’ll be there soon enough. The sparrow may not be as fast as our transport, but it’s still a fine puppet. If you want to load up before I get there, I’ll need someone to guide me.”

Yuli didn’t like this vulnerability of her power, but everything had its cost and this was one of them. She’d arrive soon enough to scout the area out and be able to relay information, then she could be centered once more in her own body. She could transfer more than sight, but for now it was all that was needed, though she did sometimes enjoy feeling the wind on ‘her’ wings, even if it was a strange approximation through a glass body.

“We can wait,” Kang stated, starting towards the door of the room. “Rest of the team… Fetch anything you need for the op and head to the helipad.”

Ishtar nodded silently, turning to head up to the helipad. She already had her armour on, but she was… Less than happy about having to be outside with Fayza, not after recent events. But she’d deal with it.

Fayza, on the other hand, wasn’t the happiest to have to deal with Ishtar either. “Fucking disgrace…” she muttered, standing up and becoming the first one to leave the room, slamming the door hard behind her.

Ishtar said nothing, just opening the door and reluctantly following after Fayza. She’d wanted to do this alone, after all, which would’ve been better than being stuck with Fayza for any length of time.

The team was being dropped off in two separate groups - the first of the groups to get dropped off was of course the one that was set to head in through a large skylight at the top of the abandoned factory, which would bring them to the highest floor and would allow them to skip past some of the busier sections of the building closer to the ground as they looked for their target. But the drop off for the skylight group was also considerably more complex than it was for the other two who were going on this mission, who would just land outside regularly… This, on the other hand, required fast roping and breaking the glass before descending into the building itself while the VTOL hovered above it.

The doors to the VTOL opened, the roping equipment already set up for everyone - Sun, Noelle, and Yuli, the three that had been chosen to head in this way. “You’re approaching the point where you’ll have to make the drop,” the voice of Svetlana said into the earpieces they had on. “Get yourselves ready… The VTOL isn’t going to loiter around any longer than it has to - not in a dangerous place like this.”

There wasn’t much activity at all around the skylight, Yuli had even watched it for the whole of the trip over. Loud an entrance though it was, it seemed safe enough for now. She looked first to Sun, then to Noelle, the runes finally fading from her eyes as she severed her connection to her puppet.

“Area around the skylight, best as I can tell, is still pretty quiet. No traps I can see, and not too many people either. Should be a relatively simple entrance. If you want to make it a bit quieter, I can remove the glass before we go in, could always use a little more ammo.”

“The point of a trap is that you aren’t going to see it before you walk into it. Still, the conditions might not get more favorable than this… Do as you will with the glass. Be ready to jump when the light turns green, whatever you do decide… That’ll be soon,” Svetlana continued, as they circled and moved into just the right position for the jump, the light still red.

Yuli nodded and the runes once more entered her eyes as the glass on the skylight receded, thickening around the edges before forming into several dense spheres. On the way down, she’d grab those for use as she saw fit. For now, they could sit on the roof.

“Alright, glass is clear and waiting. Now it’s just waiting.”

The light turned green and they would hear the voice in their earpieces again. “Radio is telling me that it’s time to go… Get a move on,” Svetlana stated, as Sun jumped out of the VTOL without hesitation, holding onto the rope as she started to descend - not trained in this specifically, but plenty athletic regardless… athletic enough to get down to the floor below with no problem, able to drop in quicker since Yuli had cleared the glass for them…

“On the top floor,” Sun reported in over the comms line. “But I’m not seeing anything just yet… I can hear movement… Coming from lower levels, though.”

Yuli followed after Sun, using her unfeeling left hand to hold the rope as she descended. The orbs of glass that were once the skylight flew to her side, taking position in an arch behind her back and head. She stumbled a little when she hit the ground. She was in good shape, but she wasn’t in amazing shape nor trained for this. Still, she recovered quickly enough, and with it moved to give Noelle space to join them.

The area around them was industrial but wasn’t quite grimey - it had clearly been cleaned up a bit by the people who lived here, perhaps hinting at their intents to live here long term and not to just stay here for a bit before moving on to some other squat. Supposedly, it was something of a little community here. Not just a collection of people but an actual group that had a leader and had resisted attempts by the authorities to get them out. Why someone leading a group like this was wanted by Case Black, an elite special operations force of the Hero League, however… That still remained to be seen.

Noelle was third in the order of heroes that dropped down, and she took a quick look around before moving to one of the walkways which led them over the open air, where they could look down at the some of the other floors from their position near the top - about half of this floor was just completely open and only covered by these catwalks, while the other half was somewhat organized and had a number of rooms, complete with doors. “Lot of movement down there,” Noelle muttered. “More people than we expected and they heard both of the VTOLs hanging around here. They’re going to know something is up…”

“Yeah, but at least they don’t yet know if they’re the target, though our actual target will likely know. Even once they figure that out, they still don’t know which way we might come in. We have some element of surprise here.”

Yuli mused as she shaped one of the orbs around her, creating a thin, nearly invisible barrier that could likely stop most pistol cartridges, at least of the common types. She had more glass if she wanted to reinforce it, both already worn and floating with her.

“How we wanna run this?”

“We need to find the target before there’s a shitstorm because we’re breaking in here, obviously…” started Sun, pausing as she moved over to the catwalk with Noelle, looking down at what was below. “But the details, well, that depends on what we run into and what you want to do.”

“Well, we can either try clearing the place top to bottom and hope out people outside can catch the target if she flees. I could also send my spider down, or ahead of us on our direct path. See if I can’t spot any traps before we get to them, or even find the target. I would prefer not to stray too far from my own body, I’d be vulnerable without my eye.”

Yuli rubbed her chin as she moved over to look down for herself, glass on the bottom of her feet parting to prevent any loud sounds.

“She is their leader correct? I doubt any will give her up easily, and will likely follow any orders she gives. We go to loud she can slip away in the chaos, we go to slow and she’ll have ample time to outmaneuver us. I...don’t know what to do here.”

“We can start with looking through these rooms around here,” said Sun, looking to the row of doorways and small rooms on the top floor. “I’d think the top floor would have something to do with the leadership. Or the closest thing you can get to it somewhere like this. I don’t think clearing the place from top to bottom is going to work… Too much in terms of opposition, it’d make a riot. These people aren’t happy about us being here,” she added, starting towards the row of doors.

She moved slowly and cautiously, keeping her eyes on the sky for traps from above, passing the start of the row without anything out of the ordinary happening. “This far is safe at least… You guys can start looking at what’s in these doors assuming they open.”

Yuli approached the first door cautiously, eyes open for traps. Once near the door, she withdrew a small amount of powder from one of her pouches. Stepping back and to the side, she let the powdered black glass float into the lock, testing it and working it till she was sure it was unlocked. Withdrawing the glass from the lock, she moved it up to wrap around the handle, forming a glossy black coating, before turning and opening the door. If there were any traps, they’d be directed at anyone opening the door, and she was off to the side. If there were none, her caution was unfounded.

There was indeed no trap inside, or at least there wasn’t a trap that would be directed at the person that opened the door. “Clear…” muttered Sun, moving to step inside with Yuli. They’d see a few different things. A diary, a couple of rifles leaned against the wall, and a number of knives. Knives everywhere, actually. “This looks like it might be Dagger’s work,” Sun said, picking up one of the knives and examining it, turning it over in her hand. “Hmmm… No initials or anything on it, but this doesn’t look like a regular knife per say…”

Other than that, though, the room was fairly average, a bed in one corner and a nightstand next to it where the book, which seemed to be a diary, was located. The entire place wasn’t that big, although the other end and other corner did have a workbench in it for whatever reason.

“Well...that was lucky.”

Yuli said as she stepped into the room and looked around. She could see the diary, but they would take time to read. Instead she moved to the workbench, still keeping an eye for any traps laid to discourage venturing into this private domain. Once by the workbench, she inspected it, seeing if she could get an idea of what it was used for, and how recently. She knew her own, and with no obvious signs of a forge, she doubted it was for anything using heat short of welder or blowtorch.

“Let’s see what we have over here.”

The bench mostly seemed to have been used with things such as engraving tools from what was lying around, another knife resting in the middle of it with such tools lying around it. “Looks like Dagger lives up to her name,” Noelle said, moving behind Yuli to check it out. “Only question is… If this is here room, where is Dagger?”

“Well, they heard us coming. Maybe she thought it safer to mix in with her followers instead of up here on her own.”

Yuli moved away from the desk and over the nightstand. Still cautious for traps as she moved, not wanting to get blindsided the moment she dropped her guard. She grabbed the diary, and tucked it into a pouch before resealing the glass sheathe around her. The diary might be of enough interest to warrant handing over. A thought occurred to her, retrieving the diary she repeated the trick with the powdered glass to unlock it, and flipped back the the last entry she could find. It may have a clue of where to find their target.

The last entry didn’t seem all that out of the ordinary - it talked about the number of available resources, about gathering things for this little community… But it also had something interesting. It seemed Dagger had been somewhat aware that she was being watched by Case Black. Had written about it even. And said that she felt they would close in at any time… So she had perhaps predicted this?

“Shit...Noelle, Sun, she knew we were coming. Maybe not us specifically, but the League and Case Black.”

Yuli held up the diary, her finger pointing to the part referencing Case Black. Something twisted in Yuli’s gut. She didn’t like this, they had no advantage of surprise, and she’d had time to prepare.

“I would be ready for armed opposition from her followers, just in case.”

They were interrupted soon enough by a voice coming from the doorway, standing in front of it and blocking their path, a number of knives hanging in the air but not launching towards them just yet. “What are you doing here…? You’re not even Case Black… You’re not even older than me…” said the person they were looking for… Anaelle ‘Dagger’ Favre, who by now had found them and was seemingly threatening them.

“Yep, told you.”

Yuli shook her head as she spun, dropping the diary. She could retrieve it later as needed. She glanced sideways, first to Sun, and then to Noelle. They were both more experienced, or at least, better trained than her. It was their lead in this fight. If there was to be a fight.

“Answer the question…” Anaelle said simply, looking between the group and waiting for a response from at least one of them.

“We’re here because that’s what we were sent here to do…” Noelle said with a growl, going to her own magic and forming a saber in her hand. But that didn’t change the fact that they were facing down a large number of knives right in front of them while they dealt with someone who could turn them into a lethal projectile at any moment.

Yuli’s eye darted between Anaelle and the knives around them. She had enough glass to cover them all if she had to, but she didn’t know how strong those attacks were. Still, one of the orbs moved to her hand, and formed into a single edged cutlass, held as easily in her left as her right hand. The rest of the orbs shifted to maintain their equidistance. Her concentration was on them, if Anaelle attacked, a shield would be formed as quickly as Yuli could react.

The young woman in front of them, though, just sighed, the knives dropping somewhat as she leaned in the doorway, muttering something under her breath. “I’m asking you again… What the fuck are you here for…?” she asked, looking the three of them over once again, her knives… No longer pointed at them.

Yuli sighed, she kept her guard up, but whatever this girl may be, she seemed kind enough. It could be an act, which is why Yuli kept her guard up, but that didn’t mean it didn’t irk Yuli. She shook her head, and looked at Anaelle, sighing, she responded. Her words weren’t even, they had a tinge of...regret maybe, whatever it was it was controlled, but not hidden.

“You already know.”

“You’re not even with Case Black,” Anaelle said, not moving from her position, staying in the doorway and keeping the knives hovering… But not exactly pointed at the group. “I’m not asking why the Hero League is here… I’m asking why you’re here. And not the people that have already been on the trail…”

Yuli didn’t know exactly what to say, they hadn’t exactly been told why they were the ones doing this. At least, not that she could remember. While she tried to figure it out, she worked on reinforcing the glass already surrounding her. She couldn’t move to protect Sun or Noelle without provoking a response, though Sun could take a hit and heal if she could power up. She didn’t know about Noelle, but they were the three assigned to breach, so it must have been for a reason.


Nope, still no clue what to say, it escaped her at the moment.

Noelle was the first one to move, thrusting her saber a bit forwards more in a gesture that was obviously threatening. But she didn’t make a move to attack just yet - rather, she shifted attention to the other members of her team. “If we’re going to make a decision on whether or not we want to attack, we’re going to have to do it now,” she said, her voice hard, reflecting the urgency of the situation.

“I’m not sure we’re in the best position to attack,” Sun fired back, her words rapid as she considered the options in front of them and more specifically, the knives that were still hanging in the air - not exactly directly in front of them at the moment but still in position to inflict harm if that was what the user of them wanted to do.

“We can’t just stand here all day.”

As Yuli spoke, one of the orbs behind her cracked, and split into several dozen shards of glass, sharp no matter what edge or point you found. These shards floated around her still, but now she had weapons at the ready for when the fighting started. It was a standoff, but it couldn’t last forever. Sooner or later one side would have to make a move.

“I don’t want to end up full of knives is the thing,” remarked Sun, backing up somewhat and looking at the enemy that was standing in the doorway, looking at them still but not moving her weapons. Actually, her arms were folded for whatever reason, like she didn’t even intend to make a move.

“I’m not even interested in fighting you… Let me be… And I won’t be filling anyone with knives,” Anaelle stated, offering a shrug, her voice calm - she sounded like someone that had already seen it all and therefore wasn’t panicked by the current spot she was in, surrounded by three heroes. “Go home… No shame in it.”

“I don’t think the show would be very happy if we did that,” Noelle said simply, not backing off just yet although she did join Sun in taking a couple steps backwards, looking to Yuli. “What do you think our odds are?” she asked in a lower voice. “Accounting for your powers protecting us…”

Depends on how deadly her knives are, but we were sent here for this, we don’t have a lot of options.

The glass shards moved, and so did an orb. The shards hovered above Noelle, and the other orb over Sun. Yuli was going to be on the defensive here, to keep the glass moving with them would take enough concentration she couldn’t easily launch attacks.

“I’m going to attack with a laser,” Noelle said in a low voice. “Cover me. Sun, you should be able to… Rush forward if it manages to stun her for a bit. I’m sure you can take her in your powered form. I don’t know what all this is about but we were still sent here to deal with her… So let’s do it.”

She broke away from the loose formation of heroes, sending a beam of light towards their enemy - or the person they thought to be the enemy, at least. Unfortunately, however, the attack would miss and just hit some of the knife as Anaelle leaned to the side, the blast going over her shoulder. At the same time, she brought the knives up in the air into striking position once again and extended her hand forward as Sun backed away from her charge, having shifted into her powered form after Noelle’s attack.

Five knives rocketed towards the group of heroes, and two of them found themselves on target - one of them headed for Noelle and the other one headed for Sun… However, Yuli’s glass would be able to block two of them, keeping them from hitting their targets and doing damage - and if they had hit, the damage would likely be bad. The knives were moving quite fast, after all. Their attacker, though, didn’t seem too intent on continuing things.

“So after seeing that…” Anaelle asked, not attacking once again even as her opponents retained their combat stances. “Do you still want smoke? I just want to be left alone…”

With the knives intercepted, Yuli wrapped her glass more fully around Noelle and Sun, it’d take most of her concentration for all three of them to be able to move. Not all, most, but it was still enough that she wasn’t going to be dishing out much if any damage. Rest of her concentration went to hardening the glass around her allies, the harder the knives had to work to penetrate the glass, the less they’d do if they got through. She didn’t have the concentration to spare for words, she needed to save that for dodging and attacking.

Anaelle paused as she considered attacking again before deciding against it - she turned, and the horde of knives turned with her, in turn. And she started out of the room, stepping back into the hallway where they had come from when they found this room in the first place. “I don’t feel like this…” was the only thing that she said, at which point Sun looked to the others.

“We chasing her or…?” Sun asked, looking to Noelle for a response.

But Noelle just stopped in her tracks, probably to consider things. “I’m unsure of if we can handle her in close quarters, for one…”

“And I’m not a lot of help on the offense if I’m shielding the two of you, it’s easier to puppet than to keep the glass reactive to your movements.”

With Anaelle no longer actively threatening them, Yuli could spare time to talk, though the beads of sweat on her forehead were a testament to the strain this much glass puts on her. She could maintain it for awhile yet, there was a reason her workout routine focused on endurance training.

“We need more room to maneuver, but we also can’t let her just get away. Not without a lot of people being very unhappy with us.”

“Fuck it…” Sun said, starting to depart the room. “Let’s see where the hell she’s even going…”

With that, she started out of the room and ran after their target, who by now was moving down the stairs to get to the level below them and was apparently trying to get out of the building entirely - but the stairwell wasn’t hard to aim at from the catwalks, if they decided to go that route, and it also wouldn’t be impossible to pursue on foot. “She’s on the stairwell!” Sun shouted back to the others. “Yuli, maybe you could… Send some glass that direction…”

“On it!”

Yuli gritted her teeth, and one of the other orbs cracked, forming into dozens of smaller orbs. They wanted the target alive after all, her face grew pale as she rounded the corner, and then sat the swarm flying. Looks like her next exercise were going to have to focusing on control, she needed to be able to do more than this in tougher fights. That was for the future though, for now, she had to focus on maintaining everyone’s armor, and the attack. While she was attacking, she could let her own armor freeze, still strong and surrounding her, but she needed the concentration she spent on moving it for the attack.

Knives flew once again - not in an offensive pattern but in a defensive one, the knives moving to hit the orbs before they could hit the target. Most of the orbs were taken out this way, but three of them managed to slip through the gaps so to speak and drew blood when they hit the target, although it didn’t seem to entirely discourage that target either as she kept going down the stairs. But she would reply with an attack of her own directed at the one that had sent the orbs at her in the first place, three knives flying with accuracy towards her enemy.

Yuli was a sitting duck when the knives came her way. By the time she was able to move again, all she could do was use her arms to try and prevent any knife that got through from hitting her chest. The first two deflected, sent careening off course by the smooth, curved surface of the glass. The third though, it penetrated. Not deeply, but the glass cracked, and embedded into the muscle of her upper left arm, where it was still flesh and bone. It hurt, but it was far from the worst pain she’d ever felt. Reaching up, she pulled the knife free and tossed it behind her, sealing cracks in the glass as she made sure to put pressure on the wound.

“Someone cut her off!”

Sun couldn’t do much from this far out and Noelle took off running, relying on her long ranged magic in this case and letting loose a barrage of lasers, the area around them lit up as the shadows were illuminated by the blasts - they mostly merged into two large blasts which went right on target - but they were blocked for the most part by knives, the metal swarm once again serving as an effective countermeasure.

“Fuck it… I don’t know what to do…” Noelle said after the miss, before she and Sun started to pursue, waiting for Yuli to get up behind them.

Yuli moved forward, having a different plan in mind. Most of her small orbs from her lass attack had been shattered, powdered, or cracked. That made them perfect for her next move. The powder snaked around Anaelle’s legs, before hardening. Trying to tie her down, or trip her, stopping her outright would be preferable.

The move would seemingly work out, stopping Anaelle where she was, and making it somewhat easier to approach her - although it didn’t remove one specific threat and that was the threat of the knives which were hanging just behind her, all of them directed at the heroes, and a large number of them being present at the moment.

“Take your shot now if you have one, I need some time.”

One of the other orbs was cracking, turning into powder behind her, but it was slow. With the number of knives still on the field, she couldn’t drop the armor. She needed time to get the powder to where she could encase Anaelle entirely. She probably should have opened with this, but she was distracted.

As expected, Anaelle’s knives rocketed forwards once again, some of them missing the mark and hitting the wooden stairwell and others hitting armor and not penetrating it - but it seemed like two particularly fast and sharp ones managed to hit Noelle, throwing her back as they caught her in the abdomen, dropping her from the fight entirely most likely. Anaelle, meanwhile, remained calm and turned the rest of the knives towards the other two members of the team.

“That didn’t have to happen,” she stated. “I’m telling you… Go.”

Yuli was already moving before she spoke, the rest of the powdered glass surging forward, flowing towards its target. With her already immobilized, at least a little, it should have little trouble engulfing her, and once it had, she’d be left encased in glass and darkness. Yuli could drop the reactivity on Noelle, though she did make sure the knives stuck in her wouldn’t be moving. She knew better than to pull those free, that was for a medic or healer to take care of. Now she had more energy to spend on the offense.

“Sun, she’s still breathing, I can feel it. Armor did its job.”

As the powdered glass moved towards the target, Anaelle perhaps sensed that things were getting more desperate and responded by launching the rest of the knives she had, hoping to deter her enemies from making a further advance it seemed - they were thrown without accuracy but there were still six of them on path to hit their targets without being deflected, and… Before Sun could do anything, she dropped to the ground also, having taken five of the knifes - impressive considering their speed, even though she was in her powered form that was more durable.

It was now simply Yuli and Anaelle left, at least when it came to participants of the fight itself - besides her, Sun and Noelle laid unconscious. “I suppose I might as well say again,” Anaelle stated. “That you might want to reconsider.”

Yuli used the glass to activate her comm.

“Sun and Noelle are down, possibility target will escape me. Be ready at all exits.”

Yuli growled the worlds, cold eye fixed on Anaelle. Her hand clenched, and hardened the powder flowing around Anaelle, and turning it black. If she didn’t make it out of the wave, she wouldn’t be able to see, hear, or move. At the same time, with Sun also down, Yuli was freed to manipulate even more. The last two orbs floated in front of her, and formed into a shield, covering herself as she advanced.

It seemed that the mage in front of Yuli, however, had more than just one trick up her sleeve - the move to completely subdue the enemy wouldn’t work, as she still had access to her magic… And somehow, with that magic, she was able to bring the stairwell down entirely, reaching out with her ability and causing it to crash down on all of them, bringing them to the floor below but shaking up the opposition - just Yuli, really - long enough to break out of the glass entombment and to start moving… And she seemed to be in good enough condition to go for other tricks still, and they had landed on a more populated floor, which didn’t seem like a great spot for the heroes. Or the one that was awake, anyway.

Yuli growled again, eyes locked on Anaelle. The powder reformed, and washed over Anaelle again, swirling this time, hoping to daze her somewhat. Sun and Noelle would need medical attention soon, the longer she spent here, the worse it got.

“She’s brought us down to a more populated floor. We’re...I’m going to need some backup if you have anyone.”

As soon as she could, she started hardening the glass around Anaelle again, and was moving. If she couldn’t see Yuli, it’d be much harder to hit her.

The glass would be able to contain the mage for now but Yuli hadn’t accounted for the support which the enemy had in this place - and they had landed on a floor which was populated. It seemed the people of this building were already in something of a panic, and this was all it took for them to go straight to fighting. There were three assailants… One of them holding a crowbar, one of them holding an SMG, and another one holding a small kitchen knife. Either way, though, they had numbers on Yuli and seemed intent on protecting their leader as they approached, the man with the SMG firing one burst but missing just about immediately.

“I’ll say this only once, without me, she stops breathing. If I’m dead or unconscious, she’ll be getting no more air. If you want her to survive, back off.”

Yuli still had her shield, and her armor. As well as a glass cutlass, if need be she could hold Anaelle and fight these three, but she would rather avoid any deaths if she could help. Next she lowered her voice to speak into her comms.

“I have Anaelle contained for now, but I have other hostiles closing.”

“Case Black will be moving in soon,” a voice said back in her earpiece - Svetlana’s voie in specific. “Hold tight at your current location…”

Holding tight, though, was one of those things that was simply easier said than done. “And what are you going to do with her if she’s alive, eh?” asked one of the combatants - they didn’t move any closer or raise their weapons yet but they didn’t get any further away either. It was effectively a true standoff.

“That depends on you.”

Yuli kept her eye on the three of them, if she was to fight them, she’d put the two with crude weapons between her and the SMG. Her armor could take one or two good bursts from that thing before it got through, if she didn’t have time to heal it. She just had to buy time now.

“I’m not in a good mood, I tell you again, to back off.”

Yuli raised her left arm, which held the cutlass. It was a much deadlier weapon than the crude ones around her, except for the SMG, but she could get close to them before they got through her armor.

“You know what her knives can do, believe me when I say this sword is harder than steel but still holds that razor edge of glass.”

“You could just be calling your bluff about letting her breathe,” one of the others remarked, the group backing off a few steps but keeping their weapons trained on Yuli. “And what’s to say that you aren’t going to just shoot her anyway once we back off?”

“If I wanted to shoot her, I would have shot her already.”

Yuli reached out to the one asset she still had left, the sparrow on the edge of the skylight. If moved silently above their heads, positioning itself to dive bomb into the gunners head the moment he made an aggressive move.

“Besides, I’m the proof you need about breathing.”

Her right hand, her free hand, rapped it’s knuckles against the clear glass covering her face, yet she was still breathing, still talking. It was a trick that had taken her awhile to get the hang of, but an invaluable one.

It was only seconds later that the room seemingly… Exploded. That was one way to put it. Gunfire erupted from figures that had just made themselves known, and splinters were sent everywhere as the largely wooden building was hit by a number of bullets - the figures in question, they were clad in black, masks and balaclavas covering their faces, a couple of them wearing high tech tactical helmets. Whatever the case was, all of them were threatening, and all of them seemed armed to the teeth with weapons that most wouldn’t have seen before.

The Hero League’s elite team, Case Black, it seemed. A team few people knew about more than just knowing they existed, and a team that looked more like special forces operators than heroes.

Guns whirred and spat steel rain towards the enemy and it wasn’t long before all of the hostile figures in the room, with the exception of Anaelle, who they wanted alive, were dead… But the Case Black operators didn’t exactly lower their weapons there. They continued forwards, one of them leveling a high powered battle SMG directly at Yuli, looking through an electronic sight and taking aim before pulling the trigger without hesitation, releasing a burst of bullets in the direction of the hero.

Yuli wasn’t expecting to be shot at herself, she let out a sigh of relief as the hostiles dropped in front of her. She lowered her weapon, only for the Case Black operators to shoot her themselves. Her armor stopped it, and she looked down at the cracks, sealing them back up, before looking back up at the operator.

“What the fuck?!”

The Case Black operator kept the gun raised, and had it trained on Yuli once again, the sight glowing in the dark with a slight eerie green color, and at the same time that the operator considered taking as second shot, there was chatter from the others… It couldn’t all be heard, and it was being conducted via radio, it seemed, from the sounds of the voices.

Eventually, though, after a few moments had passed, some other order came over the radio and the operators turned, moving to apprehend Anaelle fully while completely ignoring Sun, Yuli, and Noelle.

Yuli rolled her eyes, and turned, looking up at the landing above her. Closing her eyes, she steadied her shaking limbs, and dragged her body up with the glass surrounding her, setting back down on the level that held Sun and Noelle’s unconscious forms.

“Should I bring them up out of the skylight, or down through one of the doors?”

She questioned over the radio, with the glass around them it’d be simple for her to move them, but there needed to be someone on hand to treat them. Lubi could do it, but it’d be painful, so she was a backup.

“Point of exfil is the front door,” Svetlana informed over the radio channel… It seemed the area had been cleared enough when Case Black had entered the building, and that there wouldn’t be much in the way of opposition - most people who hadn’t gotten caught up in the bullets had gotten out because they had ran elsewhere, after all.

Yuli sighed, and pulled Sun and Noelle with her as she dropped back down, making her way to the front door. Once she was outside, she dropped the glass around herself, arm still bleeding. She was pale and shaky, she needed to work on her control now, her endurance training would only go so far on it’s own.

The scene in the front of the building was also one of destruction, plenty of the structure damaged from the hard entrance, but the VTOL would be waiting outside with the rear hatch opened for Yuli as soon as she made it out and onto the street, where a number of armored vehicles waited outside as well as Ishtar and Fayza.

Yuli pulled Sun and Noelle over to the VTOL, getting them up and inside before she climbed in herself. Once making sure they were secure, she leaned heavily into a wall, breathing ragged. She’d pushed it a bit too far by attacking while keeping everyone shielded. Still, she’d gone further than this before, though it had cost her dearly.

With that, the doors to the vehicle closed and it quickly took off, the back of it completely silent as it headed back to base where the injured members of the team would be able to get a more proper treatment than what they would be able to get on the spot in the field… However, while they had gotten out of this one alive… There would maybe, just maybe, be some questions to be had once they were to safety.

For now, it wasn’t the time to worry about that. They had completed the objective, albeit at a cost.
When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough. - Maurice Maeterlinck

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love. - Washington Irving

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love. This is how the whole scheme of things works. All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get. - Confucius

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Forest State
Posts: 4359
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:22 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State, & Durmatagno

DATE // October 31st, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Yuli Rose & Sun ‘Primace’ Choe

Yuli stood in front of the mirror in her room, looking at herself carefully. She shook her head and adjusted her clothes a little, then she nodded. Next she put on the thicker clothes she’d need outside. It was Canada in late autumn after all. She checked and rechecked her clothes, making sure everything was perfect. If all went well tonight, well...maybe Sun wouldn’t be as frustrated with her at the very least. She grabbed her riding jacket, and put it on, before grabbing a brush and fixing her hair. She didn’t spend to much time on this as her helmet would mess it up anyway, but she was nervous and needed a chance to calm her nerves. She sat down on her bed and looked at the clock. It wasn’t time yet, that meant it was still a waiting game. Anxious, uncomfortable waiting, but she wasn’t going to let herself chicken out. No, she was done with letting fear rule her life.

She’d get a phone call from Sun, however, before the clock said it was time - strange, since Sun hadn’t really been the most social or talkative recently but then again… It was her birthday, and there was a decent chance whatever Sun was calling about right now was related to that fact.

“Sun? Hello?”

Yuli picked the phone up, slightly confused about why Sun was calling her when they were supposed to be meeting in the garage not to terribly long from now. It was odd, she had a cold feeling in her stomach. She was worried Sun was going to cancel on her.

“Come down to the garage…” Sun said calmly into the phone, her own voice not readable yet. “Something I want to give you, actually. Not going to say what it is yet, just… Come take a look for yourself, alright?”

“I...alright, I’ll be down in a minute. See you in a sec.”

Yuli hung up, no less confused, but the cold feeling now gone. Grabbing her keys, and helmet, she headed out. Locking her door behind her as her little green guardian marched out of the closet to sit on the bed, his place when she wasn’t in the room. She shook her head, and made her way down to the garage, looking around for Sun.

She would find Sun standing near the middle of the garage near a bike, but it wasn’t any bike that had been there in the past, it was a different one with a quite visible color scheme that seemed to match that of Yuli’s outfit as a hero, and the bike itself was a different class than most - it seemed to be a legitimate racing bike, just the street legal version, but still… Quite the powerful machine, the kind of thing that would cost tens of thousands of dollars to buy. It seemed, though, that Sun hadn’t spared any expense when getting this.

“Well, happy birthday I guess,” she said casually, pointing to the bike. “You like it? I was wondering what to get… But ever since you took me riding that time, I realized that the answer was obvious.”

Yuli’s stared at the bike in disbelief, mouth opening and shutting in disbelief. She had a fairly good idea how much that bike cost, and the kind of hassle it was to get this kind of thing was nothing short of impressive. She shut her mouth, and looked at Sun, a huge smile on her face. She knew there were cameras around, so she fought the urge to kiss Sun here and now. Instead she held out her second helmet, and stepped in close enough to whisper.

If it wasn’t for the cameras, I’d kiss you right here and now. I suppose we’ll just have to take it on its maiden ride and see what it can do. Brought you a helmet, you’re gonna want to keep it on..”

“And then I won’t get to feel the air in my face, will I?” said Sun with a brief chuckle, glancing away ever so slightly when Yuli said that she would have kissed her, perhaps a little bit flustered for once. Which didn’t happen a lot for her. “But hey, I’m down.”

“Well, it’s too cold for that, come spring you’ll be able to keep the visor up at least. Keys please?”

Yuli noticed her brief glance, and her heart pounded. She couldn’t give away the game in front of the cameras though, she didn’t want to ruin this. So she acted innocent, and just held out her hand after asking for the keys. While she waited, she put on her own helmet and strapped it into place, lowering the visor so it covered her face entirely.

Sun also put on her helmet, hurrying up with it which was again slightly uncharacteristic for her - she usually seemed calm and in control after all, before following after Yuli and climbing onto the back of the bike. “Where to?” she asked, her arms going around Yuli to hold on.


Yuli started as she pulled out of the garage and away from the mansion. Away from the cameras, and prying eyes.

“We’ll be a little early if we get there now, so how about a short ride before we get the real fun started and see what this girl can do?”

She smiled as she spoke, not yet ready to play the surprise still hidden up her sleeve. They needed the full visors so that they wouldn’t spook the people at the race. Plus people would talk if they saw them riding together like this. Unlike last time though, while Yuli was still afraid, she embraced the closeness of Sun’s arms. Not shying away just because she was a little anxious.

“After the race there’s somewhere I want to take you, took me awhile to find it, but I think you’ll like it.”

“Oh, you mean like a date?” Sun teased - pretty usual for her, she tended to tease in situations like this, perhaps deflecting from her own feelings with words that could be taken as simply a joke, even if she herself probably was wondering if it was a date.

“...not a public one, but...yes.”

It took Yuli a couple of minutes to answer as she wound through the late night streets. She was afraid of what Sun might say, but Sun deserved to know what she was getting into if she went along with this plan, so Yuli told her. Not exactly what she had planned, but enough that Sun could make a decision on it. Her smile faded as she waited for the answer, anxious as to what Sun would say. She hoped...and expected a yes, but that didn’t mean it would happen.

“Mmm,” Sun said simply, not giving her the answer she was looking for either way. And it wasn’t like Yuli could read her face on the matter either, not with Sun behind her and wearing a visor which covered her entire face.

Yuli’s heart sank at that, but Sun hadn’t asked to get off or go home so...there was hope. After a little bit more driving around, she turned them to start heading to the starting line for the race. It’d take a little while to get there, as it started outside the city and moved in to finish within the city. She could feel the weight of the money for the entrance fee in her pocket, but it seemed trivial compared to her worry about Sun. Once they got there, she pulled the bike into a position, and got off, trusting Sun to keep it safe while she paid to join the race. She wasn’t betting this time, she was to rusty at racing to risk betting on anyone, but she wanted to do this either way. Once she got back to Sun, she crossed her arms to protect against the cold.

“Right...we’re all set, once it’s time we’ll be in the race.”

There were sixteen other racers there already, all in different vehicles including a couple other bikes. Some of them looked tricked out and ready for the race, others looked like this was their first time racing and didn’t have a decent vehicle to enter with.

“We’re racing against cars?” Sun asked, raising an eyebrow underneath the visor. Didn’t seem like they had the best odds to her, but then again… She couldn’t comment much because she had never seen Yuli racing before, to know what her skill was. She hadn’t even known that Yuli did this kind of thing in general until a short while ago, nor would she have really expected it.

“Anyone is welcome in this race so long as they pay the fee. How many show up changes the prizes, and then there’s always betting, which is where the real money is. Hell, most races don’t even have an entrance fee, they’re all about the bets and prestige. Don’t worry about the cars to much. On the straight away here they’ll have the advantage, but the route through the city is twisty, we’ll be able to take sharper turns than any but the cars that are built for handling over speed. Most of the time I just race other bikes, but I couldn’t find any nearby bike races in a decent time frame, cars are more popular because they’re easier to trick out.”

Yuli explained as she leaned against the bike, face turned to the sky. She knew well how to balance her weight against bikes to keep them from falling over, even with Sun still on there. She had to keep her mind on the race, they were dangerous if you weren’t careful, she could worry about Sun’s nonanswer later. She smiled and turned her head to look at Sun.

“I missed these races, been awhile since I’ve done one.”

“Didn’t take this to be your kind of thing in the first place,” Sun said with a hint of amusement in her voice, and perhaps some curiosity about the fact she hadn’t shown this side of herself sooner.

“Used to be, I used to race every week if I could help it. Things changed, and not for the better. Now I’m trying to change them again, and this is just one of a few different steps I’ve taken to do that.”

Yuli closed her eyes under the visor, quietly tracking the time till the race would start. Once they were underway they wouldn’t be able to talk easily, but she knew Sun could keep her grip. Yuli shook her head, she couldn’t psyche herself out before the race.

“More than just this, I ran in a gang bag in Chicago, called ourselves ‘Sikago Manyeo’, and all fifteen of us were mages to some degree or another. Still talk to them, they helped me find out about this little race.”

A few more racers had shown up now, and with it getting so close to time to start, Yuli doubted there’d be anymore. Climbing onto the bike she readied herself as she mentioned her friends back in Chicago, providing some context on them for the first time. There were now twenty four racers counting them, and almost half of them were bikes. Yuli didn’t know what her odds were like, but at least there was a healthy bike racing population, meant she could rae more often.

“I’ve had my brushes with the triads in Korea…” Sun admitted while they were on the subject of talking about their pasts. “Knew some rejects from the whole hero thing that ended up there, too. Thought I was pretty good at spotting people that know about that life but somehow I didn’t really think that was your thing,” she said before pausing for a moment. “Not complaining.”

“You...haven’t got to see a lot of the real me, been hiding inside myself for awhile. To long, it’s time for me to stop. And I have you to thank for making me realize that.”

The road in front of them was getting cleared of the milling people. It was about time to start. Yuli smiled and turned her bike back on, all the other racers also brought their vehicles to life in quick order. She reached down and grabbed Sun’s hand gently.

“Hold tight now, I gotta make some tight corners sometimes.”

She let go, and looked at her competition, a smile on her face.

“Don’t you lose this thing… Let me be your good luck,” Sun said with a soft smile on her face as they prepared for the start, gripping Yuli a little bit tighter - not enough to be too obvious, but Yuli herself would probably notice it at the least. And it had been a conscious choice from Sun’s end of things.

“I’ll do my best.”

She smiled, and was about to say something else when the signal to go was given. Her bike roared to life, and she pulled out closer to the edge of the road, giving the more aggressive cars the room needed to fight it out with each other and pull ahead. Once they were clear, she revved the bike up, testing it’s max speed, and laughed gleefully as it pulled quickly ahead of most of the slower pack, only two bikes and another car keeping up with her. The race itself wouldn’t take to long, about twenty minutes from start to finish, and the real thrill was going to be in the city. While they had the comfortable time, she raised her voice to be heard.

“I am a little rusty, but even at my worst I always finished in the top half. I’m hoping at least top five here, but I’m shooting for first.”

“This thing is a street legal MotoGP bike, I’m sure you can manage it,” said Sun, chuckling to herself as she held on and they continued down the roads. “I didn’t hold back when getting it.”

“Yeah, but a lot of their cars and shit aren’t going to be street legal, still, this thing handles like a dream. This is probably the best gift I’ve ever gotten, I’ll have to thank you properly at some point.”

Yuli settled down at the current pace as she could see the city getting closer. The lead cars would be entering soon, and she would be maybe a minute behind them. Not a good gap, but those lead cars had wasted a lot of their extra shit on this first leg. They’d fall behind the more balanced cars, and hopefully Yuli as they had to start easing up and dealing with the twisting path.

“Don’t have to go out your way to thank me for something that wasn’t that hard for me… Not like I spend too much of the money I get from the show and the corporation on myself, you know. I wasn’t exactly struggling to get this for you,” Sun shrugged slightly, speaking honestly.

“It’s still the nicest thing I’ve ever gotten, gotta say thank you somehow.”

Yuli said as she eased up on the accelerator as they entered the city. There’d be a bunch of sudden turns in here, she was glad Sun was holding on tightly. She made the first corner a little wider than she wanted, but like she’d said, she was rusty. As they went round more corners, she started passing the cars that’d burnt out in the first half, and was pulling closer to the front, though other bikes were competing with her now.

“I have some ideas on how, but they’ll have to wait.”

“I’m serious, though… I don’t deserve anything special, just consider us even since I know I’ve been getting on your nerves lately,” Sun said with another shrug, otherwise watching the corners going by and watching as the race continued, settling into things and feeling somewhat relaxed out here despite the speed.

“Yeah, but I’ve not exactly been easy on you either y’know. Just lemme find one good way of saying thank you and we can call it even if you’re that insistent.”

Yuli was interrupted multiple times while talking as she had to dodge parked cars, slower racers, or just take tight corners. She was moving up in the rankings steadily, and was now in sixth, closing to take fifth from the car in front of her. One bike had pulled ahead of her, it’s ride knowing the streets better had been able to take better turns than Yuli.

“Well, I guess if you’re that insistent, it’s not the worst deal in the world,” Sun said, conceding slightly, and watching the battle for position.

“I’d feel bad if I didn’t, after all, you did watch over me while I was still out from the last mission.”

She had to shut up now, they were getting down to the wire, and she had pulled further up into fourth. The bike in front of her was starting to lag, though she couldn’t tell why, till as she started to pass him he kicked at her, trying to knock her off. She easily avoided it, and didn’t respond, there were assholes in any race. She pulled gladly ahead into third, and rounded the corner to the finish, where first and second had already stopped. She sighed, she couldn’t get first, or even second, but at least she kept third from that prick. Crossing the line, she came to a halt and looked back, and laughed as she saw the guy was now in seventh, he’d knocked himself off balance kicking at her.

“Won’t even get his money back now, would walked off with some profit if he’d just focused on the race.”

She shook her head, and got off her bike to collect her small bonus for finishing third. Once she got back, she hopped on the bike and pulled them away, but only a couple blocks before she stopped on a quiet street. Getting back off she turned, and lifted up her visor, blush hidden by the darkness, and then lifted Sun’s. She clenched her right hand hard enough to hurt, before going for the kiss now that it was them and only them, her right hand now grabbing Sun’s shirt by the collar to pull her in.

Sun allowed the move to happen, letting herself get pulled by Yuli until she bumped into her, and she met Yuli’s lips with her own for once, for the first time since they had met… She couldn’t deny there had been plenty of tension leading up to this, and now, she felt that it was being released for the first time… She put more force into it as she settled into it, pushing back against Yuli, her own body tensing up as she felt a rush of different things, of different feelings of which some conflicted with others, gripping Yuli’s jacket until the moment that she pulled away.

“You were waiting to do that for a while, weren’t you?” she asked casually once she had pulled away.

Yuli panted for a minute as she let her heart settle down, her cheeks flushed red now. She nodded while she still struggled for words, but her smile was plain as day. She took a step back to compose herself, before finally answering.

“Since the night on the beach, maybe a bit before...“

She smiled before adding.

“So...about that place I mentioned. It’s not to far from here, nice little private condo rented under a friend’s name. No prying eyes, no cameras, Wha...what do you say?”

“I’m not sure that would make me a good employee of the corporation…” Sun said, her voice neutral, stepping aside for a moment while she considered the offer and weighed the risks against the benefits - there were no prying eyes, sure, but things were rarely as simple as that and this was the kind of thing that would be a firestorm in the press if discovered. But still… She didn’t have it in her to say no. “Eh. I guess I can make an exception.”

Yuli smiled at Sun’s final answer and lowered her visor, ready to get moving.

“After tonight we’ll have to find separate ways there one will recognize us with these helmets, and it’s the dead of night.”

Yuli climbed back on the bike, giddy from it all. She knew there were risks, far more for Sun than her, that’s why she’d gone through so much time and money getting the place ready. If they were going to do this, they had to be careful.

“Hop on.”

Sun didn’t hesitate to do just that, her arms a little bit tighter around Yuli as she climbed onto the back of the bike and waited to head to this destination that she had just been told about… Wondering slightly just how things were going to go when they ended up there.

Yuli pulled out, and turned onto the next street. It’d take them a good five minutes to get there, it was an out of the way, quiet, secure condo. After parking, she gestured at the place, which had been fixed up to be extra secure.

“Come on.”

She climbed off the bike, shutting it off and pocketing the keys. The gate had a code, then the door had a different code. Once they were inside, Yuli flipped on the lights to a comfortable condo, it was even fully stocked so they could eat here too. She stepped aside to let Sun in, before shutting the door behind her and locking it

“What...what do you think?”

“...Interesting,” Sun said simply, avoiding showing too much of what exactly she was thinking at this moment as they walked further into the condo, Sun taking a look around before settling where she was standing, her eyes traveling to Yuli but not moving to do anything just yet. Eventually, she walked further in. “Well, might as well get settled in…”
Last edited by Forest State on Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

for: the anime right
anti: people who step on snek

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Lunas Legion
Post Czar
Posts: 30124
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:27 pm

Collaborative post between Forest State & Lunas Legion

DATE // November 1st, 2025
LOCATION // Toronto, Ontario
CAST // Noelle ‘Lux’ Ethier & Ishtar ‘Tesla’ Najjar

Ishtar was working on her armour again. Fixing such a complex piece of machinery back into fighting condition was one thing, but repairing the damage it had taken to restore it to being pristine was another altogether. She wasn’t supposed to ever appear with any damage on the armour, it made her lose the myth of being invincible which she knew better than anyone was a myth, but she’d had to make do.

She hummed to herself, hunched over a workbench, a mask over her face and a soldering iron in hand as she worked on the internal circuitry for one of the damaged parts, intending on replacing it entirely. It was a useful distraction, she’d found, from everything. The distraction wouldn’t work forever, however - the door to the room opened, and Noelle stepped inside, not saying anything as she leaned against the wall and watched, not saying anything just yet… She seemed to be waiting on a response from Ishtar before she said anything herself.

“I’m assuming you’re here to… Chew me out, I believe is the phrase?” Ishtar said, slowly and reluctantly setting down the parts she’d been working on, mentally bracing for the loud tirade that she always got back in the U.A.E whenever she screwed something up. She’d been on the receiving end of one of those yesterday, albeit over the phone, letting her know she was on the verge of being hauled back to where her team could ‘properly manage her’.

Noelle just let out a long and slow sigh before looking up at Ishtar once again, drumming her fingers against her arm absentmindedly before speaking. “Do you realize what you’ve done?” she asked simply, her voice… Sounding like she already knew - like she was just asking to see if Ishtar was on the same page as her as far as what she was talking about.

“Beyond screwing up enough to the point where my team is on the verge of withdrawing me from the show entirely, no.” Ishtar admitted. “I am assuming there is… More to it than that that I am not aware of?”

“Fucking up things with your own team is one thing, but…” Noelle started, before pausing and sighing. “You should also realize that you’re going to end up costing me like a million over this thing. A million that I don’t even have right now but that’s besides the point… Do you have any idea why I’m spending a million on you?”

“I never asked you to.” Ishtar said softly, looking down at the floor. “I…” Ishtar paused, thinking for a moment. “I would say because of our arrangement, but… I don’t think that’s entirely the case.” She shook her head slightly. “Something that large would go beyond help so…” Ishtar looked up, giving her head a small shake. “I am afraid I must admit that I’m at a loss, unless you did it out of friendship but that sounds… Odd to say for such a large quantity of money. Friendship isn’t just a million dollars out of nowhere.”

“I’m working on paying a million dollars because it will get Fayza to shut the fuck up and not get you in trouble by just posting everything that happened on Heroes Underground,” Noelle said, her voice taking on a frustrated tone - a slightly angry one. The fact that she was irate was audible in her voice, her gestures angry too as she explained the situation. “All because you just had to do everything you could to set her off instead of walking away. Which is why I’m here to ask… What the hell was going through your head back then?”

“I let my emotions get the better of me.” Ishtar said, voice impassive. “I was… Not exactly in the best state at the time, given the… Unexpected nature of it all, I panicked to a degree. Emotions took over and I said things I should not have said in the heat of the moment.” Ishtar slumped down slightly, placing her hands on the workbench and leaning against it. “It could easily have been avoided, had I been more mindful of the potential effects.”
“How are you expecting to be a hero if you can’t handle something like this? You think I like everyone around here or never get into disagreements?” Noelle asked, not satisfied with the answer. “Or dealing with the press or… Any time I end up butting heads with someone, really? No, I don’t. But at the same time, you don’t see me throwing my own prospects down the drain just to get in a few more words at someone else…”

“I can deal with the press and butting heads under normal circumstances.” Ishtar let out a long breath. “Fayza… Hit one of the few emotional nerves I possess unexpectedly, while I was not exactly in the best state of mind at the time. It is unlikely to come up again, and if it does I have a literal Sword of Damocles over my head from my team to remember before I say anything about it. There will be no more screw-ups of any sort from myself while I am on this team, or I will not be on this team anymore, and I have found I quite like it here.”

“And it seems like you did the same thing to her, you know! Maybe if you were a little more careful, you wouldn’t have hit enough of her nerves that she’s decided she doesn’t even want to be here,” Noelle pointed out. “I could complain about how you’re causing a productive member of the team to want to leave, but I’m just going to point out that she wants you gone and wants to leave herself after that. This bribe from my family’s company is the only reason she’s not already dragging you in the press with no care for what it does to herself…”

“I have no idea how I did… What I did.” Ishtar admitted. “But yes, I did do the same to her, however unintentionally, but for the same reasons in retrospect. If I had kept myself under control, then none of this would have happened. The blame should be laid entirely at my feet.” She let out a long sigh. “I was prepared to leave, and I don’t think it is possible for me to put into words how thankful I am to you for stepping in Noelle, in either Arabic or English.”

“Look… I promised to help you, alright? But you’re making it damn hard if you’re going to do stuff like this. Reminds me of Antares. You know, me and her weren’t against each other at one point, but she just made things hard, I couldn’t deal with her, and I guess…” said Noelle, pausing as she placed her hands on Ishtar’s shoulders. “I’m telling you not to make the same mistake. I’d tell you what you could do to fix this but honestly I don’t know what the hell you could do myself - you messed up pretty big time.”

“You don’t need to tell me not to.” Ishtar shook her head slightly. “I know I ‘messed up pretty big time’ as you put it. You all but saved me this time which I have said how grateful I am for, and there will not be a next time. I will not allow there to be one, and if there is… Don’t help me out of it. It would be unfair on you to ask you to save me again when I have not repaid you for this time.”

Noelle sighed for a long time before moving her hands from Ishtar’s shoulders, placing her hands on her own face instead and rubbing her cheeks in frustration. “I don’t know if I’ll even be able to help much if there’s a next time, not with something like this anyway - I’m already reading into money that isn’t mine. See to it that you learn from this, I guess. And maybe consider apologizing to your teammates for helping to make us lose another member before the first season is up.”

“I will.” Ishtar gave a small nod. “And I will pay you back for this, no matter how long it may take me. There will be no more screw-ups, I promise that on my life.” She couldn’t exactly help that Antares had gotten killed, but that was the past. She had apologies to figure out.

“Don’t… Do anything reckless trying to do that. Just don’t do the same thing in the future…” Noelle said eventually, still frustrated but having little more to say, before she started back out of the room, shutting the door behind her with a thud - saying things were strained between them seemed like an understatement. Whether or not the discontent would grow or shrink in the future… Well, that depended on a number of factors.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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