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Forest State
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Capitalist Paradise

Heroes LIVE [IC | Superhero | OPEN]

Postby Forest State » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:44 pm

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This is the IC thread for Heroes Live. If you're interested in checking out the thread you can do so at the OOC thread here.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4331
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:45 pm




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ROMAN TRAGEDY
ACT I
“RISING STORM”


As the new year and the new decade arrives, the world is mostly at a lull, without incident for now… But that peace can only last so long. While the hero organizations of North America focus on each other and the competition between themselves, something larger and with decidedly impactful consequences is brewing in the jungles of South America and the cities of the American east.




Cali, Colombia
May 25th, 2019


Of all the times and places to ride around on motorcycles, night time on the dirt roads around Cali wasn’t the best one. However, that advice hadn’t gotten through to some of the bikers who were on the prowl at this very moment, their powerful engines sounding off in the night and waking some of the nearby villagers as they accelerated through jungle section after jungle section, and village after village. Wasn’t that often that a crew of motorcycle toting marauders rode through this area, being fairly rural. Sometimes there were cartel vehicles or government vehicles but those… Were much more subtle in their noise than this. More of a low rumble compared to the roar of these engines.

They were, of course, not from around here. Both ‘around here’ in the sense of these local villages they were passing through, and ‘around here’ in the sense that they weren’t from the country. But what were a bunch of foreigners doing here in Colombia? They weren’t tourists, not unless they were somehow the kind of tourists that traveled with AKs on their backs and pistols or shotguns on their hips. No, they also had something else on their backs, they each had a patch on their leather riding jackets which displayed a large white ‘U’ and written underneath it, the word “UNKNOWNS MC.” They were a gang, of the motorcycle type, and someone in the know would realize they were actually from a long distance away. They had chapters in the east of the United States, in lower Ontario, a couple in the United Kingdom… But none in South America or Colombia in specific.

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Something is brewing in Colombia.
There was some important reason they were here, but that wasn’t apparent to any of the people that noticed the convoy of motorcycles as it went by on the road, weaving around whatever traffic they ran into without slowing down, even with the bad condition of the roads. These were the types that had no fear, didn’t care if they were at an increased risk to crash if they continued like this.

Eventually, the convoy stopped moving and they found themselves outside of a building, one that was made of stone and was far more stable than any of the metal and wooden shacks they had passed on the way here. Perhaps one would say that this building was fortified, if they knew what they were looking for. Even if it was fortified, though, there was no one out front standing guard at this moment. “We’ll stop here,” said the lead member of the convoy, the one that they just knew as Rock. He happened to be one of the top lieutenants under the gang’s leader, and apparently, the task out here warranted having him away from the operation in the States.

It cost them money to send high ranking members away from their operations in the USA, which meant whatever was happening down here was truly important. Not that there weren’t more obvious ways to tell that, like the fact they were out here in the first place rather than in their own territory.

Rock drew a shotgun from his hip, gesturing for the others to arm themselves also as they climbed off their motorcycles and started towards the building. “You think anyone is here?” asked one of the other gang members behind him.

“Doesn’t matter. Should be armed enough to take ‘em out if they are,” Rock said, looking for a way to enter before trying the knob and finding that it was locked. “Fuck it.”

Firing off a shotgun shell into the door, Rock managed to get it open with a single bang before pushing it open and switching on the under barrel flashlight attachment he’d made sure to bring along. Last thing they wanted was to get caught being shot at by an enemy they couldn’t see. “Now, let’s not be pussies about this,” Rock said while the others switched on their flashlights in the background. “Nothing to be scared of in here.”

The threat of being labeled ‘pussies’ helped, as the group of gangsters moved inside the building one by one and fanned out to look for what they had come here for. “Keep your eyes moving and looking for the objective,” said one of the leaders who was under Rock’s command but above the rank of the average street soldier within the gang. “Don’t want to spend any more time here than we have to…”

“If something or someone is here, they would have heard us already. Scared, Gunner?”

“Takes more than that to scare me. Just slightly cautious,” said the man who was moving in second, shifting his rifle around and looking at what was illuminated by the light. “Pretty big, it’s going to take some time to look through all of it…”

“All the more reason to get your ass moving.”

“A’ight, boss,” said Gunner, waving a smaller group of gang members towards himself to have them search the lower part of the building while Rock took some others to look through the upper floors. While there was no one here, it would still be better if they got through this quickly - before anyone else could possibly show up and interrupt them. They could win a firefight, but the optimal option was not getting into one in the first place.

Searching the building of course took some time considering the size of it, but the team upstairs eventually made a call out which would get the attention of the others in the building, causing the lower floor team to head up to see just what was happening. “You got any luck?” Gunner asked while climbing the flight of stairs and stepping into the hallway, moving towards the open door where the word of something important had come from.

“Boxes of what we’re looking for,” one of the ones next to Rock remarked while the others rushed into see just what it was. There were indeed boxes, and one of them had been opened up by the group of gang members, and inside of them there were a number of vials which each contained some weird pinkish liquid that glowed every so slightly under the light. Not a lot of light was coming in… But when one of the flashlights was pointed at the liquid, it seemed to take on a different appearance if even only slightly.

“Yeah, this is it alright. No street drug that looks like this,” Rock said, picking up one of the vials and examining it closely, holding it in front of the light attached to his gun. “This shit’s experimental… Guess the cartel around here actually was able to produce it.”

“You didn’t think they would be able to?” asked Gunner, stepping to the side of his boss to get a better look at the object.

“If we’re being honest… Not really. This is something governments haven’t been able to do. I didn’t think some cartel in bumfuck nowhere, Colombia, would manage it,” Rock admitted, putting the vial back down within the box it had come from and turning to the others. “Valkyrie, Von, head down to the front and watch the entrance. I’m going to call the truck and they can come and load this stuff up, till then we’ve gotta make sure we, you know… Hold it before they come back to check on it.”

“Should have brought the truck with us,” said the woman of the group, Valkyrie, but she nodded and pointed her SMG in the direction of the doorway, lighting up the hall with the flashlight.

“Navigating these dirt roads in a truck? Please. It’s only an easy ride now because we already found the path,” scoffed Rock, waving her onwards along with Von, who was holding an AK in hand as well as a bulletproof vest underneath the more average leather riding jacket, which had the patch of the Unknowns on the back and on the shoulder of the sleeve.

“You think…” started Gunner, looking back at the box and the number of vials which all had the same pink liquid in them, the kind that none of these bikers had seen before. “This works as intended?”

“That’s something we’ll have to find out,” Rock said, lowering the phone from his hand and illuminating the boxes in the dark room again.

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The leader of this group.
“Guess you’re not going to try it here and now.”

“Does an experimental power granting drug sound like the kind of thing you want to just try on a whim? We’ll give it to someone that isn’t one of us first… And if their head doesn’t explode, we know it might be useful for our causes,” the boss said with a chuckle, taking one of the vials and pocketing it. “Better keep at least one of them close. Something could still happen to keep us from getting the entire box back, and finding a place like this again would take as much time as the first go…”

That was to say, finding an experimental drug lab that was producing risky experiments like this, and had gotten as far along in their project as this one had.

This find… Was a big one for them. But they didn’t know if it was going to work just yet. They would likely find out within the next couple of hours, however, since they’d soon depart from this run down location and start heading back to where they had come from. Supposedly, it worked instantly. They would either know that it worked or know that it didn’t once they tried it on someone.

“If this does work…” said Gunner, eyes turning to the box one more time. “Sure is going to change a lot of things if it gets spread around.”

“And more important, it’s going to put a lotta cash in our pockets,” Rock added with a grin spreading across his face. Everyone from governments to people on the street would want this - all they had to do was hold onto it and make sure it worked, amid the likely attempts there would be to wrestle this discovery out of the hands of the gang which had just captured it… As well as the larger cartel that they considered themselves a part of, as an affiliated organization. “The Talons are going to be happy with this little find of ours, too… Just more rewards for us at the end of the day.”

The Talons. Otherwise known as the group that had really sent the Unknowns here, the one that was a tier above them and ran an operation stretching from Eastern Europe to the United States. They were worldwide, even if they were based most prominently in the east of Europe and the Unknowns were one of their main tools on the ground when it came to acting in the USA and North America as a whole - or in this case, South America. They had wanted to get their hands on this mysterious rumored creation of the Cali Cartel, even at the cost of sending one of their affiliates all the way out here to find it… They would soon have their wish granted.

But what that meant for the hero dynamic, and for the world in general… That was still a complete unknown. If it even worked. After all, manipulating powers with drugs - other than dampening them - wasn’t something that had been achieved before. Some cartel figuring it out just seemed like something out of fiction but… There were more reports about this working than there were about any similar attempts.

Once the Unknowns delivered the samples back to the Talons, they would just have to try it and see - and from there, the future in front of them was unknown.



Jon Audley - The Big Boss
AuTech Headquarters, Paradise, Nevada
January 27th, 2020


It wasn’t that long since the New Year had been rung in, and with it, the new decade. Some people were thinking about losing weight, or learning some new skill, or otherwise some mundane self improvement related thing as a resolution for the new year. Jon Audley, on the other hand, had far larger plans than that - wasn’t to say that Audley wasn’t working on improvement, but his improvement would affect far more than just himself. Because Audley was not only the head of the ambitious rising company AuTech International, which produced phones, tablets, smart electronics, cybernetics, and a long list of diverse products within the industry of technology, but also a man that was about to enter the hero business with his profits.

Of course, everyone already knew who the biggest players were, the ones who dominated the standings when it came to organizations and the ones that were the easiest to spot in the headlines. It hardly took any work to hear about these teams. All one had to do was turn on the TV and check out the news and they would eventually hear about them - though some were more prominent in some regions, obviously.

Team Infinity were the big dogs in North America and to an extent, Europe - they had iconic brands such as Team Infinity New York and Team Infinity Los Angeles, which watched over some of the largest and most well known cities. The EU had their European Shield organization, which had a number of teams spread out across the member nations, Russia had multiple prominent teams propped up by either the government or the billionaires of the post-Soviet era, and China had the Tencent Golden Dragons and their nationwide network of home grown heroes. All of these teams had their own stories, history, and their places among the legends of the business…

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The founder and CEO of AuTech… And new hero team owner.
And then there was Audley, who owned nothing in the field and simply had a tech business. Sure, it was worth a lot of money, but there were plenty of people out there with money. Most of them didn’t become successful hero team owners - most didn’t try, and some of the ones who did try didn’t last long before going bust.

Audley was a competitor, however. AuTech itself had been made against the better knowledge of less ambitious people who believed the right move was to get a basic job rather than going into a risky startup like this. The doubters had, of course, been proven wrong and hadn’t said much since the company became successful - and maybe that was why Audley was less willing to listen to the doubters when it came to making a hero team.

It also helped that the AuTech CEO wasn’t camera shy.

“We here at AuTech headquarters in Nevada hear about everything… And that includes the rumors and rumbling about how we’re thinking of competing with Team Infinity for the best generation four heroes. He who controls the future controls the past, right? Or… Is it the other way around?” Audley said humorously, his tone tongue-in-cheek as he sat behind his desk and looked into the camera that was set up ahead of it. “Whatever the saying is, the fourth generation is important. We’ve also heard the rumors about this team that Team Infinity plans to form for them… Generation Next.”

He chuckled. Almost no one would be brave enough to just straight up mention Team Infinity as a rival - especially while referencing leaks from inside their organization about their upcoming plans. “They want to gather all the best heroes from he fourth generation and the kicker is that they want to put them on TV for the whole world to watch, as a way of kickstarting their career. Reality TV, to be specific. We here at AuTech, however, already have some experience in reality TV. You may not know it, but our company was one of the main investors in Heroes Unscripted a couple of years ago. You know, the underdog success of a Netflix show? An underdog much like our own company…”

“So, with that history of doing well as an underdog… I’m not afraid to say that what Team Infinity can do here, we can do better,” Audley said, before reaching under the desk and coming back up with a suitcase, placing it in front of him before opening it up to reveal stacks of hundred dollar bills inside, in pristine condition - the kind of suitcase one would expect to find in a B tier action movie rather than real life. “What are these young heroes after? Money? We have plenty of that here at AuTech… We’re in a number of fields, after all, not just the hero business. A chance to get some action and save the world? They’ll get more of that here than they would at Team Infinity. Infinity is… The safe option. The careful one. They aren’t going to let you do anything meaningful. The last thing they want is for one of those ‘meaningful’ missions to go wrong and to have to explain why some eighteen year old hero on one of their teams was butchered to death on camera. AuTech, though, respects your right to choose. If you want to charge in without backup and attack the biggest supervillain on the other side, who are we to tell you that you can’t live fast and die young?”

Chuckling, Audley turned his attention from the cash to the camera again and continued, adjusting an expensive watch on his wrist with one hand - a bit of a subtle flex of wealth. “Maybe you want the respect and love of your peers and the world. You’re not going to be that special if you join Team Infinity. Infinity is the default choice for the team everyone wants to go to. And hey, there’s only so many relevant spots in their organization. Not everyone ends up on Infinity New York. Sometimes you end up on Infinity Missouri. Do you want to end up in Missouri, or God forbid, Florida? AuTech doesn’t have an existing team. Join up with us and you’ll be our main priority. We literally don’t have any other heroes to pay attention to!”

He paused to let his words sink in, before continuing the hard sell of his idea. “Lastly, what if you’re in it for the TV fame? Well like I said, we’re already in the TV business. And, I’m happy to announce that we’re soon going to establish our own made for TV team, so the next generation can get a proper treatment. When you support us, ladies and gentlemen, you’re supporting our future heroes not being turned into more Infinity clones… What are we calling it, you probably ask? Team Wave! Because we, not this new Generation Next team that Infinity is forming, represent the new wave for real.”

“We’ll be partnering with HBO to bring you our own show following the adventures and misadventures of the newly formed Team Wave and the daring young heroes that take the plunge and join our family here at AuTech… We’re calling it New Wave, pun intended,” Audley concluded. “Interested in making the jump and joining the newest and the best organization? Allow my friend over here to explain what to do…”

The camera rapidly panned without breaking the single shot, until it was facing a woman standing on the other side of the room, who would be recognized by a lot of the viewerbase quickly. Eva Zavala, although she was known more by her hero name, Seraph, which had been given to her because of her light based power set and the wings she could construct with light. She had been with Team Infinity New York herself for years in the past, but she hadn’t renewed her contract and she had only done independent work for the last year. Now, her sudden appearance in the video confirmed that she was the first big name hero who was partnering up with AuTech - to the complete shock and surprise of most of the community.

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Eva Zavala, also known as Seraph..
“Make sure you head to our website and social media pages, baby…” she said in her usual sultry voice, before a shout from Audley behind the camera interrupted her.

“Can you tone things down a bit? We don’t want them thinking we’re running that kind of website!” the CEO stated, which simply drew a chuckle from the hero. But they didn’t stop the shots. No, they embraced the eccentric here at AuTech rather than removing it from view like Team Infinity might try to with their more polished media releases.

“Right… Make sure you check out our website and our social media pages for instructions on how to apply. And for the start date of New Wave season one, airing on HBO exclusively!” Seraph said, completing the take.

“Perfect!” Audley exclaimed, standing up from his desk and looking to one of the others in the room, who was sitting with a laptop and monitoring the output from the cameras. “Get that uploaded ASAP… Here at AuTech, we do things live and unscripted. No need to edit it down, I want them to see that we’re real people and not salesmen. You know, I think we’re off to a great start…”

Stepping forward, he looked like he wanted to give himself a pat on the back. “I mean, we may have just thrown down the gauntlet and pissed off the most profitable hero organization in the world, but on the plus side our engagement numbers are going to be through the roof, right? Let the best side in this fight win, then! I already know that the people will choose us.”

Perhaps it was overconfidence or perhaps Audley was truly the best one at reading situations, and others were simply behind him much of the time in that area. It was hard to tell… But this was his largest test for sure. Whether or not it would be successful would depend on what happened in the minutes, hours, and days to follow - mainly, on the reactions from both the public and from Team Infinity, which Audley had just called out by name.

For once, North America’s attention wouldn’t be on heroes and villains, but on two hero organizations competing for the love of the public… Always an interesting occurance to say the least, if not an uncommon one in the age of the cartel.



David Capone - Mentalist
Team Infinity Headquarters, Long Island, New York
January 27th, 2020


It wasn’t easy being the telepath known as Mentalist, otherwise known to friends and allies as David Capone. While some heroes of the third generation would have retired by now or were still active in the field, the venerable Capone had vowed to move on to a different office and to help the Team Infinity organization in a different way. He was the acting chairman currently, and while it sounded like a prestigious title to be the chairman of a massive organization like Infinity, it also came with a seemingly infinite amount of problems to deal with.

Whenever a hero said something wrong and was on the verge of getting ‘cancelled,’ the social crisis would make its way back to the chairman’s desk. When a mission was failed and heroes couldn’t save someone, it was the chairman that was one of the first people to find out and to deal with the organization’s response to it. When internal disputes needed sorting out… It sometimes ended up going all the way to the chairman. Sure, there were good moments, too. But even during those moments, the one who held the chairman position seemed to always be working on problem solving even while others were celebrating.

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Also known as Mentalist, this former active hero has done his best from the boardroom.
During the evening brief which was being delivered to Capone within his office on one of the upper floors of the Infinity Building, it looked like more problems were about to crop up.

Specifically, the problems today had to do with the situation around AuTech and the ‘Team Wave’ they had announced. Of course, competition between hero teams was nothing new, and Infinity had claimed their title of best in the west through competing with a number of others. They’d never competed with anything that had come on the scene this fast and under these circumstances, though. It wasn’t some government team or a collection of preexisting heroes banding together under an independent banner this time… It was, rather, being backed by the funds of an eccentric billionaire.

“Long story short, they’ve made it clear in no uncertain terms that they want to compete with us, and they’ve put out a schedule for when they want to begin operations as a hero organization. We don’t really have that much time to prepare for this competition, as they’re already recruiting and they have a TV deal with HBO which is meant to rival the show that we’re producing this year on the Hero News Network,” the aide who was delivering the briefing stated in explanation. “AuTech hasn’t been on the scene before but they’re definitely a real competitor.”

“AuTech…” Capone muttered out loud, reclining back in the office chair behind his desk. “What are they doing with heroes? Aren’t they a company that makes phones and electronics?”

“Well, yes. Their CEO, Jon Audley, has other interests. One of those interests is superheroes, and he doesn’t seem to think that we’re doing the best job that we can as the biggest org in North America. He wants to make his own thing but the challenge towards us comes from the fourth generation heroes. He wants his team to have the premier future talent and he’s handing out big contracts and running his own show to compete with us in that area.”

“Has he had any success so far?”

“Eva Zavala, AKA Seraph, is the first hero that he signed. I guess you already know the whole thing about how she was with us-”

“Yeah, yeah,” Capone said, holding a hand up to cut the aide off. “And she went free agent because I wouldn’t give her a bigger deal. Fucking harlot. Anyone else?”

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AKA Bulwark, LaMichael Collins is one of the heroes to exit Infinity for AuTech.
“LaMichael Collins, AKA Bulwark. He made an announcement this evening that he intends to join the new AuTech organization in some role… Although I don’t know what that role is going to be, or Eva’s role for that matter, since AuTech hasn’t established a team outside of their generation four one - which neither of LaMichael and Eva are,” the aide continued.

“Damn. We’re going to need to find someone to move to LA to fill the gap… And it’s not going to look good to lose someone from both our New York and LA teams. Is there any chance to negotiate with him and keep him here? What is he looking for?”

“According to his agent, it’s not a money thing. He just likes the more eccentric group better. Believes he’ll have greater freedom.”

That response drew a sigh from Capone. “You know, maybe the fourth generation really is doomed if their predecessors are already acting like this. No loyalty to the team, or to the city even… Just searching for things like ‘fun’ and ‘freedom.’ Maybe if they wanted to be completely free, they shouldn’t have chosen to become celebrities-”

“I believe that kind of thinking is why AuTech is dealing us damage already. Not everyone agrees on that take. Trying to force it on others may just benefit the rivals.”

“I’ll think about that…” Capone said begrudgingly, not wanting to admit that Infinity may have to change their approach on this matter if they wanted to be competitive going forward with a tough rival. They had become set, in a way, in what they believed. In the style of management where the team was high up in the hierarchy and the heroes did what the team required of them. They accommodated, but… It was hard to say they accommodated as much as Audley did, and that might come back to bite them. It already had in the case of Seraph and Bulwark.

“They’re also bringing in some big name prospects that we’ve had our eyes on,” the aide continued, looking down at the printed report in his hand and reading from a list. “They already signed Erin Gallo. The one that has matter manipulation that we’ve been looking at getting on one of our teams before someone else does - she signed for Team Wave this afternoon. Apparently we never had a chance, because she lives in Nevada already and knows Audley personally.”

“Sometimes it can’t be helped. Is that the end of the list?”

“Andrew ‘Panic’ Saint Pierre is set to visit with them,” the aide said, referring to one of the better generation four prospects coming out North America. The kid from Chicago was capable of putting on rapid bursts of acceleration and while it didn’t let him run across long distances, it did make him a major threat when it came to individual fights. He was also on the shortlist of people they wanted to bring in for their own show that would start soon. “He may sign a deal, he may not.”

“I hope the answer ends up being no. Can you have some from the business department call to start negotiating? Maybe we can turn this around before they get another prospect in their ranks,” Capone said with a slight sigh. This fight wasn’t going to be as easy as they might have assumed at first.

“Finally, Alexandra ‘Allie’ Sindelic has announced her intention to fly out from London to Nevada to check out what AuTech is working on. There’s a high probability that she ends up signing a contract with them, but I haven’t received word on her flying out just yet. We may be able to attempt to stop this deal-”

“Have someone on it,” said Capone, without a second thought. Allie, who had no official hero name for now and just used her nickname, was a fire metahuman who had been around the top of the London scene while attending private school there during her high school years. She’d just graduated last year and she hadn’t yet joined a team - but Infinity had been courting her for a couple of months at this point, as had some others. Supposedly, they had been in the lead to get her to sign on with them. Now, though, the more free and eccentric new team on the block was threatening all of that. “You know how bad it’s going to look if they snatch her from under our noses on our turf? London is as much of a Infinity city as New York. Also, we have a long term place for her ready on Infinity London, and if she doesn’t fill it… We’ll need to invest in finding someone all over again.”

“I’ll see to it that our people are at her door in the morning. But she’s also shown interest in being on the same team as Seraph, who she apparently looks up to or something, so I don’t know how much that’s going to work… Anyway, that’s about it. No more news as far as anyone signing with them but it’s only the first day and if there’s anyone added to the list, I’ll report on it for the morning briefing,” the aide said, looking up from the paper list.

“Thanks… Hopefully, we aren’t hearing the news that Saint Pierre and Allie are joining them by the time that briefing happens,” sighed Capone. “But this kind of competition was expected at some point.”

He paused, drumming his fingers against the wooden desk, and then stopping, his hand resting flat against the surface as silence filled the room. It was an awkward situation. One they weren’t used to dealing with. “We can just try to weather the storm from here and prove the reason why we’re the number one group…”
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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

User avatar
Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4331
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Tue Jan 21, 2020 7:06 pm

Alexandra ‘Allie’ Sindelic - Star In The Making
AuTech Headquarters Complex, Paradise, Nevada
January 28th, 2020



The private business jet was coming to a stop at the runway at the AuTech headquarters complex in Nevada, and it was a good day to be Allie Sindelic. She was here to discuss signing for a team finally, after finishing her junior hero career with her graduation from high school last year - and she hardly intended to wait long before she found herself on a professional roster. Of course, not everyone was happy that out of the teams courting her, it was the upstarts that she was giving a chance. Team Infinity had even sent a bunch of people to her doorstep, who at first tried to sweet talk her into signing for them instead and when it became apparent that it wasn’t going to work, switched to shaming her and telling her that she should give back the hundreds of dollars of free merchandise they had sent her over the past few weeks.

They hadn’t expected her to tell them that she didn’t care for it, though. She’d handed it back without an argument and after that she finally pushed her way past, eventually making it to the airport where, amid a crowd of people waiting to see her depart London for possibly the last time in a good while, she left Heathrow on a British Airways 777-300 and arrived in New York City after seven hours of flight. The rest of her trip, of course, was private. She hadn’t spent long in the airport before making it to the private terminal where AuTech already had a business jet waiting to ferry her out to Nevada, where she was landing now at the private runway not far from the building she’d soon be meeting Jon Audley himself in.

But she wasn’t getting off the plane right away for one reason - she had a phone call to handle, and a rather important one at that. The call was to family, not a parent or someone like that but to her younger sister, Dejana. Fact of the matter was, Dejana took after her in a number of ways, and was the only other one in the family to currently be involved in the ‘hero business.’

Unlike Allie, however, she hadn’t been granted the right to pick her own path. Well, to the same degree as Allie. Neither of them had really picked the path in front of them, but at least Allie had been given the choice by her mother, the choice of if she wanted to enlist in a Team Infinity academy in Germany or attend private schooling in London while working on her skills as a hero and a number of other skills on the side such as singing and acting. Ilinka Sindelic was determined to get at least one of her kids into a celebrity spotlight that would, at least in her view of things, allow them to send most or all of the profit back home and into her own bank account.

Allie could have told her to go fuck herself, and taken the earnings she had from her hero work to this point for herself… But it could be said that Ilinka was holding Dejana as well as their younger brother, Boro, hostage to a certain extent. They’d been kept separate from Allie, held tighter under Ilinka’s controlling grip, and Allie knew she had to go along with it for now if she wanted to rescue them from it someday. Hopefully, someday sooner than later.

It was the reason she cared so much about calling them and speaking to them. With them in Germany, and no hope of their mother letting them live anywhere near each other in the fears that the more independent and rebellious Allie would be a bad influence, calling was one of the few ways she could even check on them. Well, their mother was perfectly happy to give updates on how they were doing as heroes. Not as people, though. She wasn’t even the type of person who cared about the whole hero thing, anyway. Didn’t follow it a ton, hadn’t grown up a fan. She simply wanted one of her children, or preferably all of them, to become a celebrity.

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The one and only Alexandra ‘Allie’ Sindelic.
“Allie…” groaned Dejana when she answered the call, sounding visibly tired. “Why are you calling this late? Technically we’re not even supposed to be on the phone this late…”

“I know that you have about as much respect for the rules as I do,” Allie said in reply, speaking in her native Serbian - although having lived in London and spent most of her life before that in Rotterdam, thanks to their mother forcing them to move north in search of greener pastures and greater wealth, she was also capable of speaking perfect English or Dutch. “Which is none.”

“You’re not wrong, but I also don’t want to get yelled at by the staff again-”

“Don’t get caught, then,” Allie replied firmly. Sure, it was a bit late in Europe to be calling, but she didn’t control the time zones. She didn’t feel like waiting until it was morning over there to say something, either. For all she knew, she might be busy herself by then. “I just wanted to talk to you since I landed in Paradise.”

That at least drew some interest from Dejana. “Did you see the Vegas Strip?”

“Didn’t see it when I was flying in but I might be headed that way tonight, depends on what happens and how busy I end up,” Allie said with a chuckle. “I’m at the AuTech headquarters now. Well, the runway they have outside their headquarters to be specific. I’m going to ask around and see if they have anything for you around here, you know, like a junior program or something.”

“I’m basically eighteen, Allie, I don’t need to be a junior hero or something-”

“You still have some time to go before you can say you are - and when you are, I promised that I would rescue you from our bitch of a mother. But since you still have some time to go… I can’t do anything without her just calling the cops on my ass and saying she has custody,” Allie said with a sigh of frustration at the whole situation. “And she would still have Boro. I don’t want her to be harsher on him as some kind of punishment.”

Silence on the line for a moment. “Right. And then when I am, I’ll get to come to Vegas with you?”

“Maybe, maybe not. I’d like it if she was fine with sending you here. Better than me being in London and you being in Germany. But since she thinks that if you spend any amount of time around me, you’re going to start disrespecting authority and shooting up drugs in public, I don’t think she’d approve… When Boro is old enough to go out on his own, we can all move to the same place definitely.”

“You have done drugs in public before…” Dejana pointed out to Allie’s chagrin.

“I’m a productive addict. I’m not going to deny it, but I also don’t think I’m the kind of influence that mother makes me out to be. I’ve told you to stay off that shit, haven’t I?”

“Yes…”

“And do you still vape?” Allie pressed, noticing the hesitation in her sister’s voice. It was one thing that she had talked Dejana out of in the past, even though she had no real way of enforcing her requests. Dejana could do what she wanted. Allie could try to guide her, but unless she came to Germany herself, she couldn’t even verify if Dejana had stopped doing something.

“I… Why are you even asking about that? This academy isn’t that fun and I’m going to lose social credit points if I quit doing one of the fun things we can actually do… On the downlow, albeit. And it’s not as bad as your pills.”

“The pills I pop aren’t going to make my lungs implode,” Allie scoffed. “You’re not going to be a hero, or much of anything, if you fuck up your health in the first couple years of your career-”

“I’m not going to fuck my lungs up, Jesus, I’m like seventeen you know… I’ll stop before I’m middle aged. You sound like mom right now,” Dejana replied defensively.

Which was like a slap to the face for Allie. She’d come all the way out here partly to escape the influence of her mother - her forced singing and acting lessons, the fact that she took most of Allie’s profit, the way she wanted to control her brand and identity, something Allie had fought more and more against in the last year. The last thing she wanted was to turn out like her.

“Low blow-”

“I have to go, I’ll talk to you later or something. Going to get in trouble if I stay on the phone,” Dejana said quickly, before hanging up. The call ended with that and Allie let out a sigh before standing up and moving to exit the plane, the door now open. She might as well head to the headquarters building at this point. She had some things to think about regarding her sister, but for now, the more important thing in the immediate situation was finding Audley, the one she was supposed to talk to.



As Allie walked into the building, she once again had her phone in her hands. This time, though, she was listening to a voicemail rather than talking. It was from Kiara Averill, her agent back in London - and one of the few people that she actually trusted in this industry. It wasn’t easy to get her trust, but she was sure that she had seen enough to know Kiara wasn’t going to screw her over for money or for the favor of her controlling mother - who also controlled where Allie’s money went, for now at least. That would change soon enough, and it was one of the reasons Allie was here in the first place. For now, though, she still stuck roughly to the strict schedule that was laid out for her by Ilinka.

She broke the rules when she could, but at the end of the day, she was quite alright when it came to showing up where she needed to show up to. And as long as she did that, too many questions wouldn’t be asked about what she did in between. Sometimes, however, it took someone like Kiara to remind her just of where she had to be and how tight her schedule could be… She was more laid back about this kind of thing, after all. Having to hold back and not have as much fun as possible just because she had something important to do later was… Just not her.

“Remember, you have to be in LA in two days to record with Travis Scott, and then you’re talking with those TV execs the day after and recording a music video as soon as you’re done with that stuff,” Kiara told her in her usual calm and collected voice. A contrast to the more high strung tone of Allie, although for Allie, it was just how she talked rather than meaning she was particularly on edge at this very moment.

“And you’re telling me because…”

“Just saying not to go nuts in Vegas when you have business to get to in LA. Aside from maybe getting caught by reporters and it not looking great, you need to get to some more serious stuff. There will be time for partying in the future.”

Image
One of the finest party destinations around…
“There’s time for partying right now.”

“Sure, but I know that you party hard, and I don’t want you to get wasted before you have things to do. Vegas is going to stay here but it’s a bit harder to reschedule a recording session that’s been coming up for a couple months now.”

Sometimes, she lamented the fact that she had been effectively forced by her mother to have multiple careers. There was the hero one, sure, but she had been trained as a singer and actually used the skills decently often enough… Even if her style was a bit closer to hip hop or trap than it was to true singing. She didn’t use those skills for fun, though - but rather to advance her career for her mother’s sake. For that same reason, acting classes had been added to her schedule on top of the other things when there was space for it. She avoided it whenever possible, but it wasn’t possible one hundred percent of the time.

“Alright, alright… Guess you aren’t going to let me have any fun either,” Allie said, frustration and slight bitterness showing in her tone at some of her plans in Vegas getting dashed. “I’m never going to be able to just relax for a bit, am I? Even all the way out here in the States?”

“Not what I said…”

“You might as well. Guess I’ll head to bed tonight instead of heading out. At a regular time.”

“Don’t have to sound that upset about it-”

Allie, though, wasn’t exactly in the mood to listen to the consolations from her agent, and her eyes visibly narrowed as she listened to the other end of the call. “Whatever you say. You can say that because you’re not the one that spends all your time slaving away for the sake of someone else… And then gets told they can’t even do something to have fun on their own time in a city like fuckin’ Vegas of all places. It’s the kind of place that you go to if you want to party hard or gamble, it’s pretty much the only thing it’s known for even, and I can’t do that because even on my own time I still gotta listen to someone controlling everything.”

Kiara didn’t have an answer for her, and Allie could just hear her letting out a slight sigh on the other end of the phone as she thought of what to say. “Allie…”

“I’ll be fine. And I’ll listen to your advice,” Allie said quickly, before she hung up and continued deeper into the lobby of the building she was standing in, approaching the front desk. The place was fairly modern - not in the futuristic way of some companies in Silicon Valley. It was more down to Earth than that, the wall in front of her being made of some kind of stone and the floor being carpet. Everything did look new, however. The building had been renovated to reflect the constantly rising status of the company, and it looked good.

The receptionist looked up immediately after she entered, and she offered a slight wave. “Allie Sindelic,” she said in introduction, but she didn’t think she needed to say anything. The receptionist was already expecting her, and stood up.

“Oh, there you are. We’ve been waiting for you,” she said. “If you’ll come this way… Mr. Audley and some of the other visitors are on one of the upper levels of the building here. I think they’ll be happy to see you.”

So, without saying anything, she moved off to follow. No point being in a bad mood now. She was going to meet the person that could maybe turn her poor fates around, and allow her to reach further independence, so she would try to hold out her judgement of the situation and see if there was anything to be gotten out of it. Besides, if she could at least pretend to be ain a good mood, the meeting would likely go better anyway.



“Alexandra! Or would you rather go by Allie?”

The question came from Jon Audley himself, who happened to be standing in one of the corridors in an upper hallway which had a large glass window view of the Vegas Strip off in the distance. They weren’t right in the middle of it but they also weren’t far from it, which was a rather strange place to put a headquarters for a tech company, but just showed the eccentricity of the man who owned the place. Audley cared about nice surroundings, and to him, the lights and nightlife of Vegas counted as that. Workers liked being this close, of course. It was possible to simply ride down to the Strip after work for a bit of fun, something that was approved of by management.

Audley wasn’t standing and watching the Strip alone, however. There were a couple others here with him. One of them was Andrew Saint Paul, otherwise known as Panic, the dangerous proto-speedster who was signing with AuTech to the dismay of Infinity. He’d proved himself in Chicago and he was likely going to turn into a veritable star with the proper backing behind him. The other one was someone that she didn’t recognize immediately. She didn’t look like someone from around here, just from one glance, but looks could be deceiving. She was also definitely unique in her appearance - she had a tattoo sleeve running down her left arm, and short hair that exposed another couple tattoos on the back of her neck. Allie could recognize some shapes in them, but it was hard to examine them too closely here and now. There were a lot of fine details in them, after all.

“Allie is fine. No one really calls me Alexandra,” Allie remarked, before sighing slightly. Hadn’t been intentional, she just hadn’t been able to hold it in. It was mildly frustrating to her that the visit that she’d imagined would just be her was actually a group visit. “You know, didn’t realize you were going to have a bunch of recruits in today…”

“There was a lot of interest when we decided to go into the hero biz. What can I say?” Audley said with a chuckle. “Hopefully the size of the visiting group isn’t a problem?”

She could have complained then and there. But if there had been one thing that she had learned, it was that you had to pick your fights wisely. No point in bringing up something like this if it hadn’t become a real problem for her. “I don’t know if you recognize them or not but these are two of the other recruits that are joining us… You know, if you join today, we can complete the trio. People like trios, usually,” Audley continued, before pointing out the two others. “Andrew Saint Paul… And Bella Serrano. Bella here is a bit less well known but I can assure you she’s one of the best prospects coming out of Spain.”

He set his sights on Allie in specific. “And now I can say that we have you, one of the best talents from England…” he continued. “Well, that’ll be the case if you decide to sign on with us.”

“I can assure you that I’m not exactly English,” Allie said with a light shrug. “Wouldn’t disagree if you phrased it a bit different and said I was one of the best in Europe, though.”

“Then let’s run with that, shall we? Welcome to AuTech, Allie… Anyway, these guys have already been getting the tour of the place but we didn’t get that far in without you. You can join us now, if you want. We haven’t gotten to some of the most important rooms yet,” Audley stated, waving for her to come on with the group.

So she went. Even if she knew deep down that she felt a bit jealous of the fact that Andrew and this other unknown girl were getting the same treatment and even if she knew she shouldn’t feel that way. She couldn’t say anything now without making herself look bad. However… She had been raised as the kind of person that tried to make it to the top. The fact that she already wasn’t the top one around here, even on a brand new team, seemingly hit hard.

No one else saw it as she walked in the back behind the others, but one of her fists clenched at her side as she followed, waiting to see what was in store for them.



Anka 'Elektrik’ Noskova - Stressed, Depressed, Britton Obsessed
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


Money, power, and respect… Three things that made the world go around that everyone wanted, right?

Well… Anka Noskova could do with just the last thing. Because she didn’t feel like she really had much respect at all. Sure, she was a metahuman and she was on the path to become a hero in some organization where people might pay attention to her. Her abilities were fairly strong - they were electric abilities to be specific, and she could emit a great amount of electricity just by extending a hand. She could power advanced equipment with no battery, she could paralyze someone by touching them in the right spot and using her power. And yet, she didn’t feel that she had the amount of respect that someone that was as strong as her should have.

Plenty of heroes were showing up in Vegas now because of the announcement from AuTech and the new team that was forming here. Fine by her. Of course there were bigger names than her out there who would get a lot of attention. However… That didn’t stop her from feeling like she had been thrown to the wayside by even the people that were closest to her.

The fact of the matter was, she owed a lot of what she had in life to the Audley family. Wasn’t like her own had much when they first came over from Eastern Europe. Her parents had come here following the fall of the Soviet Union, and they’d been young and broke. Even when she was born, they hadn’t had much. She could remember the days when the bills weren’t paid and when there were conversations in hushed tones about if they would be able to continue staying where they were. That had been back when they were in California. Things had picked up for them when they moved a bit further east and her dad had gotten a job as a computer engineer with AuTech, back when it wasn’t anything like the giant it was today.

His position had only risen since first getting the job, however, and Anka was sure that the job was the only reason they hadn’t been dirt poor after moving to Vegas.

More importantly, however, she also had her own ties to the Audleys… Ties that were a bit more personal than just a job. Britton Audley, the daughter of the CEO, happened to be her best friend and had been for some time, starting with them attending the same school… Britton, or Britt as she was called much of the time, had never been one for fancy private institutions. Her family hadn’t been, either. She had gone to a regular school with everyone else, and her and Anka had just clicked as far back as Anka could remember.

Not recently, however.

Britton, in addition to being her closest friend, was also her teammate on the Vegas Vipers - one of the teams in the surrounding area that wasn’t the highest level but was still respected around Vegas itself. They could handle most things that weren’t considered major incidents, and they were affiliated with Team Infinity despite not being under the organization’s umbrella of main temas. However, Anka felt that Britton was further apart from her these days as both a teammate and a friend.

She was provided an example of that when she returned from a patrol of the city, and entered the team headquarters in inner Las Vegas and approached the desk of the receptionist in the front. “Has Britt come back yet?” she asked, unsure of what the answer would be. She hadn’t seen Britt’s car - a red Tesla - outside of the building. She wouldn’t be surprised if Britt had just, well, forgotten or otherwise ghosted their plans again… “I don’t see her car, and I was supposed to go over her gear-”

“Oh, sorry about that,” the receptionist said, as if she already knew what Anka was talking about. “She left about fifteen minutes before you came back. Told me to tell you that she would have to find another time. Said she was picking up Erin and heading to check out the new team house… Y’know, for the team her dad is making-”

“Yeah, yeah. I know about that,” Anka said, not in the mood to hear much more and lowering her head, taking one step away. “Guess that’s more interesting for her than trying on my gear,” she added in a lower tone, her frustration bleeding into her voice.

Not just over Britton, but over Erin Gallo - the one who was effectively taking over as Britton’s best friend, with more money, more attention from the hero teams, and well, generally being older and cooler. Anka wasn’t sure exactly how she was supposed to compete with it. Hell, Erin even had more notable powers. While Anka had electricity, Erin was capable of manipulating a thick black biomass which she could expand through consuming more biomatter and could use to form both armor and weapons. If someone didn’t know better, they would probably say that she looked like the character Venom. And that was decidedly cooler and more badass than someone that could just shoot electricity and use it for some other more subtle means.

Britton’s attention was just one other area where Erin was head and shoulders above her, at least these days. It hadn’t always been that way, but there had been a fight and…

Anka noticed herself clenching her fists, and she forced herself to relax, instead thanking the receptionist and walking towards the elevator to head upstairs to her room. For now, she wasn’t living with her parents, but rather at the Vipers team building. It was comfortable enough, and these days, she preferred her space. Others seemed to know that, too. She passed a couple others in the hall but nothing was said. She had become…

More of a loner ever since that fight with Britton. Well, multiple fights. But those had been a decent while ago by now and she had expected things to turn around a bit more.

The door was slammed behind her in frustration as she entered her room, which was a slight mess. She knew where everything was in it, though. On her desk in the living room, she had some things laid out that she was supposed to be showing Britt right now. It was body armor, the lighter type that came in the form of plates that could be placed underneath a tight fitting outfit for extra protection in the field. She had spent a bunch of her own money and her own time on it, however, to make sure the armor would give better performance and allow for better movement than it would if she had kept it stocked.

With an angry gesture, she swept it off the desk and onto the ground. So much for that… She couldn’t even use it for herself, either. She was taller, and she had cut everything down to Britt’s size to avoid adding any extra encumbrance that wasn’t necessary. Someone on a larger team would receive this kind of customization automatically, but since they weren’t on the largest team, she had taken it upon herself to make her own alterations. So much for that being appreciated.

Anka could still remember what Britton had told her over text.

“Not gonna be busy for a few days… hmu.”

And yet after they had agreed on the time they would meet and she’d try on the armor that Anka had worked for… Probably a bit longer than a week on, she shifted plans and she was suddenly out with Erin without even giving a heads up. Hell, Anka wasn’t as upset about her skipping as she was about having to find out last minute about it from the receptionist.

Still, she forced herself to calm down. Even if this wasn’t the first time, or even the second time, or third or fourth time something like this had happened.

Even if it seemed to happen more than it didn’t these days. Maybe they could meet up later. Or maybe she had vastly misjudged Britt’s interest.

“Erin Gallo…” Anka muttered under her breath, moving to the window and looking out of it, and at downtown Vegas off in the slight distance. For someone that was living in a city known for fun, she wasn’t having much fun career wise right now. And she hadn’t been, for a while. Now that she thought about it, things had been like this since…

It was hard to bring herself to think back about it. Leaning against the frame of the window with her hands, she closed her eyes and ground her teeth together at just the thought.

…Since the fight.

Maybe that fight had done more than she originally thought. Maybe it had caused her to lose the respect of one of the few people whose respect she cared about. And if she didn’t have that, what did she have? She wasn’t rich, wasn’t the most impressive hero, hell, she didn’t even have a ton of other friends… She was just known as the dark strange girl who was often seen with Jon Audley’s daughter. Sure, some of the enthusiasts about the whole superhero thing knew her, but… That attention paled in comparison to what some of the others got.

All that had been fine because the person she cared about approved of her. Now, she could hardly even say that much was true. Britt would never admit to not respecting her these days. But her actions pretty much said it.

She opened her eyes. Her phone was ringing, and she didn’t know the number… She could have just ignored it, but she felt like something to get her mind off of this, so she answered it instead. At first, she heard nothing on the other end of the line. And so, giving it one more chance before she hung up, she spoke. “Hello?”

The voice on the other end of the line was… Cold. But the words were intriguing. It sounded like a male voice, but stoic in a certain way, no emotion, like everything it was saying was just a matter of fact. Strangely enough, though, the voice didn’t sound that far off from one that she knew. But… Based on these words, it couldn’t be that voice…

“Anka Noskova… You feel cast aside and used, do you not?”

“I…” she started, unsure of what to say. She didn’t have to say anything, however. The voice picked up again before she could reply.

“If you want to seek real respect… And perhaps power to lash out at the ones who have wronged you… You’ll listen to the following instructions.”

Of course, she didn’t know what those instructions were yet, but she was going to find that out soon - she had a good reason to pay attention, regardless of whether she ended up listening or not. Because it wasn’t every day she received a mysterious call that promised to sort out her problems for her like this… She could only wonder how legitimate it was.
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Skaldia
Minister
 
Posts: 2894
Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:05 pm

SNIP
Last edited by Skaldia on Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Witness.”||
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4331
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:00 am

Visit Day
AuTech Headquarters Complex, Paradise, Nevada
January 28th, 2020




They went to a few different locations while they were touring the headquarters. They looked at the call center where a lot of the heartbeat of the corporate side of the company was, they went down some floors to the design lab, where the company worked on many of the big projects from the technology division. It was phone designs that took up a lot of the work here but there were also other things of ranging importance - AuTech had expanded into multiple fields and they were still working on more things. This new show that these heroes were signing up for was just another part of that.

Once they had passed this floor, they headed further down to the floor that was serving as the headquarters of the hero team… The Team Wave logo was displayed prominently on the walls, even though it had only been days since the team had been formed. And their colors, an electric blue primarily, were seen on everything. Another thing that was a common sight were computers. Plenty and plenty of computers with people working at them, and some phones where people were also talking to work out things like contracts, deals to record the show at certain locations, and negotiations with agents and with some of the heroes who hadn’t yet come here. In other words, they were right in the thick of preparing for what was already a massive undertaking.

It wasn’t easy to get a team up and running, after all. Competition with Team Infinity aside, a lot of people needed to handle a lot of things to do it, and yet AuTech was handling the ask admirably.

“This is the nerve center so to speak for team operations. You guys might not come here this much but this is the place where much of the work goes down to set up your assignments, or rather, future assignments once all of you are officially signed and move into the team house that’s being set up not far from here,” Jon Audley said, gesturing to the scene in front of the recruits.

“And here comes my daughter, who was just handling some things at the team house site,” Audley added, gesturing to the girl who was approaching from down the hallway but didn’t look that much like him. She had more of her mother’s looks - blonde hair, softer features. If someone took one look at her, they probably wouldn’t assume she was a dangerous metahuman, and there was little to give the fact away except for the toned muscles she had despite otherwise not looking like the kind of person that worked out. They weren’t immediately visible, but someone paying attention would notice.

She was trailed by another person, Erin Gallo, who wasn’t related to Jon at all but looked more like him than his own daughter did, mainly because she had dark hair of her own and had Mediterranean blood, of which Audley possessed a bit. Her ancestry wasn’t direct, though. She could trace her Italian heritage back through California immigrants, but them moving to the west of the United States had eventually brought her here to Vegas. She had been here for some time since then - and she was one of the first ones to sign on with the team.

“This is Britton, everyone. And Erin Gallo,” Audley continued, pointing both of them out. They offered a wave, first Britton and then Erin, who was paying less attention to this whole thing for whatever reason. She seemed like a more spaced out person, and yet she was content hanging around Britton, who she had followed here. “My daughter, and the first person to sign for this team.”

Britton didn’t say anything and just nodded to the group - she wasn’t withdrawn per say, but she also wasn’t one of the people who talked just for the sake of talking. Erin, on the other hand, held up her hand in recognition and offered a quick greeting. “‘Sup, dudes.”

“Is there anything the group needs to know about?” Audley asked Britton, knowing that she had likely memorized some of the schedule better than he had. She wasn’t always the most competent in combat… But she made up for it in other ways and she was skilled in administration, something that would be useful for her within the company if her hero career didn’t pan out.

“Journalists are in the lobby like you were expecting. So you should get the group moving in that direction. I have to pick up one of the new members from the airport, I think. The flight wasn’t private… It’s coming in directly from Manila. I’ll handle that and I assume you and the others are going to meet the press in the lobby?” Britt said, rattling off the schedule with precision.

“Ah. You heard her,” Audley said to the rest of the group, Allie and Eamon included. “You guys are going to get to meet some journalists, who I’m sure are going to be so interested about hearing why you’re here… Give us some good press, maybe? I think they’d love to hear the news that you’re signing with us, Allie.”

“I haven’t signed anything yet,” Allie said with a chuckle - even if she knew her decision already, that she was most likely going to join the team here. It met her expectations enough. And it was far away from her mother, most importantly… She could still harass her over phone and email, of course, but it was more physical distance between them, and more of a time zone gap. Hopefully, it would be enough to give her some breathing room and give her an excuse to blow off the attention her mother would almost certainly give now that she was on a larger team.

She glanced over at one of the others who had arrived after the tour already started, raising an eyebrow - Eamon, she thought his name was. In the meantime, they started moving. “Makes you wonder how much the likes of us are going to get attention… I mean, look ahead of us, you’ve got Andrew Saint Pierre here… And Seraph, too. Granted, I ain’t an unknown, but I did show up here thinking it would be a, you know… Individual visit and not some group bullshit.”

Pausing, she chuckled under her breath - a hint of bitterness in it. “Call me jealous, but they could’a done a bit better with all the other teams that’d be interested in signing me too that I could’ve went to…”
Last edited by Forest State on Wed Jan 22, 2020 7:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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anti: catgirls & people who step on snek

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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29854
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Wed Jan 22, 2020 9:49 am

Elis Nankova, 'Bulwark'
Various Locations
January 28th, 2020


There were some things out there that people just hated with every single fiber of their being, where the thought of it would stoke a churning fire of rage deep down within them, where mention of it would make the rage start to bubble up inside, threatening to spill out at even the slightest of mentions. It was rare for anyone to hate anything quite that much, but Elis hated Manila that deeply.

The people were fine, sure, but it was too damn hot, and more than anything else she hated her team. Not the people on it, but the team itself and its stupid, brightly-coloured branding and sponsor and the disgusting food it put out and everything associated with it. But that just made it even more deeply satisfying as she stood in a desolate construction site, watching the pyre in front of her burn with a smile on her face.

It had taken a lot to convince her old, disgustingly coloured costume to burn; alcohol, petrol, wood, pure ethanol... But it made for a beautiful pyre, flames flickering in the darkness, the only light around, the panels of her forcefields around her and the fire making it cast strange shadows across the concrete beneath and the scaffolding around her. A warning for others to keep away and not to mess with her. But it was so... Nice to watch what she was leaving behind quite literally going up in smoke and ash. Manila had only ever been a step on the way to something greater, and something greater had finally come. She looked down at her watch, pausing, staring at the time for a moment, before sighing.

She did have a flight to catch, but she allowed herself to linger for a few moments longer, watching the fire slowly burn itself down before she finally stood up, hauling the duffel bag next to her up over her shoulder and turning away from the fire, walking away slowly. Sometimes it was better to leave the past behind her.



Flying was more of a hassle than she remembered. At least she wasn't swarmed by cameras as she made her way through Manila's airport, just another face in the crowd. She wasn't that well known, not even in the city she was part of the hero team for, and out of costume, in an unusual context like an airport where everyone was more focused on getting somewhere than the people around them, it was easy for her to slip into the background, unnoticed. Not that she minded for once as she settled down to sleep as best as she could given the circumstances. It was a long flight to Las Vegas.

Sleep never came. Screaming babies and children, general turbulence, her own hunger kept her awake, thoughts stewing and mixing with nerves behind closed eyes. She'd been trying for years to get out of Manila, but no one wanted a Bulgarian who'd been in a nowhere like Manila on an unknown team with a bunch of no ones. She'd made attempts, made connections, tried to call in favours, but no one wanted her. No one wanted to take the risk on the foreigner when there was home-grown talent, the kids of previous stars, the products of extensive talent pipelines...

It made her wonder why she'd made it now. She didn't put it down to luck; luck was the resort of idiots and the naive. Maybe they'd just flung offers at everyone who looked decently promising enough; they had money and they were new, so they could afford to take risks. It made sense, but deep down there was still that feeling of nervousness and unease, that this was a dream that would soon enough become a nightmare. She wasn't someone who trusted easily, she'd learned that the hard way.

Still, what was the worst that could happen?




Elis woke to a sharp jolt as the plane touched down. She must've fallen asleep on the flight, not that she minded. She sat up, brushing her hair out of her face before standing up, pulling her duffel bag out of the overhead locker and making her way off the plane. Border control took about as long as expected, which was to say too damn long by her standards, but that was what you had to put up with when you weren't yet rich and famous enough for private jets.

She wasn't entirely sure who she was supposed to be looking for as she emerged into the departures area, looking through the crowds. She wasn't even sure what she was supposed to be looking for, a car, a taxi, it hadn't been entirely clear what, but she figured if she wandered around aimlessly for long enough she had a better chance of finding what she was looking for as she started to wade through the crowds.
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 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:54 am

Generation NEXT - ACT I: California Love
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


LA, Hollywood, the Angel City… It happened to be known by a lot of things but it was hard to deny that it was the city of stars. The city where many of the most well known heroes pursued their work in front of one of the most important media markets in the country, while on the side, they had recording deals and movie shoots with some of the entertainment industry’s largest names. Superheroes and entertainment had been linked ever since heroes became more than just public servants, and many of the things in LA that could be found without looking very far were a testament to their bond.

The city was also a special place to Team Infinity because it was one of the places where they had risen to relevance originally - in fact, they had helped pioneer the model of the celebrity hero who appeared in movies and had all kinds of brand deals and lived out in a city like this. Team Infinity LA had started as one of the many regional teams in the country, and today, it was a globally recognized brand with followers from the United States to Europe - and Japan and China, thanks to more recent marketing efforts to expand their influence further, which had involved foreign visits and TV appearances.

It was one of the main things Team Infinity could offer. AuTech and their Team Wave did have a strong marketing department, but they were working on promoting their heroes from nothing. They didn’t have much of a brand because they had only just started out with heroes. And while they could buy some big name hero prospects and get a deal with HBO to make a rival show to the one that Infinity was producing, they couldn’t just immediately replicate the reach that Infinity had in so many places. Hell, even in the States, Infinity was… Dominant. It would take a hell of an effort to dethrone them.

The next generation did need to come through, however, if they were going to carry their success into the future - and the Generation NEXT television show was supposed to ensure that just that happened. They’d show off a team of fourth generation heroes who were some of the better talents they could find, they would get them on TV and make it so everyone knew their faces, and at some point they would end up on different senior teams to help revitalize the Infinity organization. Simple in practice. In reality, there were risks.

There was the chance that not everyone would be TV material, that some of them for whatever reason would have a hard time getting the audience to take to them, and there was a smaller chance that someone on the roster would be revealed to be completely unfit for fame following some breakdown - it sounded like a far fetched possibility but in a world where an otherwise normal person could become very famous just because of powers which they sometimes couldn’t even control properly. Not everyone was cut out for such a sharp rise with little competition

They would find out soon enough what everyone’s mettle was, because Generation NEXT was showing up in Los Angeles to handle some things with the media and record the first episode. It wasn’t going to be live but it was going to be damn close to it - there wouldn’t be much time spent in editing before the episode was released, and fans would soon get a look at the new cast for the first time ever.

It was kind of a big deal.

The members of the show happened to be coming in from all different areas, however, and not all of them were even Americans. Which meant that before they could film anything of relevance, they had to get together. Los Angeles International Airport was packed at the moment, but it wasn’t just filled with people heading onto mid afternoon flights out of the city of LA, but people that were here to see the arriving heroes from various places. As well as the media themselves, who’d set up their cameras on the scene to make sure they didn’t miss it.

More and more of those planes were starting to touch down and there were more people showing up who were tied to the show in some way - producers coming back to LA after traveling around to some of the other important sites in Team Infinity lore in preparation, executives who handled the money side of things, and others. And then the first planes with actual heroes on them started arriving at the airport, and the fans that were there had their first real reaction of the day.

“Never thought I’d see a day when this kinda reaction is over us…” muttered one of those heroes, Amalia Huerta, as she looked down at her phone and checked the time and checked the location they were supposed to head to - apparently, there was something going on downtown and they needed to be there - before throwing her bag over her shoulder and starting to head out of the terminal, spotting a number of people watching her in the process.

A strange sight for someone that had, in the past, been an illegal vigilante.

It made her flinch a little bit, even. Usually, having this many eyes on her wasn’t good, because it meant that there were more people that could get her in trouble with the authorities - even after signing the contract to join Generation NEXT, she had to remind herself each time something like this happened that she had gone ‘legitimate.’ There was no need to shy away from the spotlight now. She had been accepted onto this show and the spotlight would be on her from here on out - so it would help to not be so damn awkward about it.

Amalia forced herself to give a wave to the crowd of hero watchers, as she continued on her way with just her backpack. She hadn’t brought a lot like some people were, because the fact of the matter was that she didn’t have much. Sure, her parents were wealthy Silicon Valley types who had been in on some startups and made a lot of cash, but she hated asking for it. Taking it usually came with the expectation she’d do more for that kind of career that she wasn't interested in and less for herself as a hero, which was her passion. She wasn’t the type to give up her passions, even if it meant she’d spent the last couple years living north of Palo Alto, in Oakland, in somewhat poor conditions rather than in the wealth her parents and aunts and uncles had.

Sometimes, though, it helped to be from Oakland - it had toughened her up a bit but right now, the usefulness in that came from the fact that she was a California hero showing up in Los Angeles amid a number of others from out of state. Sure, that was northern California and this was southern California, but she was closer to home than any of the east coasters. She wasn’t afraid of showing a bit of California love today, either… Her outfit consisted of athletic sweatpants, a black Aftermath Records tee shirt, and a purple and gold Los Angeles Lakers cap that was about the only real color she was wearing at the moment.

Wasn’t long before she was found by the press, who followed her through towards the exit she was headed for. “Amalia, you’re one of the underdogs on this show, not coming from a prominent background and all, so how are you handling it?”

She raised an eyebrow - she wasn’t the best at dealing with the press, really. She was perhaps too honest. She tended to speak her mind, and that’s what she did right now. “Didn’t know I was an underdog,” she said simply. “I dunno who the underdog or overdog or whoever is, I just had an offer and I accepted it…”

“You’re here representing the state of California, do you have any feelings about landing here in LA for the first stop of the show?”

Once again, she shrugged, not the type for long statements. “Fuckin’ surreal… Never had this many people care about something I’m doing before. Just hope I don’t screw it up,” she replied, as they were now reaching the gates of the airport, where she started towards them initially but stopped, looking up at the main entrance and the sunlight outside.

Soon enough, she’d step out there and be one step closer to the most important thing she’d ever been a part of. The biggest thing. She’d never had this much attention on her… Or this much of someone else’s resources riding on her. Was safe to say it came with a lot of pressure. And yet, it would pretty much be a crime to back down here.

“After all… I’ve got a lotta people back in the bay that aren’t gonna let me live it down if I fail here.”
Last edited by Forest State on Sun Feb 09, 2020 6:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:24 am

Olympia Galatas
Los Angeles, CA
January 30th, 2020


It had only been the first time in her life that she'd flown, and Olympia already knew she hated flying. It wasn't her fault, how was she supposed to know she got travelsick so easily? She'd never left the Bay Area until today and she'd never driven very far or fast even while in it, not trusting her car not to break down and die on her at the most inconvenient moment or stuck in traffic. Still, an hour and a half of feeling like hell, having way too many sick-bags and feeling like she was starving on top of that and it was finally over as she made her way off the plane, rucksack patting against her back as she walked.

She didn't have much, and she had less she'd wanted to bring with her. Bare essentials. She wasn't the sentimental type, never had been, and it was difficult to have sentiments of a good nature when so much of your life in a place had been bad at best through no fault of her own. Still, she was out of there now and... Here. Not that she was really sure what to make of here.

"Never wanted this kind of reaction." Olympia muttered back, close behind Amalia, trusting that she knew where the pair of them were going, too distracted by the eyes on the pair of them as well-honed reflexes came to the surface. Knowing who was watching you was an important skill for any criminal, and it felt absolutely alien to her to be unable to respond except by watching back with her own wary look. She didn't wave, instead still glancing from side to side as she walked with a predator's grace, every shift in her as she moved guided by her power to be ready to fight at a moment's notice.

She let Amalia do the talking once the press finally found them; that was how they'd always operated, whenever they'd needed to talk to anyone as vigilantes; if Amalia was honest, then Olympia was blunt and had all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to match. It was a skill she knew she'd have to learn sooner or later though, if she wanted to survive for long. But surviving was something she was good at, she always had been. She'd just have to adapt again this time, even if it was to a strange new world.
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 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:12 am

Amalia "Psycho" Huerta
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


Amalia looked down at her phone once again to make sure they were indeed headed in the right direction - she believed they were but she didn’t want to get lost in a big city like this that she’d never been in before… Then again, she knew quite a lot about navigating the streets and memorizing directions, she had served as a vigilante after all and there wasn’t usually time to check Google Maps when in the middle of a fight. She’d chased cars, run the streets herself to get away from enemies, and planned out spots to get the drop on opponents. And now she was here, in a position that was the opposite of her past life - before, she’d been a vigilante, and now, she was legit.

It would take some getting used to.

The fact that she hadn’t bothered to memorize the area they were in, with all the streets, in detail was also something that would take getting used to considering it had been one of her habits before. They were supposed to head to some hotel, one of the few five star ones she’d be able to say that she stayed in. Unlike Olympia, she wasn’t exactly a stranger to the five star hotel thing. Her family had stayed in some, but she had never been to one while spending her own money. Ever since going independent and leaving home, she hadn’t had enough cash of her own for things like that.

She had to admit, it was one of the reasons she was going for this gig in the first place. She didn’t have to make up some bullshit story for her family about how she was getting by through selling art or something like that - although considering she had lived in a loft with a number of starving artist types, it wasn’t really that far from the truth. In reality, she’d just said that because it sounded like she was better off than she actually was. Most of her actual income had come from odd jobs during the day before she went out at night, with not a ton of time in the middle for sleeping.

Being able to get a normal amount of sleep was another luxury she would soon be introduced to.

“Shit, we’re going to have to rent a car,” Amalia stated, looking around once they were on the outside of the airport and realizing that she much preferred just paying to rent rather than trying to get one of the mani taxis outside. “But there’s a place right across the street, fortunately…”

They still weren’t out of the airport complex itself, of course - LAX was too big of an airport to simply walk out of like any regular location. They’d have to find a car, and then they could get on the road and drive downtown to the location they were supposed to meet at. However, there were some… Interruptions to prevent them from doing just that right away. Specifically, interruptions of the human kind.

They were in the spotlight right now, and that spotlight was still on even when they didn’t want it or need it. Not long after they had emerged from the airport, they were approached, or rather cornered aggressively, by more press - it wasn’t a mob like last time, though. It was an army of two, one guy holding a microphone and some sound equipment and the other guy holding a video camera while rapidly approaching the pair of heroes, not giving them much space as the camera was quickly shoved into their faces and the microphone was held close to pick up on any audio.

“This is Arlo Brandt with the Hero News Network and the Heroes Today show, we’re right here in Los Angeles in the run up to the Generation NEXT premier… Olympia, do you have anything to say about your questionable social media use during your past in Oakland?” the man with the microphone asked, as the video camera focused in on them closely, the question having been laid out as a surprise before they could say they had no interest in an interview. The smug reporter knew what he was doing, too. It was evident from the smug, almost shit eating grin on his face, that came from someone who was likely sure they had caught a young hero in the headlights with a question that could petrify even the most experienced ones these days.

And surely, the man had to believe, there would be a good reaction from this. Good in terms of getting attention for the network, at least.
Last edited by Forest State on Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:48 am

Olympia Galatas
Los Angeles, CA
January 30th, 2020


Olympia blinked, slightly confused, before giving a silent shrug to Amalia. She hadn't even thought about how they'd get to wherever they were going really, she'd figured they'd just grab a taxi or something, but if Amalia wanted to rent, then they'd rent one. Would be nice to have something to drive around in anyways while they were here.

Still, at least they'd escaped the airport crowds-

Fuck, Olympia swore internally as she spotted them out of the edge of her vision, a two-man media team of one cameraman, one audio guy. Fuck. She swore again to herself, looking around, but they approached them too fast and she hadn't been aware enough as she made a mental note to regard all reporters, news cameras and anything related as the enemy from now on. It wasn't something she was used to having to dodge, after.

"Not to you." Olympia growled out, not in the best of moods from her flight, something that was only amplified by the annoying smug grin on his face, hands twitching as she resisted the urge to simply smash the smugness off of his face. It would be so easy too... Orr maybe she should hit the camera guy first? Tough call. Either would be satisfying, but would also be stupid and likely involve things like lawsuits and legal shit she didn't have time, money or patience for. She turned away from the camera, refusing to look at it before she did something stupid, resisting the urge to just flip the bird as she turned to walk away.
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 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:18 am

Amalia “Psycho” Huerta
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


It wasn’t so easy to get rid of the press, however. Fact of the matter was, they spent much of their time annoying celebrities and they had gotten quite good at it and had learned resilience. If some reporter in LA walked away as soon as their subject showed some kind of annoyance, they probably wouldn’t get too far… There was a reason it wasn’t uncommon to see TMZ swarming someone and asking repeated questions whether they were interested or not. And these people from the Heroes News Network, or at the very least one show that was broadcast there, definitely took some pages out of the TMZ playbook.

“The fans want a proper answer from you,” Brandt said, continuing to follow after Olympia even as Amalia turned without saying anything and followed after her - no reason to make controversy if they didn’t have to. Sometimes the best route was to just not say anything, and if things didn’t keep going like this and the reporters broke off, that was how she intended to keep things. Only problem was that they weren’t breaking off.

“Your silence is just going to make you look worse here, Olympia… What do you have to say about the violent tweets?” Brandt continued, keeping the pressure up while the cameraman walked side by side with them to keep the camera on them, and Brandt stayed somewhat close behind with the microphone.

Amalia gritted her teeth but otherwise kept her mouth shut for now - anything that was said would end up captured and they already looked bad enough for blowing off the attention like this, she didn’t want to add anything else to what might be a minor controversy once this hit the news pretty soon. She wasn’t quite sure what she was going to do if they didn’t get left alone, though.

But considering the Hero News Network was one of the ones responsible for their new paychecks, she also had her doubts about how smart it was to potentially piss them off.



Britton ‘Surge’ Audley
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


Finding the right person at an airport like this was hard, sometimes. Britton had a vague idea of what she was looking for, but still, it wasn't like this ‘Elis’ that she was supposed to pick up was some famous hero whose face had been on TV. She did have a distinctive look about her for sure… But Britton had needed to take a couple looks at her picture to make sure she had things right, before she was confident parking her red Tesla and climbing out to head for the airport itself, her eyes scanning for the right person.

And then she saw her. It had been hard getting eyes on her but she couldn’t really miss her once she had actually spotted her, thanks to her distinctive eyes - specifically one of them being a different color from the other, which Britton had memorized as one of the main tells that this was indeed her and wasn’t just some other person who would turn out to be a stranger. That would have been embarrassing, which was why Britton was happy to have something to confirm she was indeed looking at who she was looking at.

“Hey!” she said, aiming to get her attention and giving a wave - and there was no way she could get confused and think Britton was waving at someone else, because she also happened to be staring at her at the same time. Once she’d given the wave she started to make her way towards Elis’ location specifically, with the goal of meeting her halfway or tracking her down on foot if she didn’t start moving.

She offered her hand once she was there, a genuine smile on her face - Britton wasn’t the greatest hero but she was good in the social sphere and could handle things like this better than her father, who was often too caught up in his own eccentricities to do as well as she did when it came to PR and the like. And right now, she had set her mind to making the new recruit feel welcome. She’d come a long way just to join their team, after all. All the way from Manila on a commercial flight.

“You’re Elis, right? The name’s Britton, I’m the one that was sent to take you to the new team house,” she said. “My car’s outside and we should probably get moving before I end up getting ticketed for it or something but once we drive back to the team house you’ll be able to dump your bags there or whatever and get something to eat, or just rest…”

She paused, thinking back to the large mansion that had been bought and converted into a multi person headquarters just for them, with all the trappings of a rich person’s abode but all the function of a team HQ. “It’s really nice over there, I’m sure you’ll be happy to see it after that trip.”
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Lunas Legion
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Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:24 am

Olympia Galatas
Los Angeles, CA
January 30th, 2020


"Vigilantes are violent, news at ten. Shocks, gasps, someone faints, questions asked in Congress and in other news bears shit in woods and the President's an American." Olympia shrugged, breathing out, just letting her anger and irritation and annoyance flow out as she calmed herself. Martial arts, as cool as they looked, were only half for fighting; the other half was focused on the self and control of it; even if her power presented her the former, she'd had to learn the latter the hard way. It helped if she was walking away and not looking at the camera, made it easier, gave her something else she could focus on than that oh-so-punchable smug face. "What else do you expect? So yeah. That's what I have to say."

She didn't feel it deserved much more than that; expecting a vigilante not to be violent was... Well, stupid. It was a brutal world out there on the streets; brutality and threat kept you alive when you were solo; fear kept people from being stupid enough to cross you unless they had backup, and the more backup people brought, the easier it was to simply avoid getting in a fight in the first place. Still, she didn't exactly stop walking, nor did she relax, her muscles still tensed slightly, ready to spring at a moment's notice, eyes ignoring the annoying news team and more focused on the surrounding environment, watching for threats she didn't know about.

Old habits died hard.




Elis Nankova, 'Bulwark'
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


Crowds were weird. They had this flow to them, where they wanted to take you to, and for some reason Elis almost always found herself going against that, trying to push against it. She wasn't entirely sure how long she'd been wandering around absolutely aimlessly looking for... Well, literally anything that looked like it might be for her, something with her name on, something with AuTech written on... But she'd seen nothing at all. Maybe they'd forgotten about her?

She held back the dark laugh; it would be funny, wouldn't it, for her to have made it all the way here only for some bureaucratic mix-up that meant no one was here to collect her. Still, she figured she'd keep looking for a bit, couldn't do any harm and if she had to make her own way there flight by forcefield wasn't that uncomfortable, even if it wasn't that fast either. She turned as she heard someone way her name, quickly locking onto the waving hand from the vague direction her name had come from and slowly starting to wade through the crowd to meet whoever had waved at her.

"That's me." Elis nodded, holding back a yawn as she took the newly-introduced Britton's hand. She might've managed to sleep on the flight over, but she didn't think it had been a good sleep based on how tired she was. "And yeah, although I kinda want to go collapse into an actual bed for a bit before doing literally anything else. Seventeen hour flights are not fun, so, uh, yeah, lead on." Elis gave a vague wave towards the exit.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Postby Durmatagno » Thu Jan 23, 2020 10:04 am

Fae "Daoine" Drachoit
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


Fae had spent most of the flight to LA uncomfortable, strangely because the plane was to comfortable. She wasn't used to such things, especially not after having to survive on the streets. Now that she could stretch and walk, it felt much better. She wasn't to tall, but economy wasn't known for providing space at the best of times. Sure she could have afforded something better, but considering the debt she was in, she felt it better to save where she could. She only had two or three extra things she spent money on, even her food tended to be quick and simple. While she waited for her suitcase, she looked around, ignoring stares at her horns with practiced ease. What few people met her eye looked away quickly. Seemed plenty of people were curious, but no one wanted to approach her so far. That wouldn't last for long, there were bound to be press and 'press' lurking around here somewhere.

Grabbing her suitcase, a plain black thing with no extra bells or whistles, not that there were many one could put on a luggage container, she turned to leave. She made it past a few throngs of people, spotting other people with cameras getting shoved in her faces. Unfortunately she couldn't be so lucky as to get away entirely unscathed. Someone had a camera phone in her face after just a few more steps. She just stepped around them, not even paying attention to whoever was trying to harass her. She didn't have any experience with dealing with press, and considered that at the moment, saying nothing would be easier for everyone than saying something that would bite her in the ass later.

It wasn't like press were at the top of her list of concerns. She needed to find a ride, get to the hotel, make sure she knew how to actually get around the city, and keep from attracting negative attention before the episode could even be filmed. Fae's shoes didn't make much sound on the floor of the airport, she wasn't the type to wear heels, though she had a few times for various different reasons. She preferred sneakers or boots when she could manage it, though she had the feeling even her day to day outfits would be curated soon enough. She was giving up some choice to have the means to survive in this world, it was a trade off she was willing to make, but she would only let it get pushed so far before she pushed back.

"No comment, wait for the actual press release."

Was all she said as another member of the 'press' was trying to get in her face, and again she side stepped them. She could see ones with better cameras, and the ability to actually take notes scattered about. These ones were problem owners of smaller blogs or freelancers, it was easier to sidestep them while she still tried to avoid attracting to much attention. Unfortunately, a girl with horns would attract it regardless, and it wouldn't be long before they realized who she was and she had her own throng. She quietly prayed to whatever might be listening to let her at least get out into the sunlight before she got stopped.
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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Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
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Postby Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:57 pm

Jacob 'Jake' Aubery
JakeReacts in YouTube
Above Los Angeles
January 30th, 2020


Image


“Alright, what’s up, Reactors? We’re airborne, heading to LA, and the pilot is about to announce…”

Just as Jake Aubery spoke those words into the front-facing camera of his phone, a melodious note announced that the captain was going to use the intercom. As it did, Jake looked up, feigning surprise.

“Ladies and gentlemen, in a few moments we will start our descent towards Los Angeles International Airport, 6 hours and a half after leaving Newark. We hope you enjoyed your flight and we thank you for flying with…”

“Right, thank you, captain!” Jake quickly said, cutting off the intercom.

“I don’t want to give away any unpaid sponsorship, givaways are for my Twitch supporters, but if Delta Airlines is interested…” he continued, making the universally recognised symbol of a phone with his free right hand.

“Anyway, I hope to be meeting up with those of you who are probably already at the airport. JakeReacts, checking…. OUT!”

With that, he dexterously ended the video he was making. Jake had been dismissive of instagram when his social media manager had first proposed it, but it had quickly overtaken twitter as the medium to keep in touch with fans. Twitter, as it turns out, was for the Old Media to keep the pulse on the internet. Hotbed of anarcho-syndicalist revolutionaries, alt-right trolls and CNN battling it out. No, thank you, goodbye, off to join Facebook in the cesspool of internet history.

“Yes, I would!” Jake said suddenly, just as one of the stewards passed by him with his drink trolley. If he had not looked incredulously in Jake’s direction, he would not have known anything out of the ordinary had happened. It hadn’t, at least not from Jake’s perspective. But the steward was obviously perplexed by his question being anticipated. The youngster clacked his tongue and looked down guilty at his shoes.

“What would you like, then?” the steward asked, misinterpreting the situation as a rich kid looking at him with disdain, as if he were some glorified high-flying butler. This really was not the case. When Jake was not concentrated, he had trouble separating the present from his anticipations. He resumed speaking, but with his voice suddenly having gone timid and apologetic.

“Do you have a Peps…” he wanted to say, but just as he did he felt two brown eyes dig into his very soul from across the aisle. Looking up from his New York Times was a well-kempt man, dressed in a dark suit with a black tie. His nails were cut down to his fingers, shaved as smooth as a bowling ball and all the hairs of his head pointed neatly in the same direction. He did not even have to make a sound for Jake to quickly change his pick, partially because he had anticipated the dark look.

“I mean, do you have a Coke?” he corrected himself. He stewards looked at him suspiciously, not noticing the dark suited man to his right. He started to shake his head.

“No… but actually do have Pepsi, if that’s alright?”

Jake swallowed, and in turn shook his own head. “N… no, that’s alright. Water… water will do fine”

The suited man averted his head and went back to reading his newspaper. The steward poured him a glass and handed it over to him, and just to distract from the incredible awkwardness Jake immediately started sipping from it. The stewards then turned to the man in the dark suit.

“Anything for you, sir?”

“I’ll have that Pepsi, thank you” he said with a deep voice.

Jake continued to pour his attention into the insurmountable task of drinking water from a paper cup. His dad was watching him like a vulture, a thing Jake imagined he had taken with him from Jordan. Aubrey Inc had a sponsorship deal with Coca Cola, which was the only type of soft drink Jake was allowed to consume in public. Him drinking Pepsi in public would seriously jeopardise that contract, and that was something his dad would not in a million years allow to happen.

“Remember, Mo… You’ll have cameras on you 24/7 for...”

“The foreseeable future, alright, alright” Jake said. He did not need his powers to anticipate that phrase, which his father had thrown around twice daily since he got the NEXT contract. Everything was now ‘for the foreseeable future’, which could mean both seconds or years depending on the circumstances. The fact that Jake could actually see a bit into the future did not seem to register on his dad’s irony receptors.

Twenty minutes later, the plane touched down on the LAX tarmac. Only a few moment’s taxiing later, they were at the terminal, almost standing still. Jake was the first to undo his seatbelts, standing up to take his luggage from the overhead compartments. The steward who had taken his order was quick to give him a stern talking, accompanied by an equally stern finger pointing at the fasten-your-seatbelts-light.

“Young man, please remain seated until…” but before he could finish, the lights were extinguished. Jake gave him a look of feigned apology as he wrestled his backpack from the compartment. He did not have to look at his dad to see a faint smile crawling across his face, as he folded his newspaper and got his own trolley down.

They did not have to wait long for excitement. As soon as they left the terminal they could see the fans lined up: a couple dozen, wearing merch and brandishing posters. The most recognisable symbol was the cooling tower with the radioactivity hazard sign brandished on it, the symbol for Jake’s youtube channel. As soon as he came into view, the group went into a frenzy, storming him with pens and all manner of items to get a signature. Although it was crowded and tiring, these were the moments that Jake loved.

“Hey there!” he said amicably, as if he had known these people for months. In a way, he had, although he had never seen them before. These were his real fans. One girl, dressed in a black JakeReacts shirt, was with him first, handing him a door-sized poster.

“Hey Jake!” she said, equally amicably. It was sometimes hard for these people to realize that the youtube channel had a one-way screen.

“What’s your name, mate?” Jake asked, but before she could answer he cut her off.

“Wait, no, don’t say” he continued, and with the sharpie she presented him with he signed the bottom of the poster.

‘Dear Stephanie, thanks for greeting me after a long flight, with love, JakeReacts’

It was a very cheap trick. Jake could anticipate their reaction, and by cutting off before they could actually give the reaction it appeared like mind-reading. He used to drive his high school teachers mad with tricks like these, and he had perfected the technique for using it. Of course, it was not actually mind reading, so only if someone was ready to blurt out an answer within 5 seconds was it useful. Of course, these fans would give him their social security number if he casually asked for it. He could only enjoy Stephanie’s perplex reaction for a moment, because she was soon replaced by a 12 year old boy, brandishing his playstation controller.

“Hey, my dude!” Jake said. “What’s your name, and how long have you been watching? No, wait…”

With a flourish, the sharpy went across the back of the controller.

‘thanks for four months support, keep Reactin’, JakeReacts’

He wanted to keep going, but he suddenly felt a tug by his arm as his dad pulled him from the crowd.

“I get it” Jake quickly said, prompting his father to stop what he was about to say. The press hordes had spotted his fandom congregating, and as a result had spotted him. A phalanx of reporters armed with microphones and cameras marched towards the group, which meant that Jake and his dad had to keep moving.

“Jake! Jake!” one of the reporters said, coming loose like an ambitious cyclist separating from the peloton half a kilometre before the finish of a stage. As a result, the others came loose as well, all joining in the cacophony.

“Jake! Where are you headed? What’s NEXT doing NEXT? Do you know what your first mission is?”

“You will all know very soon!” Jake said.

“I would know it before you anyway” he added, cheekily. It was his public persona, carefully crafted by his father. He wasn’t really that arrogant or bold himself, but it was perfect for getting views. The media loved an energetic, extraverted bad boy. He fitted perfectly into the mould of a teen star, which was what sold the most playstations and coke cans.

“We’ve got a hired limo up front, at…” his dad said simply. He was about to say exactly where, but Jake cut him off.

“Alright, got it” he answered quickly. With both fans and journalist in tow, they moved through the airport, losing more and more of the press as they went. After all, they had more fish to catch today.

“This is going better than expected” Jake’s dad said joyfully, although Jake seriously doubted whether that meant what he thought it meant.
The name's James. James Usari. Well, my name is not actually James Usari, so don't bother actually looking it up, but it'll do for now.

Lack of a real name means compensation through a real face. My debt is settled


Part-time Kebab tycoon in Glasgow.

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Skaldia
Minister
 
Posts: 2894
Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Thu Jan 23, 2020 1:49 pm

SNIP
Last edited by Skaldia on Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Witness.”||
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune
Minister
 
Posts: 3284
Founded: Feb 01, 2017
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby The Anarcho-Syndicalist Commune » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:00 pm

Lyra Richard
Malibu, California
January 30th, 2020


BEEP, BEEP, BEEP. The alarm went off with all the fury of a viking war cry. Lyra slapped her hand down on the smart table next to her, signalling for the device to snooze. She was rewarded with another blissful moment of sleeping oblivion before the smart device caused her bed to dump her rather uncomfortably on to the floor. Groaning on they grey ceramic, she heard the familiar voice of Logan, her grandfather's AI butler and home, speaking to her in his recorded british accent. "Good morning Ms. Lyra. It is currently 8:31 AM, Pacific time. You had requested to be awoken at this time when you first had the Generation NEXT show scheduled.

Lyra groaned and held her head, which had started throbbing. The details of the previous night were a blur, as was typical for her whenever Grandpa was out of town. Super Bars were a hotspot for her on those rare weeks, able to go out and have fun among her peers outside of the confines of some mansion compound. Of course she had to hide herself when she traveled from hidden bar to hidden bar, but that was a minor manner compared to the lengths she had to hide any parties she threw. Standing up, Lyra stumbled across the dark bedroom, finding her way to the toilet. Holding the quartz shitter, Lyra assumed the position and proceeded to make herself vomit anything still in her system into the toilet. Wiping her mouth afterward, Lyra stood up and looked at herself in the mirror.

She was a wreck, as usual when she wasn't working actively. Last night's make up still caked her face, she had clearly cried at some point, and she seemed tired beyond tired. Using some wipes and a towel, she wiped off her makeup. Noticing her phone on the counter top, she opened it up and groaned at the messages she saw. Her friends wondering where she went, a few dissapointing shots at exes, and a text from a hero named "Splash" thanking her for a good time at the club. As her nerves rose, she felt a familiar sensation in her hand. Holding it up to make sure, Lyra watched it vibrate at super speed for a few seconds before sighing and opening up her medicine cabinet. Moving aside a few baggies of the good stuff and her anti-depressants, Lyra grabbed one of the various syringes of Sedative-10, a specialty formula her grandfather had initially cooked up to fight the Generation 1 speedster Phase. Though he never mass marketed the formula, when it came to cases like his granddaughter, the man formerly known as Twisted was always willing to lend some special treatment.

Lyra took the cap off the Syringe and injected herself with the powerful meta-drug. The formula would stop the heart of any human who took it, but for Meta's it served as a normal sedative, and for speedsters and the super strong it acted more as a relaxant than anything else. Feeling her hand return to normalish, Lyra quickly hopped in the shower, washing off the last of the previous nights gross with some hot water and steam. Stepping out, she toweled herself off before stepping into her room. Telling Logan the codephrase "Flash", she watched as the windows of her room detinted, revealing a beautiful morning over the pacific. Taking it in for moment, she looked to her right and realized that she wasn't alone.

Morgan had been her manager since she had turned sixteen. Even though the young woman had been a newbie to the game, Lyra's mother had seen something in her and assigned her to one of the companies more important assets, Lyra. Morgan was a tall woman with long black hair, grey eyes, and glasses that only seemed to make her prettier. As a younger girl Lyra had been jealous, but now she didn't particularly care. She didn't care about much these days, including the fact that Morgan was watching her in all Lyra's morning glory. Lyra nodded before heading over to her dresser "I'm going to need hair and makeup before the junket. You already sent my luggage to the hotel right?"

Morgan took a quick look at her tablet, checked a few things off and said "That's been taken care of, as has your mess from last night." Ignoring a groan from Lyra, Morgan continued "Generation NEXT is a huge opportunity that we can't afford to screw up Lyra. SWORD hasn't had a hero on Infinity LA for more than a year since your mother retired. This could be our big opportunity to change that. We already have the rep and the power needs. You just need to make sure this doesn't explode in our faces."

Lyra had put on some underwear and was busy trying to put on a skintight suit of synthetic anti-friction mesh. Feeling the cold wire of the suit meld over her skin and seal itself together, Lyra said "You don't need to tell me that, it's not like my Grandfather wasn't talking my ear off about it for the past two weeks. I'm scared for whatever kid I have. I still have his powers so I can resist the old fools attempts on my head, but odds are any kid of mine..." Lyra waved her hand, using the maximum degree of her psionics to make Morgan forget that last sentence. Her head screamed with agony and blood burst from one of her nostrils as she did so. Morgan closed her eyes and shook her head, giving Lyra the opportunity to wipe her nose on the mesh. Her grandfather's mind control abilities was one of his most closely guarded secrets, and one of the things Lyra truely feared was being the weak link that let that particular cat out of the bag.

Pressing a button on the wall, Lyra summoned her suit out of a compartment on the floor. Stepping into it, she felt it close up behind her and heard the familiar clicks and hisses as the various locks and hinges of the suit closed up. Making sure everything on the complicated piece of tech was functioning properly, Lyra felt the familiar sting of a needle in her back, giving her anti-psionics to calm her headache. Morgan touched her earpiece briefly and said "Phoebe is upstairs to handle your hair and make up. After that we'll have to split up for a bit. I'm taking a car in but your mother wanted you to run in to the event. 'Get your head on straight' she said."

Lyra nodded and proceeded up to the ground floor of her Grandfather's beach house. Twisted was nothing if not flamboyant, buying up another villain's lair built into a Malibu cliff, and converting it into a lavish mansion complex. Ten total floors, two above ground and eight below, made up the main house of the estate, and they included everything from a combined dock/hangar in a large cave connected to the ocean, a vast training and research facility for James to waste time on hobbies in, and a recreation floor more lavish than most Hollywood night clubs. Lyra's grandfather was nothing if not a hedonist. Eighteen years in maximum security solitary confinement had taught him the value of luxury, and he had never forgotten it. After her look was perfected by Phoebe, Lyra returned downstairs, meeting Morgan in the first floor garage. Before stepping into the black car she would be riding to the event in, Morgan said "Go and do the typical princess show, no questions about anything that didn't happen this week, and you aren't at liberty to discuss whether SWORD will front a candidate on AuTech's team."

Lyra nodded, assuming a take off position. When the great doors to the garage opened, Lyra took off, reaching her max speed and zooming through Malibu as she did so. Once she reached LA's city limits she got onto one of the Speedster paths. With the growing relevance of superpowers and a series of traffic accidents caused by negligent speedsters in the 80s, SWORD had been commissioned by the County of Los Angeles to build a series of specialty paths throughout the metropolitan areas specifically for speedsters to use. This also provided a nominal spectacle when someone used it for the common people watching from below. Arriving at her exit, Lyra ran off the path, took a few turns, and came to a skidding halt outside of the Ritz Carlton. Smiling for the awaiting crowds and press, Lyra began her usual red carpet show. One reporter stuck a microphone out and asked "Shift, how does it feel to be a part of Gen NEXT? Any different from your previous work."

Lyra smiled at the reporter, recognizing her as one of HNN's many tabloid reporters, and said "Obviously there's a bit more pressure to it than my previous work. With shows like Sword Academy, we did do some very legitimate busts, and obviously I have done some apprentice work under great heros like Lyric or Bluejay, but working as part of a real team on live TV should be a very new and very exciting experience."

"Any comment on reports that you were seen partying hard at Club Olympus last night?"

"As I've said before when something like this comes up, I'm really not that kind of girl. I might have a look alike out there somewhere, because last night I had some early sleep after watching a movie and some yoga. If anyone has further questions about that they can talk to my press team." Lyra continued her carpet walk, taking a few more strides down when she noticed a young girl. She looked to be about five years old and was wearing a replica of her costume. Kneeling down and smiling, Lyra asked "What's your name kid."

The girl smiled wide and said "Amy, I'm your biggest fan Shift!"

Lyra smiled back and said "Aww, that's great kid. Do you want a picture?" The girls smile spoke volumes by itself and after her parents were found Lyra had the red carpet opportunity of the year taking pictures with young Amy. After tusseling her hair and giving her back to her parents, Lyra answered a few more questions for the outside press before heading for the door of the Hotel. Morgan joined her as she reached it. "That was fast." said Lyra as they walked through into the lobby of the hotel.

Morgan scoffed and said "If there is one benefit to working with one of the largest names in the Supermarket today, it's being able to have access to stuff like hovercars. Not that you would realize the luxury, being born in the lap of it. Speaking of which, look at this place. No wonder your mother wanted you in on this. Ah... speak of the Angel..."

Lyra looked in front of them to see another woman approach, one all to familiar to both Lyra and most everyone else in the room. Angel still exuded power like she did when she was the most prized starlet of the Third Generation, except now instead of a familiar protective shield of those around her, it was the vicious feeling that if you crossed her, your family would be paying for it for generations. Especially if you were Lyra and those generations were going to be her grandkids. Lyra kept her composure up due to the amount of cameras in the room, but if she were on her own she would have shied away a little. Angel smiled and embraced Morgan saying "They want all brand managers to go and meet with the actual producers. I'll handle her from here." Morgan broke away from the hug and gave Lyra a small shrug as she walked away.

Lyra sighed and asked quietly "Mother, why are you here? I thought I was on my own ever since the Viper Room incident."

The CEO of SWORD Corp. grabbed her daughter by the shoulder and began to march her towards the area where it appeared producers and the press were meeting the other recently arrived members of Generation NEXT, whispering back to Lyra "SWORD has an executive producer credit on the show, and as CEO of SWORD I have all the privileges and say that an ordinary EP would. More importantly, I'm here to do any damage control should you screw this up. Now you get in there and put on a show." Angel let Lyra go with a small shove, and with some spring in her step, Lyra began to wade into the crowd of team members, press, and producers as she had so many times before.

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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7116
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Thu Jan 23, 2020 3:18 pm

Fae "Daoine" Drachoit
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


Fae sidestepped the latest reporter to harass her, though this one had an actual crew. Someone professional, and the extra hands made it harder to avoid them. Just ignoring them wouldn't work as well as the others, and this one had actual reach. Fae sighed and kept moving, she'd say something to try and get the guy away from her, but she was going to keep working her way to where she was supposed to stay. She was well aware that questions, and so on could delay her forever if she let them. She looked at the man, and spoke in an even voice. Her voice was perhaps slightly deeper than her appearance suggested, like she was used to having to make sure she could be heard.

"I was chosen for a reason, wait and you'll see why."

Vague, but might generate some hype. It'd also keep eyes on her, which she knew was going to be critical to succeeding in this business. All without letting slip something she shouldn't, or hopefully getting wrapped up in endless questions. She reached up and idly scratched her head near where the horns emerged from her head. They still itched from time to time, even though they'd started growing when she was ten.
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
Senator
 
Posts: 4331
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:07 pm

Amalia “Psycho” Huerta
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


Amalia glanced over at Olympia. She maybe hadn’t given the best answer, considering it would likely end up spun in some way that didn’t look good on them, and while the truth of the matter was that all heroes were violent, saying it like Olympia had didn’t exactly lend any credit to the idea that she wasn’t a danger to the public like the media were trying to theorize right now. It was pretty easy to write someone like her off for something like that, and they were doing a good job of it so far.

It didn’t seem like the press were just going to go away but fortunately for Amalia and Olympia, they ended up distracted by the fact that there were others in the airport and who would be showing up soon, and the two reporters turned around after getting their latest quote while saying something about needing to find someone else.

“Could have taken that whole thing better,” she said to Olympia as her eyes shifted over to her again and they started across the street towards the car rental place. Even after this they still did have to get downtown, after all, and Amalia wasn’t about to try and fight to get a taxi in this kind of traffic with all the other people who were waiting on one. “You know it’s going to end up being shown on the top of some newsreel or with a ton of views on YouTube or both.”

Which was probably the truth, even if she couldn’t say anything that Olympia had said was actually wrong. No, she was quite right, but that didn’t mean it was a good idea to just come out and say it, regardless of how violent the hero industry actually was and how true her words were. In this case, it wasn’t the truth that mattered as much as image, but Olympia had clearly missed that fact.

Or she had chosen to ignore it intentionally.

“Even I know there’s a time for honesty and a time for making people happy…” she continued, opening the door and stepping inside the rental place, approaching the desk where she could find a vehicle for them to head downtown. Didn’t want to be late - there were already people waiting for them and the others at the Ritz Carlton Los Angeles, after all… Which also happened to be the most luxurious hotel that Amalia had ever stayed at. Soon enough, they’d get to step foot inside it.



Severina ‘Breakline’ Moraitis
Los Angeles, California
January 28th, 2020


There was actually more than one hero who was joining Generation NEXT with little background information… Not just Fae. The other one happened to be Severina Moraitis, who had just climbed off of a Boeing 787 which had made the trip from Washington D.C. - and as she moved through the airport, she was much less interested than some of the others at looking at the crowds or talking to press or anything like that, her dress reflecting her desire to stay out of the limelight. Rather than anything fancy she was simply wearing a pair of black denim jeans, a matching black tee shirt, and shades, which made it easier to avoid making eye contact with half the people that were looking at her.

She wasn’t here to talk about her past, wasn’t here to explain who she was and what she was doing with a program like this, and wasn’t here to answer any questions related to those. To put it simply, she was here to do her job with little more and little less, even if the media circus happened to come with that job… It was just something she would have to put up with even if it wasn’t her thing, but it wouldn’t be anything more to her than that like it was to some people… Not something that she looked forward to, but rather something that was expected of her.

And right now, the team hadn’t told her that she had to talk to the press or anything like that, so she didn’t intend on doing it. If they wanted her to, they could tell her that directly.

“Severina, you’re not the only one on this team that has a mysterious background, is there anything to say-”

She didn’t bother listening to the rest of the question as she walked past. Didn’t even show any different expression on her face, either - she had been through a lot worse than this. Trekking through sand dunes in Iraq to hunt down metahuman terrorists, raiding buildings carefully in the United States to take out targets without being spotted, running through the jungles of Venezuela and dealing with the local wildlife while on her way to track down some high value target that the Bureau of Metahuman Activity was interested in. Something like this was nothing to her after doing all of that.

So while some others may have gotten mad at the unwanted attention from the cameras, Severina happened to be completely unflinching, showing no signs of even recognizing the cameras were there at all as she kept walking through the airport with her bag over her shoulder until she was on the outside, at which point she stood near the curb and waved for a taxi to come pick her up. She had no problem traveling in that lower class form of transportation - it was better than riding horseback or in some rickety off-road vehicle, which were all things she had done before in her line of work while traversing various rural areas.

“The Ritz Carlton Hotel,” she said when she was asked where she was going, and she leaned back and closed her eyes, though that was hard to see thanks to the fact that she was wearing shades. She’d get there soon. For now, she was simply taking in the fact that she was making her first steps into freedom. When she arrived at the hotel, she would be able to do what she wanted… No need to worry about the strict schedules and regulations of the BMA, which she had grown quite used to.

What she would spend that newfound free time of hers doing, she hadn’t decided yet.



Britton ‘Surge’ Audley
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


“Flying is more fun when you do it private,” said Britton, as they moved outside towards her Tesla. She opened the door and climbed in, quickly shifting and pulling out of the parking space, and starting down the boulevard that would lead them out of the airport area. “Then again… I heard that your flight wasn’t, so I can get why you’d want to rest…”

She continued as she picked up speed, putting them on the highway as they headed back towards Las Vegas itself - they weren’t headed far from where the Strip was, actually. AuTech had been careful to make sure that their new team house property was close to the important sights that everyone actually came to Vegas for. They wanted their team members to be able to have some fun after all, and part of that was putting things in the right location for some partying when they weren’t working.

She stopped the car, climbing out after pulling into the massive garage, which was meant to store the vehicles of everyone that would be living here going forward. “And here we are. Home sweet home, or at least, it’s going to be when things get rolling soon,” Britton said, stretching as she moved to unlock the door that led from the garage to the rest of the mansion. “Feel free to make yourself at home… And ask if you have any questions or something about the team or about living here.”
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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

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Skaldia
Minister
 
Posts: 2894
Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:43 pm

SNIP
Last edited by Skaldia on Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:25 am, edited 2 times in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Witness.”||
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Durmatagno
Negotiator
 
Posts: 7116
Founded: Oct 10, 2011
Left-Leaning College State

Postby Durmatagno » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:27 pm

Fae "Daoine" Drachoit
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


Fae smiled at this, not because she found the question funny, but because it took every ounce of control she had not to look in the camera and say competence. Instead, she turned to the reporter, and with the only partially faked smile, gave an answer her perhaps, wasn't expecting. It was equally vague to her last response, but it was how she was rolling without the backing or experience to properly answer these things in a way that didn't cause a controversy.

"Oh you haven't seen any of us before."

With that answer, she pushed her way outside, and climbed into the Uber that had arrived while she had been waiting for her luggage. She sighed and leaned her head back into the headrest of the back seat. She disliked this angle of things, but the only other ways she could apply the skills she had was going back to the SAP, or going full villain. For now, this was the most palatable option. For now. With the hellish traffic of LA, it'd take close to thirty minutes for Fae to get to the hotel. When she stepped out of the Uber and looked up at the hotel, she was glad she'd faced down some of the threats she had. The hemokinetic had been...particularly painful, but this was a different kind of intimidating. She'd never even seen something this fancy in person before, let alone step foot inside. She grabbed her luggage and marched inside. After dealing with the normal hoops, she headed up to her room. Throwing her bag on the bed, she looked around the room.

It was...an odd experience to realize that the contents of this room alone was probably worth more than everything she'd ever owned combined. She felt wrong standing in this room, like she'd cheated to get here. Like she was being tricked. She took a deep breath and sat down, opening her bag. She didn't have many clothes, didn't have much of anything in it. The heaviest things were the couple of...romance novels and similar manga that she stacked neatly next to the bed. She had killed more people than she could count, but that didn't mean she didn't have guilty pleasures. She probably wouldn't leave her room till she was asked to, she didn't think that she could remotely blend in with the kind of people that could afford this place on their own. Y'know, if she broke the horns off again, and hid her red eyes anyway.
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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Lazarian
Diplomat
 
Posts: 721
Founded: Jul 14, 2013
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Lazarian » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:52 pm

Antonio "Toro" Torres
Los Angeles, California
January 30th, 2020


In the back of the plane, two figures sat, talking through their final preparations as the rest of the passengers filed out of the plane. One was a short Latina in her mid thirties with thick designer sunglasses, dressed in a tailored woman's suit. She was a little chubby from years of riding a desk, but she carried the years and the weight well for the most part. Back in the day, she would have turned heads - a little less so now, although she wouldn't admit it. The other figure in the back stood in stark contrast. He was a large man, taking up two of the three seats they had purchased. Probably around 6'2 or 6'3 - his legs were cramped and uncomfortable in the economy class seating, and he looked rather annoyed. He seemed a little out of place, like a linebacker that had wandered off the field and into LA. Despite his immense size, he was very muscled and cut - lacking a lot of the extra fat that men that size usually carried. Of course, the most prominent and noticeable feature were his horns, which were onyx black, poking about six inches from either side of his forehead.

"Alright, mijo, you're good to go." the woman said, handing Antonio his phone. "Every text you send, video you snap, or post you make is screened through me first. If I don't approve it, that doesn't go anywhere."

"That's kind of excessive, don't you think?" he grumbled, taking it and stashing it in his pocket. He was dressed rather simplistically - most heroes had a lot of flair, especially on their first appearance. In contrast, he wore a white tank top and blue jeans. His target demographics liked when he looked like them. Besides, the fancy supersuits and designer clothes felt stupid on him when he had tried them on back in San Antonio before leaving. It was best to stick to something simple - besides, it was easier for him to flaunt his guns in this anyways.

Camila laughed at him, shaking a finger at him. It was a rather cold laugh.

"Oh, you'd think that, but no. You’d be amazed at how many supers have been sunk by drunk racist tweets, premium snapchats, or videos of coke benders. I’m not gonna let that happen. You’re the Luchadores best asset right now.”

Antonio grinned, flexing his biceps.

“Damn straight I am. Alright, anything else?”

Camila tapped her chin with her finger. “Yeah, I’d like you to go over your strategy one more time for me, if you don’t mind.”

Rolling his eyes, Antonio sighed in mock exasperation. “I get off the plane, don’t say anything stupid, keep it generic, say as little as possible. I don’t get wrapped up in any of the reality drama they’re gonna try to pull on us or give them material to edit with. Then, once we get out there into the field, I pull out all the stops and make the biggest highlight reel I can.” He shook his head. “I don’t know, Cami. Feels a little safe and stale to me. I think I could do a little better than that.”

“Hun, don’t make me say it again.” Cami protested, looking somewhat exasperated. “You’re just not A-lister material. I mean, I know you hate to hear it, but you’re from a minor city, your parents are nobodies, and you’ve been on the scene for two years max. Your biggest highlights are ripping cars in half and eating bullets. No offense, but compared to Luan and Lyra, you just don’t have it. And that’s okay!”

“Okay, well, if I’m not an A-lister, what am I doing here?” he growled, furrowing his eyebrows. “Straight up. I feel like I should go all out and be me. Just send it, you know?”

“You could do that. But I’m warning you now - lots of heroes try too hard and burn themselves out into nothing. Get themselves killed doing some stupid shit to show off. Antonio, you’re a solid B-list hero! You’ve got decent powers and a decent following among Hispanic communities in San Antonio, Houston, and El Paso. Infinity Dallas is missing a bruiser-type hero right now, and if you play your cards right here, you could fill that spot. Dallas isn’t a bad team at all!”

Antonio stared at her, sulking. Cami sighed, smacking his cheek playfully.

“Ay, don’t give me that! Pinche pendejito. I know heroes like Bolt and Crimson Crusader aren’t exciting, but they have a long shelf life and stable job prospects. If you go out there and establish yourself as a noncontroversial team player, I guarantee that you’ll have a career once you get out of this. Some of these guys won’t, I’m telling you now.”

Shrugging, Antonio stood up, stretching his legs and reaching to the passenger storage compartment. It had been a miracle that they’d let him put his gauntlets in there, but apparently Project NEXT had enough clout to make it happen.

“Yeah, alright. Thanks for the advice, Cami. I’ll think about it.” he said, slipping his fingers into the sockets of the gauntlets. They fit like a glove, and he wiggled around the fingers to ensure that they were still good. Of course they were good. His main sponsor, Ford, had given them to him custom-built. But mom’s little superstitions always made him feel a little better.

“Well, I’m hourly. If you fuck up your own career, that’s your loss.” Cami said, scrolling through her phone. She looked up. “Guess this is goodbye for now? Good luck, mijo. Knock ‘em dead. Grab life by the horns.”

Antonio grinned. It was one of their in-jokes. Their relationship was a little complicated, but overall they got along. He disagreed with her advice sometimes, but she had a lot of experience, and at the very least, had his best interests in mind.

“Adios, Cami.” he said, blowing a kiss and trudging forwards to the exit of the plane. Through the windows, he could see the crowd of photographers gathering around, waiting for their next target. Well, he’d give them one. Taking a deep breath, he boldly stepped out of the exit. Near instantly, cameras flashed and shutters clicked. He smiled at the camera, flashing his pearly whites, before flexing into a bodybuilder pose. His fans loved the bodybuilder poses. That was the point of the tank top, after all. Alright, it was time to hit the routine. First the front lat spread. Then the front double biceps. Side chest. Rear lat spread. Rear double biceps. And to finish it off, the classic Captain Patriot pose. He grinned, before leaping from the plane stairs and landing with a mighty crash on the ground, gauntlets first. The pavement cracked beneath him, and the cameras went wild once again.

“I’d just like to give a major shout out to my sponsors at Allstate right now!” he laughed, clapping the mighty metal gauntlets together enthusiastically. “Because if you got cutthroat insurance, collateral property damage like this...can really be a big deal.”

Yeah, maybe that was stupid. But shit, it was part of his schtick! His entire style was breaking as much shit over his enemies heads’ as possible and looking good doing it. Allstate liked it, anyways. Unfortunately, there was quite a distance between him and the taxi...and damn, a lot of reporters. All of them clamoring for questions. So much for “keep quiet and say as little as possible”. Oh well. As far as first impressions went, he didn’t think it was terrible.

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4331
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:58 am

Alexandra ‘Allie’ Sindelic
AuTech Headquarters Complex, Paradise, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


Allie’s eyes scanned the room but she was quite good at paying attention to people without making it obvious that was what she was doing. She was looking at some of what they had in terms of competition. Erin Gallo, Andrew Saint Pierre, and she supposed Seraph could be fit in that group in a way - even if Seraph was going to be some kind of instructor and not a member of the actual team, she would still take TV time away from them and Allie wasn’t sure just what she thought of that. She didn’t seem to like the thought of it.

Though, her eyes lingered on Seraph longer than they had on the others - enough that it was somewhat noticeable to someone that was being observant. Not that most of the group was actually looking at her considering her and Eamon weren’t as far front facing as some of them were. There had to be a reason for it and it didn’t seem like it was just because of TV time. After all, there were plenty of people here that could steal TV time from her, including Saint Pierre and even Gallo, who wasn’t as big a prospect as either of them but still had a dangerous power in her own right and had been recruited by Team Infinity.

“Yeah,” she said to Eamon, her eyes turning away and shifting back to him. Her tone was low and her words and voice were those of a pragmatist - she could be more charismatic when she needed to, but the side of her that had been instilled in her by her mother was coming out. Even if much of that instilling had been an accident, with her mother’s own cold traits carrying over in some areas for Allie without any official lessons or anything of that sort being needed.

Right now, her voice was definitely cold - but it was also the voice of someone willing to make a deal. “I could also say that you’re my competition but technically all of us are and you seem like a decent kinda guy,” she said, looking forward again and scanning the room. “And while Andrew Saint Pierre is hot as hell, I know that becoming buddy buddy with one of my main competitors also might not be the way to go. So, I give you my help in the form of some observations…”

Audley was saying something else and she talked under his own voice, masking what she was saying to everyone except Eamon who was close enough next to her to be able to hear even with the low tone she was using. “Gallo was in the sights of Team Infinity because she has a very interesting power… A dangerous one, more accurately. She converts biomass into a strange looking black sludge which she can control, and this sludge can also harden and make weapons, armor, and other things. She can move it telekinetically very quickly, and as far as I know she hasn’t lost in a fight yet. Why did Infinity not sign her up as soon as this became clear? Well… The word from the grapevine is that she has some personal problems and they were afraid that if she was put under a lot of pressure, she might just snap. I don’t have more details. I do suspect that she was smoking weed a couple of hours ago which gives me an idea or two.”

Her eyes shifted over to their other competitor. “Andrew Saint Pierre is already somewhat proven, coming from Chicago and all, a dangerous city… And he’s decent with the press at that. However, if you’re in the know already, you’ll know that he has a playboy nature - will this come back and bite him? I can’t say for sure, I can just make you aware of it… Know your opponent and all that. I don’t know if he’ll stay focused but he’s not someone I’d look past and dismiss, either. Quite the opposite.”

She switched her attention to the one that was probably going to be some sort of instructor, Seraph. “And Seraph right there, one of their first additions and probably the one that’s going to guide us along in the show or something… Seems mostly unconcerned with us and lost in her own world,” Allie said before gritting her teeth in slight frustration. “I don’t know how it will affect things, again, it’s another thing I’m just observing. I watched her stuff when I was younger but looks like this is really going to be a ‘meeting your heroes’ moment considering she hasn’t said jack shit to me since I showed up… Whatever. Make of it as you will.”

Her overview of the competitors ended there, although she hadn’t covered Britton. “With that being said… I don’t fear the competition. Life has just shown me that it’s smart to keep a catalog running in your head about everyone. You never know when you’re going to need to bring up some info on someone else…”
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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Skaldia
Minister
 
Posts: 2894
Founded: Jun 30, 2013
Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Skaldia » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:44 am

SNIP
Last edited by Skaldia on Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
||“The lesson of history is that no one learns.”
||“Witness.”||
||“Chaos needs no allies, for it dwells like a poison in every one of us.”

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Lunas Legion
Postmaster of the Fleet
 
Posts: 29854
Founded: Jan 21, 2013
Psychotic Dictatorship

Postby Lunas Legion » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:48 am

Olympia Galatas
Los Angeles, CA
January 30th, 2020


"Not exactly in the mood to be dealing with reporters, I figured hopefully a metaphorical bone might make them fuck off." Olympia grumbled, obviously not happy with the insinuation she hadn't handled the situation right by Amalia, or really the situation in general for that matter. It was her first time ever handling the press, after her first time flying which she'd spent most of being travelsick. Expecting someone as abrasive and unsubtle and tactless as her to handle the media perfectly the first time with no training or preparation, when all she had to go on were well-entrenched instincts, had never been going to happen.

What was the worst that could happen though? Olympia's thoughts started down that chain of thoughts as they entered the rental place, Olympia lost in her own thoughts. They were probably going to make her and Amalia the 'edgy' ones, so really, that brief episode didn't matter much.

"Honestly, I was just trying really, really goddamn hard to not punch his stupid smug face in, which even I know would be pretty bad." Olympia continued. Violence was often her first port of call for solving problems, which in some ways was a product of her power; it was so easy to jump to it when you knew exactly how best to take someone down using nothing but your fists, and you naturally found yourself ready to fight at a moment's notice no matter the context since not being in a position to simply felt unnatural and alien to her. "Hopefully... I'll get better with all this shit as I get more experience of it, y'know?"

She wasn't the type of person who learned by studying, she was the type who learned by doing and failing. Every failure was just another lesson to learn from, it was just a matter of not fucking up enough so the failure brought you down. She'd have to figure out what to take from this sooner or later.



Elis Nankova, 'Bulwark'
Las Vegas, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


"Pfft, as if I could afford private." Elis laughed. It was a funny thought, since there was no way she'd have been able to pay for a private flight across the Pacific herself, and the team she was leaving obviously wasn't going to cough up that much money to pay her to fly private, doubly so given their... Less than stellar relationship. Her dislike of being there and their sponsors had been a poorly kept secret internally, even if she had been very good at hiding it externally. That would've gotten her sacked and she wasn't going to do that.

She slid into the passenger seat of Britton's Tesla, collapsing back against the seat and shutting her eyes, looking like she was sleeping from the low breathing even if she knew there was no way she'd actually get to sleep, even if the car's ride was smooth enough for it it was't going to be a long enough drive for her to. Falling asleep was a difficult thing for her, she wasn't an insomniac, she just found it difficult. She jolted forwards slightly, eyes opening as they stopped, wiping one with her wrist as she climbed out.

"Only two, for now, might be more when I'm... Not almost sleepwalking." Elis said, yawning as she moved to open the door, standing there in the doorway. "One, where's everyone else at, two, bed. Closest. Point me at it." She did want to know where everyone else was at, she didn't really mind if she was missing out, she just wanted to get some sleep and she could catch up on everything she was missing out on when she was actually fully awake and not her current shambling self. Plus she might actually remember whatever answers she got at the time.
Last edited by William Slim Wed Dec 14 1970 10:35 pm, edited 35 times in total.

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Forest State
Senator
 
Posts: 4331
Founded: Aug 23, 2016
Capitalist Paradise

Postby Forest State » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:35 am

Britton ‘Surge’ Audley
Team Wave House, Paradise, Nevada
January 28th, 2020


Britton nodded and she started to lead her guest into the team house, which at this point wasn’t fully furnished but was still plenty luxurious. That wasn’t to say that it was pretentious, however. The place was fairly modern and it didn’t have the ‘old money’ look that a lot of mansions had, despite the exterior design fitting some of those types of places. The inside was modern. It was clear that everything here had value but at the same time there weren’t things like overt crystal chandeliers, old looking rug designs, or dated wallpapers… It was rich looking, but at the same time the place didn’t look like a European villa from the 1800s.

Team Wave was new money, and their team house was new money.

“I hope you like the surroundings,” Britton said as they continued through the living room, passing a couple of large flat screen TVs which were positioned nicely along two of the walls. Made sense to have more than one. Last thing anyone needed was a bunch of superpowered young metahumans causing a ruckus by fighting over the remote. Additionally, they could afford it, even with the large size of both of the screens - a bit larger than the standard 4K screen, with all the features one would expect from the newest model.

The actual bedrooms weren’t on this floor, however, but an upper one that was one floor above the ground one they’d entered on. “I guess since no one has moved in yet you have a pick of the rooms, there’s not any assigned or anything and they should all have the same thing,” said Britton as they entered the hallway.

There was something… A little strange about her behavior, though. Was hard to put a finger on it but maybe she seemed slightly nervous for whatever reason? She was taking a deep breath and she had been less composed with giving her answers compared to when she was explaining things back at the HQ. Still, there was nothing overtly obvious to be nervous about, it was just them in the house and she hadn’t seemed that nervous when picking Elis up in her car…

She followed Elis into the room that she had eventually selected, shutting the door lightly behind her. Looked like she was going to say something but she stopped herself, moving into a pacing pattern and walking into a circle as Elis moved towards the bed, eventually stopping and forcing herself to turn back in the direction of Elis even while her face was glowing with a slight shade of red, which wasn’t immediately obvious but was definitely there if one happened to do a double take on her face and compare it to the more natural shade it had been before.

“You know…” Britton started, clasping her hands together awkwardly and considering how to say what she wanted to say. “It’s not that often that I’m home alone with a girl like you and… With everyone moving in soon I don’t think I’m going to get much more alone time like this for a good while…”

Her voice was shaking at this point. Sure, she was college aged, but she was still sheltered and had lived under the watchful protection of a billionaire for her entire life - she wasn’t the most experienced person when it came to plenty of things and emotions and such weren’t one of the things she was an expert in - which was perhaps why her voice had all of the shaking to it that one might expect from a teenager. “So there’s something I want to try…”

She reached down quickly before she could talk herself out of it, pulling her shirt overhead and off, letting it drop to the ground although her hands didn’t move to do the same thing yet with her jeans. And she was now standing there, her eyes turned towards Elis with the door closed behind them, a nervous expression on her face. Sure, things were escalating quickly, but she didn’t know if she would get another chance like this. She also had her reasons for it… Reasons that, at least partly, had to do with another person who she wondered about often.

How could she know if that person was right for her, after all, if she didn’t even know what this felt like? It was something that would come up in any relationship, she was aware of…

And so, the CEO’s daughter took a risk.
i'm the bad guy... duh.

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

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