NEW VINDICATORS (Books I - XIII)

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
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Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 11

Post by Michuru81 » Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:16 pm

Chapter XI: Nothing Short of Dying
“The Vindicators VII’s purpose was two-fold,” Doctor Styles explained. “One, they were the first line of defense against attacks on this world from SPBs—Super-Powered Beings. In their debut battle they took down the Order of Chaos. It was the first of many triumphant battles fought for a better tomorrow. However, when they weren’t defending this world from Neo-Sapien terrorists, they were working to improve the public’s opinion of Neo-Sapiens. Talk show circuits were scheduled. Richard and Silvia Jorgenson would make an appearance on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee. Michuru and the Harts appeared on the Maury Povich show—before all he did was paternity test results. The most successful was Breanne Jordan… as a teenager, she was targeted at her age demographic. She became an idol for most of them. She was cropping up on TRL, Kids Choice Awards… Everyone of the Vindicators VII was out in the public eye; every detail of their lives was out there for everyone to see. She had it worse though: she had to grow up with it. She spent her most sensitive, awkward years under the scrutiny of a camera. When the team disbanded she was still sixteen-years-old. She couldn’t just go to high school. She couldn’t have a normal life.

“That’s why the New Vindicators Academy was founded. She and four other teenaged Neo-Sapiens became the first class. Ambrosia, Bogart, Nor’easter and Blitzkrieg. Blitzkrieg lived at the school for a year and during that time, all we learned about him was that he’s blessed with super-speed. The faster he moves, the more powerful his electrical blasts become. He’s essentially a walking turbine. We also know that he had a younger sibling.”

“What’s his sibling’s name?” Alexander Sway asked.

“Your guess is as good as mine. We don’t even know Blitzkrieg’s real name. He was a runaway—no pun intended. He hinted that his dad was a bigot and that he left because he couldn’t be accepted by him.”

“I knew of him,” Jacquelyn admitted, “but I never actually knew him. When we first came to the school he had already graduated.”

“He was part of the 2003 graduating class,” Doctor Styles intoned, looking at the thin folder the school had on the young Neo-Sapien in subject. He left the semester before the two of you arrived here and we haven’t been able to find out what he’s been up to since he left. It was like he just vanished off the face of the world.”

“What about his classmates?” Amalgam asked. “Did he happen to stay in touch with the others?”

“To be honest, we knew nothing about the bulk of them. When the first semester here started, Rift was the only one who had given up her real name. Sure Ambrosia eventually learned her real name and Bogart gave a few clues as to his identity… He used to taunt Miss Jordan, saying they’d met before, but Rift couldn’t place from where. He also seems to hate Mister Bradshaw but he doesn’t know what he ever did to earn the young man’s animosity.”

“Where are they know?” asked Lex. “Maybe we could talk to them… see what they know about what Blitzkrieg is up to?”

“Bogart’s been in and out of correctional institutes since he graduated. He got out of Riker’s a little over a year ago and hasn’t been heard from since. Nor’easter went home to Australia and spends all his days surfing. We lost contact with him about a month ago. Ambrosia we’re still in touch with. Her band is touring in the San Diego area at the moment. Not a one of them have heard from Blitzkrieg since they graduated.”

“What about Miss Jordan?”

Doctor Styles shook her head. “I found it odd. I remember him having something of a crush on her while they were students here.”

The room grew silent for a moment. Alexander and Jacquelyn had their own thoughts and Doctor Styles was sensitive enough to respect them and give them time to collect themselves. “Lazarus talked like he was on some kind of a recruitment drive,” Alexander said, getting dangerously close to the thoughts each was having but didn’t want to admit. “It’s possible that they approached Addison…”

Doctor Styles looked to Jacquelyn. She was so quiet. Her thoughts were devouring her; it didn’t take Lucas Howell’s telekinetic abilities to know what was bothering her. “You’re afraid they’ll come for you next, aren’t you?”

Alexander turned to Jacquelyn. He was more concerned for her than he was for himself. He had never felt he had any family. His father had a propensity for beating him and his mother had a propensity for letting him. He hadn’t considered them to mean anything to him in a long while. He hadn’t contacted either of them in years, not since he had met Jacquelyn Webber. She was his universe now. She was his best-friend and his confidant. She was the woman he loved with his heart, body and soul. She was everything to him and if the people who had killed Addison came for her…

“They won’t,” he muttered.

“You don’t think they’ll come?” Doctor Styles asked.

“They won’t get us,” he admitted, his resolve to protect Jacquelyn was bolstered beyond all measure. “They won’t get through me.”

Jacquelyn tried to smile. “What are we supposed to do?” she asked. “Take shifts guarding each other’s back? Not leave the Lighthouse?”

“No! God, no! By all means, no… don’t give in to the fear. Be wary, yes. Be safe, yes. But don’t give up everything you love because you’re afraid of what may be coming for you. Tomorrow night is Lex’s game. The dance is the night after. Go to both. I’ll have Lucas and Donna-Anne stay with you. If someone even thinks of trying anything, Lucas will know it. Donna-Anne may be enough fire power—combined with your abilities.”

“So, you want us to go on like nothing happened?”

“If they’re going to come at you, they’ll be watching… waiting for the time to be right. Make them think your guard is down. Lure them in. Once we take them down, we can get some answers out of them.”

Lex nodded. “Thank you, Doctor Styles. We should get going.” He turned to Jacquelyn, determined to spend the night sitting outside her door. What happened to Addison Truman would not be repeated on his watch.

They would not get Jacquelyn.
To Be Continued... wrote:You can dance
You can jive
Havin' the time of your life...
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 12

Post by Michuru81 » Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:15 pm

Chapter XII: Dancing Queen
Homecoming Dance was made all the sweeter with ERHS’ victory over the Doubleday Creations. Though they dominated their competition in baseball, Abner Doubleday High School was lacking in most every other sport. Still, despite the celebratory atmosphere in the air, the tension was thick where Adonis Skraag and Magnus Loder were concerned. From the moment he stepped into the decorated gymnasium, Cassandra Goodman hanging on his arm, Adonis was scanning the crowd for signs of Magnus and his date.

The events leading to this moment hadn’t made living with the pair all too comfortable. Shannon Sharp, still a sophomore, took the initiative to spend as much of his time elsewhere. For Drew Jenkins, a young man who considered himself both of their friends, it was a nightmare of unprecedented proportions. He had talked to Adonis and learned how much Chienne meant to him; he wouldn’t insult his friend by asking him to forget about her; he would not suggest that the young man concede defeat. Deep down, Drew knew that it was impossible for Adonis to forget her, given the fervor with which he spoke of their relationship.

Still, Magnus Loder was a proud man and he didn’t share the closeness with Adonis Skraag that Drew did. He told Drew that Adonis was merely being stubborn and territorial. “He has Cassandra now; he’s moved on,” he had told Drew. “He just doesn’t want any other potential alpha male getting near what he sees as his property.”

Still, as Drew slipped into the room with his date, he noticed something else happening. Chienne’s glances usually went to Adonis and a warped smile smeared itself across her face with each pained look she took in. Suddenly it dawned on Drew that she was using Magnus to make Adonis jealous; she was trying to hurt the young man; she was torturing him for being born a Neo-Sapien.

Drew’s date looked as though she wanted to be here less than he did. Saffron Harris was Jacquelyn Webber’s best-friend. Jacquelyn had asked her beau to help her perpetually single friend find a cohort for the evening. He had scoured the school looking for a suitable suitor. Cloud Goodman had been his initial thought, but the mousy young man had defied logic and already had a date: Donna-Anne Manther. It was a smokescreen, though Donna-Anne failed to see it as such. The young woman was delighted to have been asked and thought Cloud genuinely had feelings for her. She was blinded by bliss and incapable of realizing it was all so he could be at the dance… and keep an eye on his sister.

The only other male Lex knew and trusted was Lucas Howell. Not surprisingly, Lucus declined. The young man was strictly anti-establishment, anti-conformity… The reality of it was he was anti-everything. “So what,” he had asked, “I dress to their standards and listen to music that I’m told is popular while I dance with a girl who is judged based on the opinion of the shallowest creatures on this green earth?” With a sigh, Alex had left him to find some of the new students; he tried his chances with the rookies.

Ben Altair maintained that there were no less than six girls who had asked him out and he was trying to decide between them. Lex saw through his attempts to bolster himself but respected them all the same. Almost immediately after the altercation he asked Quinton Jorgenson, the son of Richard and Silvia Jorgenson—the former Vindicators known as Chimera and Xianbei. The young man was an enigma to Lex. Neo-Sapiens inherited power templates similar to one or both parents. His father was a man of Germanic origin, who could morph into anyone he had ever shared flesh-to-flesh contact with. His mother was a native of China, a capable spear-fighter who could teleport her body anywhere or trade minds with anyone. Quinton was a Caucasian youth with the power to split into five exact copies of himself.

Something about his origin did not stack up…

Still, Quinton disputed that he had more important things to attend to. He was attending a LAN party his friend David Meinstein was hosting. David Noguchi, Steve Benson and Ryan Mueller would be attending as well; all were humans who possessed not even the faintest inkling that Quinton was a Neo-Sapien.

Malachi Brown was visiting his parents in Nebraska and he wouldn’t wish the company of J.T. Kirk or Deimos on anyone. Ultimately, he arrived at Drew and Drew was eager for a cover that put him near Adonis and Magnus—should the situation only worsen. Neither Drew nor Saffron seemed pleased with the night’s arrangements… but they made do.

“What am I going to do?” Lex asked with a sigh, looking around the room at the New Vindicators; each was holding nothing but contempt for each other.

“At the moment, you’re going to take my hand in yours and then put the other on my back.” Alexander Sway fixed a faux smile on Jacquelyn Webber. The long black gown accented her sinuous shape; she was only more alluring to him with her long, black hair spilling down her exposed back. “You’re going to begin leading with your right foot, but you’ll step on my feet as the thought of discreetly making a grab for my rear distracts you from the taxing process that is slow dancing.”

“In that order?”

The two waded out into the sea of starry-eyed lovers and all his worries and woes for the evening faded away, leaving Drew and his date alone and oblivious to Sarah Cohen sliding in alone behind them. Drew’s eyes fell on Adonis and his date for the evening. It hadn’t been that long since Drew had first laid eyes on Cassandra Goodman. Originally he had mistaken her for one of the educators at the New Vindicators Academy of America. She certainly appeared to be older the rest of the senior class, tonight more than ever. There was a maturity that oozed from her… a raw, unparalleled beauty that captivated the minds of men and set his senses aflame. Simply saying she was attractive wouldn’t have done her any justice; Drew felt that would have been one of the greater sins a man could commit. It was weird seeing her with his friend, but Drew was strong enough to admit that he had no claim to her. He didn’t look at them the way that Adonis looked at Magnus and Chienne.

“Isn’t she supposed to wear a kippah or something?”

Drew blinked in surprise at Saffron’s words. He hadn’t heard her speak since she had greeted him with a lifeless “hello” at her door. “What?” he asked, following her eyes to Sarah Cohen.

Drew had seen her around the halls of the school. She was a tall, sickly-thin girl with bushy eyebrows and even bushier hair. Glasses and braces only further marked her as a social outcast; he didn’t imagine the Star of David hanging from her neck helped the situation. She was as frequent a subject of Mirth and Girth’s nightmarish bullying as David Meinstein and his usual circle of geeks were. She just happened to get the worst of it.

Sarah Cohen was an Israeli-born Jewess, whose father had died as a victim of a suicide bombing in November of 2000. The kindest, most-loving man she had ever known was riding the bus home from work when a Palestinian child stepped on; the byproduct of anti-Israeli propaganda most youth are raised with, he had no hesitation as he detonated the explosives he was carrying with him. Hot on the heels of the Camp David talks, Sarah’s mother had opted to leave her adopted homeland and return to her mother’s motherland.

Still, America proved no different. Instead of facing anti-Semitism, she was ridiculed for her gangly frame, her height, her bold nose, bushy hair, obtuse teeth or how much money her family had. In some sense, attending high school in America was almost as horrible as living in a war zone.

For years, she had silently endured the worst her peers could impale her with. She had lived in constant fear, dreading every weekday morning that she was forced to climb on a bus and venture out to her perpetual nightmare.

Things were going to change though.

A scream rippled through the crowd. It originated from Candy Hillman and eddied out across the dance floor. It had all started with a brush against her leg and looking down to lay eyes on the anaconda making its way across the hall.

Flames erupted up in a ring around the room—obliterating the hope of an easy escape from the happy couples’ minds. Almost immediately Alexander Sway’s mind began to work out what he knew about their situation. He took an inventory of the New Vindicators he knew to be present and assessed which were of use to him. Cloud’s powers would be of little help and his experience in combat was naught. Donne-Anne had no experience, but her power would prove something of a help. Drew’s abilities were still something of an enigma to him and everyone else—thus writing him off. Jacquelyn’s powers were far from practical and Adonis and Hourglass were in the same boat as Cloud. “Magnus!” he called out, scanning the crowd for the young man. His eyes fell on him, pulling Chienne to safety… and another Magnus running towards him. “You—you’re… in two?”

“Pinky has the girl,” he growled. Lex was surprised to see a blue tinge in the young man’s hair. The other seemed to have more of an auburn tint to his as he worked to get Chienne as far from their camp as he could. “It’s not right… the nice guys are never supposed get the girl.”

“It must be part of his magnetic abilities,” Jacquelyn said, apparently as astonished as Alexander as she looked at the second Magnus Loder. “You know, like… positive and negative polarity?”

“There’s the good side and then there’s me. Whatchu need? Can’t handle your woman yourself and called for a real man?”

Alexander Sway was at a loss for words. It was Jacquelyn’s turn to take command of the situation. “Magnus, I want your magnetism to get a hit on the sprinkler system. They should have kicked in by now but something’s wrong. Get them going however you can.”

Magnus said nothing; he merely stared at Jacquelyn’s chest. “I’m sorry, but… your breasts must be at least this big to tell me what to do.” Gesturing with his hands, he drew only an expression mirroring Alexander’s from the young woman. Still, the pair snapped out of their momentary stupor as the others quickly assembled.

“Do it, Magnus!” Jacquelyn thundered. “Donna-Anne! Your speed and Lex’s possible mass makes for great wrecking ball; get him on the outside and we’ll see what he can do from there. The rest of you, hold back.”

Drew’s eyes went to an astonished Saffron Harris… and the swarm of massive spiders snaking their way towards her. Fear held her in its paralyzing grip. Terror left her numb to every other sensation around her. There was only the spiders and her—and she immediately wished she could be somewhere else. Drew exploded forward, propelled by a force unlike anything he had felt. In an instant he had caught her up and blasted his way from the spiders.

Fear gave way to shock and something bordering rage. “You—you’re a…” The truth hit her hard and came in unrelenting volleys. “You’re a Neo-Sapien!”

Drew wasn’t sure how he was flying, or how he was able to control himself given the staggering force he was propelled with. The wall ahead shattered at his approach and the two were freed from the phenomena raging within.

It took all he had and more to slow himself, but Drew found himself able to come to a stop. It seemed that the further from the others he got, the easier it was to control. Landing was still a challenge though. He curved down, coming down on his shoulder and rolling across the ground, Saffron shielded in his arms. Amazingly, the pair was able to stand from the crash and stare in amazement at the rivets Drew’s body had dug into the parking lot. “How—how did I do that?” he asked.

The answer came to him as he watched Donna-Anne’s silhouette rupture out the ceiling in the distance. A shape was carried in her arms and dropped as she began to gain altitude. In an instant, Lex Sway mimicked the density of the metal bar he had found in the melee and came hurtling down through a nearby wall. Drew cringed at the thought of how much property damage he and his companions were causing but the threat to the students’ lives was more of a looming shadow than any repair costs could be.

Inside, Magnus had turned on the sprinklers and was sitting back enjoying the scene he was creating. “Cassandra!” he laughed, transforming her dress into little more than a pale curtain. “White really is a good color on you…”

Jacquelyn paid the youth’s lude comments no mind. She was mesmerized by the sight before her. The water had no effect on the flames. They continued to dance in a perfect ring around the dancers, never shrinking or growing… never spreading. “Something isn’t right,” she grumbled. Cloud’s tap on her shoulder spun her attention to the wall her boyfriend had brought down into the flames. The wall should have smothered them and given an exit for the victims within. Instead the flames merely burned anew atop the rubble.

Only one thing moved through the flames. She was a slender woman, dressed in skin-tight black. Night vision goggles hung around her neck and a pair of long, curved daggers hung sheathed on her lower back. The gun on her hip was an heirloom the Webbers passed down from generation to generation, beginning with Jackson Webber, an old fashioned bandit in the old west.

“We have nothing to fear,” the young woman said, running towards the image, “but fear itself!”

“And E.D.,” Magnus said, raising his hand to unleash a blast of force into a spider. “The clap too! Oh, or the words, ‘We’re pregnant!’ That’s some scary crap right there…”

“It’s all in our heads!” Jacquelyn cried out over the roar of the flames. “Someone is manifesting the things we’re most afraid of! None of this is real! They’re all just phantasms!”

“So if you clap your hands three times,” Magnus laughed, “and say ‘There’s no such thing as fire! There’s no such thing as fire!’”

“Is he always this annoying?” Cassandra asked.

“Try sharing a room with him,” Adonis grumbled. “He snores and he leaves his dirty laundry all over.”

“If you can get airborn, do it!” Jacquelyn screamed. The force built inside of her and with a massive burst she detonated the Trip Field. The gravitational energy she commanded to bring her enemies to their knees was sent out in a shock wave, throwing anyone and everyone in her radius on their backs.

Sarah Cohen dropped to the ground… and the illusions unraveled.

Magnus was the first one to his feet. “Did… did we just win?”

Lex staggered down what had once been the eastern wall and part of the ceiling and stood next to Jacque. A few patrons from the dance were still conscious from the concussion wave Jacque had sent out and slowly made it back to a vertical position. “Did- did you see that?” Chris Tribe, an offensive tackle proclaimed. “They’re—they’re Neo-Sapiens!”

“Oh, please,” Jacquelyn said, shaking her head. “The snake wasn’t real! The fire wasn’t real! We’ve been seeing illusions! What makes you think you can trust your eyes or anything enough to make that kind of accusation!?”

Lex could only grin at the other New Vindicators. “That’s my girlfriend,” he whispered to them. Still, now was no time for bravado. There was still the threat of whoever had initiated the illusions. As his eyes scanned the crowd, he missed Sarah Cohen slipping back out of the hall… and hurrying away before anyone realized she had been there.

As Sarah rounded the building, she found herself cloaked in the folds of night and her heart immediately began to slow its rapid beating. All was all right. She had obtained some minor level of revenge on her tormentors… she could control her powers more now. Tonight was the first step…

“I have to hand it to you,” his voice said from behind the tree she had slumped against. “That was some pretty impressive work. Not only can you evoke phantasms, you give off an aura of sheer terror. It sent chills up my spine just watching it.”

He stepped out, wearing a black and blue sleeveless bodysuit. The hood would have concealed his identity, but he left it back, letting his untamed growth of brown hair hang back, dancing in the slight breeze that hit the pair. “My name is Blitzkrieg and I’d like to help you.”

Sarah made no move and she said no word. She merely stared at the man, unsure what to make of him. She had seen what the others inside were capable of. Was he like them? Was he here to stop them? No, he had said he wanted to help… “How?” she finally asked.

“I represent someone who wants to change things… still… my boss can’t do it alone. The leader needs you. The leader loves you and cares about you… more than any of them ever would. Come with me and I promise to take you somewhere where you can be with people like you… people who will respect you and will never hurt you.”

“Wh-what would I have to do?”

“When the time comes, you will know.” He reached down, offering a hand up. “How about it, girl?”

A smile appeared on Sarah Cohen’s face and tears welled up in her eyes.

Addison Truman may have declined their invitation and it didn’t seem as though Lex Sway or Jacque Webber would be joining their fold any time soon, but at that moment Blitzkrieg knew he had found one willing to join their growing cadre… “What’s your name?” he asked.

“My name is Mara.”

And Blitzkrieg couldn’t have been happier.
To Be Continued... wrote:Another one bites the dust.
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 13

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:46 pm

NEW VINDICATORS #3: Stronger


Chapter XIII: Stronger
Deimos couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “What makes you think I killed tubby?”

Mister Bradshaw said nothing. He merely reached out with the remote and began to play the security footage obtained in the Wreck Room. There was no audio but the situation was clear: Lucas Howell was waiting for someone. He paced around the Wreck Room. He looked at his watch. Finally he leaned against a wall and slid down it to the floor. Only when Deimos entered the room did he stand.

Deimos watched on curiously as his televised doppelganger advanced with a baseball bat. Almost immediately Lucas seemed to understand what was going to happen. He got to his feet and began backing away; one hand was raised in a futile effort to block against the attack.

And then the hammer fell.

Deimos shook his head as he watched the video of himself mercilessly beating the young Esper. Atlanta stood behind him, showing no reaction to the senseless killing. The Vindicator-turned-educator had already reviewed the footage several times. He had no interest in it now; his eyes were on Deimos and Atlanta. “Wait—who’s that?” Deimos asked, pointing to a third figure. Lawanda Murphy entered the Wreck Room, saw what was happening, and causally walked back out. “Who is that?”

“She’s a student here…” Atlanta offered. “Lawanda, I think.”

“She’s missing,” Miss Jordan said. She was sitting intently forward on the couch, her eyes unblinking as she watched the footage loop again and again. “As soon as we saw this we went to go find her and… she’s gone. There’s no trace of her.”

“So, what… you guys really think I killed him?”

Mister Bradshaw shook his head. “No, I don’t. Further, you have proof. Look at the timestamp.”

Atlanta’s eyes widened. “We were still at the nursing home!”

“Atlanta is your alibi,” Mister Bradshaw intoned as he stopped the tape. “That’s not you.”

“Then who is it?”

“When Addison was killed, her Morph Buckle was stolen.”

“Her what?”

“In order to help Addison and Lawanda blend in at school, image inducers were designed to mask certain aspects of their true self. They had belt buckles designed to make them appear as they would if they didn’t have wings or additional arms.”

“Then wouldn’t whoever took it only be able to look like Addison?”

“Unless they reprogrammed it,” the man interjected.

“That’s preposterous,” Doctor Styles said. She had been content to quietly sit in the back of the room, dreading what Professor Alston would do when he learned that some of the faculty’s newest members had gone around him in these sobering matters. “It took a rare genius like Quinton Jorgenson to build it so I doubt that just anyone could crack it open and rewire the whole thing to look like Deimos instead.” She planted herself before the legendary hero, ignoring the indignant glare such a move earned her from Miss Jordan, and gazed up into the man’s face with sad eyes. “Face it, Michuru: there’s only one other explanation.” Mister Bradshaw turned away and Miss Jordan’s eyes went to the man. She worried how he would take hearing what was on all their minds: “Jeremy… have you ever shaken hands with Mister Jorgenson?”

Lex Sway opened the door, leading the procession into the living room of the Lighthouse. “Doctor Styles? Something happened…”

The young doctor Styles was pinching the bridge of her nose, shaking her head at the notion that one of their administration might have been responsible for a student’s death. “Lex, now is not a good time…”

“What happened?” asked Mister Bradshaw, looking over the group. Alexander and Drew’s clothes were torn and barely there. The rest were nearly soaked to the bone. Immediately he braced himself for the worst.

“There was an attack at the homecoming dance. We disengaged the situation and made sure everyone got out safely before leaving but… sir, there’s no doubt that an SPB did it. We think it might have been an Esper.”

“We don’t have a make on who it might have been,” Jacquelyn interjected, “but we have reason to believe Blitzkrieg might have been involved.”

“Who?” asked Deimos.

“He was a student here, years ago,” Doctor Styles offered. “Did you see him again?”

“Again?” inquired Mister Bradshaw.

Lex shook his head. “No, it’s… it’s Drew. His powers are… we assumed his powers were similar to your own, Doctor Styles… given that he claimed to manipulate heat and light. His opponent was able to as well though. Further, when Atlas attacked Patriot Robotics, Lodestone’s powers protected him from Atlas’ attack but Drew was also immune to Atlas’ might. At the dance, he flew… he hammered through the wall without losing speed and didn’t feel anything when he hit.”

Doctor Styles’ eyes fell on Donna-Anne Manther. “Are you telling me that Drew can copy the powers of Neo-Sapiens he’s near?”

“We were clearing everyone out, in case whoever had attacked us made a second stab at it.” Lex cut off as he looked back to Drew. The young man seemed so terrified, knowing now what the true extent of his powers was. “Drew became very fast and…”

“Blitzkrieg’s electrical aura?”

Lex nodded.

Mister Bradshaw looked over the glum group and shook his head. This was not what they needed; situations were stacking on top of one another. Was there a relation? “As it stands, this isn’t the only unsettling news this evening.” He wasn’t sure how best to tell them the rest, but he knew it had to be done: “Another student was killed tonight.”

Donna-Anne began crying. Cloud Goodman collapsed exasperated into an armchair. Only Jacquelyn could manage a response, uttering a very coarse, “Who?”

“Lucas Howell,” said Mister Bradshaw, chewing on his bottom lip. “We have the act on tape. His killer impersonated Deimos to do it.”

“How do we know it wasn’t Deimos?” Adonis asked, fixing his eyes on the young man.

Deimos merely grinned. “You don’t,” he said coldly.

“We do,” Mister Bradshaw said, fixing the young man with a glare. “As part of his punishment inflicted by your principal, Deimos had to complete several hours of community service at a local nursing home. The time was set to force him to miss the dance. Miss White just happens to volunteer her weekends there and she claims that he was with her at the nursing home during the time of the murder.”

The door opened once more and Magnus Loder slipped into the room. “Have you told them yet?” he asked as all eyes fell on him. The instructors were quick to notice the occurrence of two copies of Magnus Loder. Still, the young man offered no explanation as he crossed the room and reformed with his negative side.

“Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?” Doctor Styles asked.

“Too much,” Lex offered sadly. “Far too much…”
To Be Continued... wrote:Suspicious Minds
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 14

Post by Michuru81 » Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:06 pm

Chapter XIV: I Won’t Back Down
Mister Bradshaw walked Deimos out of the living room. A few of the students were not yet convinced that Deimos had not killed Lucas; he wanted to ensure that some of the more zealous students didn’t attempt to avenge Lucas’ untimely death. His protection was just one more thing Deimos took offense at: “I don’t need a babysitter,” the young man said, running a hand over his bald and tattooed head. “I can take care of myself!”

Michuru nodded. “My apologies, I never meant to make you feel insulted. Did you consider that I’m not walking along simply as a guardian… but as an alibi?”

Deimos said nothing. He wouldn’t admit that the man had a point. Someone had murdered another student and done so in such a manner as to incriminate him. He merely continued his casual pace to his dorm room. He shared it with three other young men: Benjamin Altair, J. T. Kirk and Quinton Jorgenson. Two students were dead now—apparently inside jobs. What if the killer was one of those three young men?

A door opened and Malachi Brown poked his head out. “Mi—Mister Michuru? Mister Deimos? Is—is it all right for us to come out of our rooms now? I—I need to go to the bathroom.”

Michuru smiled at the young man; it was the best way to communicate that everything was all right without lying. It seemed to be enough. The young boy’s face let up as he slipped into the hall and navigated around them for the restrooms.

“I swear that kid’s gay or something… always with the ‘Mister Deimos! Mister Deimos!’ God, it’s so annoying…”

“You’re a year older than Kai,” Michuru said, continuing their walk. “Kai has… co-opted Japanese culture. I convinced him that calling everyone senpai was pointless as… most of the kids didn’t understand what he was saying. He insisted on using honorifics so I convinced him to use mister instead.”

“He doesn’t look Japanese.”

“He’s Jewish,” Michuru pointed out. “However, his mother died when he was little. His dad was barely around, so the Browns’ best-friends, the Takamura’s, took care of him.”

“Weird.”

A sincere smile appeared on Michuru’s face. “You’re one to talk.”

Deimos’ expletive was more pronounced as he flashed a glare at the fire prevention system working throughout the Lighthouse. At all times the complex was programmed to detect open flames of any size and instantly extinguish the source. It was a preventive measure for Michuru—if he were to lose control of his temper he could erupt into a raging inferno. In such an event, the flames would be instantly contained by the Lighthouse’s defense grid. It was what protected them all from Michuru’s power surges and all that kept Deimos from lighting up a cigarette. “So, c’mon… do you really think it was that Chimera freak?”

“Richard?”

“Dick,” corrected Deimos.

“Mister Jorgenson,” interjected Michuru. “You could serve to learn a lot from Kai. No, no I don’t believe Richard killed Lucas.”

“Didn’t he used to be a super-villain years back? Went toe-to-toe with the Vindicators IV?”

“I wouldn’t say toe-to-toe. Richard isn’t much for confrontation. Yes, Richard committed crimes while posed as Professor Incendiary—Professor Alston to you—but he was dealt with.”

“What’s his gripe with the flaming flamer?”

Michuru shook his head. “I don’t believe it would be respectful to either of them to tell you. If they want you to know, they’ll tell you. I would not press the question with either of them though.”

“All right, so how did the one-armed man end up on the side of truth, justice and bull crap?”

“Well, it was shortly after the West Coast Vindicators broke apart. The East Coast Vindicators—Crusader’s team—were thought dead, slugging it out with Johann Meinstein’s spirit in the astral plane. The Aurelius and Phenomena retired to spend more time with their daughter and the Lodestone did the same to be with his son. Halogen, Doctor Styles, left due to… some complications with another member. Nock married and retired and… well, all that was left was Onyx. Rosa Freeman was the only Vindicator left and that was when the Order of Chaos struck. When she moved to go after them, the government told her about me. They had been training me in secret—intending to put me on the team when they felt my development was far enough that I had more control over my emotions. We met another Neo-Sapien and the three of us… well, we were thoroughly defeated. Solar, Bipolar, Kitty, Meat and Blaze… I still don’t know what we were thinking going in there with just the three of us.”

The man smiled, thinking fondly on those days. Even though his thoughts were filled with memories of harsh battles, they were touchstones to a happier time for him. “Well… I suppose what possessed us was that we were the ones with the power to stand up to them. We may not have stood a chance… but at least we stood.

“Richard Jorgenson was a retired super-villain. He had settled down with another former villain, Xianbei. The two married and were happy just living a normal life with their son Quinton. Richard and Silvia used their powers as high-priced spies and assassins. Think of them as the original Mister and Missus Smith, except with powers. Richard catalogued the identities of some of the world’s biggest players and he was able to impersonate them and manipulate governments, economic structures… whatever his superiors wanted. His wife was more than just a teleporter—she could transfer her consciousness to anyone. She was as good at the cloak and dagger game as her husband. Maybe that’s why they were so good together… Anyway, they got involved in our battle and helped us take down the Order of Chaos. After that, they both went straight and… the rest is history.”

“Wow… that was so exciting that I almost lost consciousness.”

“You asked.”

“I asked for an answer, not a lobotomy.”

Michuru grinned and motioned with his thumb to a door. “We’re here.”

“This isn’t my room.”

“It is now.”

Deimos stared blankly at the man.

“If you’re willing, this room has surveillance… giving you an alibi in case your doppelganger strikes again.”

“And protecting me from anyone who might want me dead next? I already told you: I don’t need protected. I’m from the streets; I’m used to taking care of myself.”

“I’m not issuing a command, merely providing you an option. By all means, sleep wherever you want but be sure to sleep with one eye open.”

With that, Michuru left Deimos standing in the quiet, sterile hallways of the Lighthouse.
To Be Continued... wrote:Rumble versus Lurker
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 6:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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New Vindicators, Chapter 15

Post by Michuru81 » Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:31 pm

Chapter XV: She Never Lets it Go To Her Heart
“If I said you had a beautiful body, would you hold it against me?”

“Get lost.”

“Your parents must have been retarded, because you sure are special.”

“Shut up!”

“Nice shoes… wanna do it?”

Atlanta Jane White, codenamed Rumble by the New Vindicators Academy of America, had inherited her mother’s genetic template—forever altering her body to the point where she was in a perpetual state of adrenaline. She wasn’t bulletproof by any means, she was just more resilient to harm than the average seventeen-year-old girl was. Without looking the part of a steroid-induced vixen, she was capable of lifting a tank with her bare hands. That enhanced physicality translated into other aspects of her being: Rumble was faster than an ordinary being and capable of perplexing vaults.

That being said, when her fingers balled into a fist thrown for J.T. Kirk, the young man reacted.

J.T. Kirk had inherited the powers his father possessed. One of the most notorious villains the Vindicators had ever fought, the Shadow could bend darkness to his whims and within the shadowy folds he could relay his senses across astonishing distances, become nearly invisible, or disappear and emerge from any shadow anywhere else. It was an ability he called shadow-walking and it was a talent J.T. had taken to great levels.

Needless to say, when faced with the threat of violence, the fragile young man who preferred to be called Lurker was adept at escaping. In no time had he warped out of the attack, reappearing behind Atlanta and making use of his God-given ability to taunt and annoy.

“Am I sensing some pent-up, sexual hostility there, cherry?”

Rumble’s hands clasped around the sides of a nearby bookcase and hefted it like a baseball bat. Volumes of classic works tumbled to the floor, trampled on as she rushed for the young man, swinging the massive weapon. Suddenly her strength waned and the bookcase fell to the ground, cutting the palms of her hands shallowly. “Ooo! She can be hurt!” J.T. laughed. “What? The more horny you get, the less strong?”

“Muh powers are based on muh psyche,” she growled, her accent giving away her secret identity as a Georgian peach. “Whenever Ah use ‘em for something Ah know ain’t right, they turn themselves off.”

“Is that so? Wow… talk about a sucky ability!”

“Same powers as muh mom…” She didn’t admit that the Vindicator known as Phenomena didn’t possess the mental block that the younger heroine did. “If Ah remember right, her abilities were enough to put your daddy away.”

J.T. took advantage of her momentary weakness. The shadows embraced him as he rocked backwards into the cold folds of darkness. Instantly he rematerialized behind her and executed a quick sneak attack on the young woman. His fist balled around his other hand hammered between her shoulder blades as he dropped to the ground.

“Big mistake,” the blonde girl grumbled, pulling herself to her feet. “I can already feel my powers bouncing back; looks like retaliation is a good thing.”

The momentum of her swing was stolen as her fist moved through the aquatic form of Doctor Kenneth Bradley, the former Vindicator known as Doctor Splash. During the mid-to-late seventies, he had led the foursome known as the Vindicators IV, disbanding the group after he was forever imprisoned in his alternate form.

“I really would rather not see any bloodshed in the library,” he said, his glassy eyes wavering as he looked down at the young woman. “Really, Miss White, destroying the facilities like this? It’s so unbecoming of a lady. I do say I will have to speak with your parents about this. I’ll be putting calls through to both of them, while you repair the damage you’ve done in your… outburst.”

Atlanta could hardly reason what she was hearing. “Me? But J.T. was the one…”

“Mister Kirk? I hardly think that-”

“Ah was just in here, readin’ about congenital heart malformations and he comes in and starts harassin’ me!”

“Be that as it may, I do not appreciate the library being turned into a wrestling ring. I’ll expect it restored to its previous order within the hour…”

The man slithered off, no doubt to make good on his word and call her parents. The two had divorced a decade ago. Doctor Stephen O. White had remained in San Francisco while her mother had returned to the house she had long ago inherited from her father. Scarlet Clementine-White had never known either of her parents; her mother had died giving birth and her father passed on shortly after. In the wake of the divorce, she had told Atlanta to be thankful she had any relationship at all with her parents; being divorced was not as bad as them being gone from this world.

“So, you never answered my question,” J.T. said, watching as she collected the scattered books and stacked them back on the shelves.

“What question is that?”

“Wanna do it?”

He managed to shadow-walk out of the way as London’s ‘Call of the Wild’ was flung with a deadly force. Grumbling, her eyes scanned the room, looking to see where he might have materialized. She breathed a sigh of relief at the realization that she was finally alone. Now, the quicker she got the mess cleaned up, the quicker she could return to her studies.

Still, it seemed she was destined to suffer the idiots today. The doors opened and in walked two other students at the school; Maria Christina Espada and Marcos Verón. “Atlanta?” Maria asked, seeing the state of the room. “What happened here?”

“Ah had muhself an encounter with J.T. Kirk,” she grumbled. “Doctor Bradley has me payin’ dearly for it.”

“We’ll help,” the Brooklyn-born Mexican girl offered. She bent down to collect the book Atlanta had thrown at Lurker; the dopey grin on Marcos’ face only widened as he watched her bend.

“I’ll supervise,” he said stupidly, biting into his bottom lip and putting all the energy he had into restraining his roving hands. He still had welts from when he had ‘accidentally’ tripped and caught himself on Alexa Hawk’s chest. He had expected her to be more forgiving, though the idea of her water whips lashing his back excited the masochist slightly.

“Did you hear about Lucas?” Maria asked Atlanta. “I heard it was Atlas… that he was coming to the school to pick off any of us who had been at Patriot Robotics that day.”

“Not that Ah wanna spend muh Sunday afternoons goin’ over conspiracy theories, but how the heck is Atlas supposed to have made himself look like Deimos?”

“Well, he took Addison’s buckle. It’s a magnetic signal… wouldn’t be too hard for him to expand it and alter the illusion.”

That made sense to Rumble. Idly, she rummaged through her nearby backpack for a sugar-free sucker. In addition to the strength and endurance her powers gave her came an unnatural metabolism that complemented her sweet tooth. She had always taken that aspect of her powers for granted; she could eat whatever she wanted without gaining weight. Her body perpetually maintained itself at the healthy height and weight for a girl her age. It was a subject that had come up her first day at the Academy. Most of the other girls, Maria included, had noticed her healthy appetite. Atlanta’s honest answer to their inquiries only made them disgusted. Before then, she hadn’t realized how much thought, effort, and obsession most girls put into their body. Naturally, when she realized when she was getting the envious look from Maria that she was getting, Atlanta felt awkward. “Yeah… I should… probably be going. Probably.”

Maria’s eyes went from the newly-organized shelf to the stack of books Atlanta moved to collect. “What’s with all the medical text books?”

A blank look dawned across Atlanta’s face. “Ah, uh… Ah wanna be a doctor.”

“Really? I just assumed you were going to follow in your mom’s footsteps…”

Atlanta forced a smile. She felt she was following in her mom’s footsteps by having the same power matrix she possessed. As an only child, she knew her father’s heart. She knew how much he wanted someone to follow in his footsteps. Becoming a doctor was the best way to live up to the name of Doctor Stephen O. White and still remain true to her own beliefs. “Ah just… Ah wanted to save people. You know.”

“And… how is being a super-hero not accomplishing that?”

Atlanta had no answer for that. She could come up with nothing else to support her flimsy excuse. She merely hoisted the stack of books effortlessly and skipped off to her room to finish her reading…
To Be Continued... wrote:Little white lies.
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by smashed247 » Fri Dec 08, 2006 1:11 pm

Oh man, Oh man!

I haven't read a story this good in ages. Is this really what happened in your sessions? It's incredible.

Rock On! 8)

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 16

Post by Michuru81 » Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:37 pm

Chapter XVI: Liar
Magnus Loder sat on at the head of the bed, legs bent under his body and an open text book in his lap. “What insurgency threatened the life of Louis XIV when he was only four-years-old?” He glanced up at his girlfriend to feed him the answer. It wasn’t often that Chienne was eager to spend time with him on weeknights so when she asked him to quiz her and get her ready for Mister Mendenhall’s World History exam he jumped at the chance to be with her.

He didn’t imagine that she would spend the bulk of their time lying on her stomach with her eyes fixated on the television.

“-was apprehended by ZERO, the armored vigilante responsible for savagely ending the crime sprees of many super-powered criminals in recent weeks,” Cameron Kirk was saying. “The armor, apparently stolen during the commotion at Patriot Robotics last month, is one of two that have been appearing around New York City. The other, lesser-known, armor has apparently launched itself into a campaign against ordinary criminals.”

Magnus crawled forward and swiped the remote control from beside the young blonde. She barely noticed he had moved until the set clicked off. “Chienne?” he asked. “I thought you said you needed help in history?”

She flashed him a sheepish grin before flopping over onto her back. The baby doll T-shirt she was wearing flew up, showing the young man just enough of her stomach to leave him mesmerized. “What’s wrong?” she asked, putting on her best pouty face; it was a futile effort—he was not longer able to draw his attention to her face. “You don’t like ZERO?”

It was only natural that she would view a Neo-Sapien hunting, psychopathic vigilante as a champion of the people. Her family made a career out of hating Super-Powered Beings; her father had broken off a branch of the Ku-Klux Klan to form the Church of Genetic Purity while her mother was one of the most outspoken opponents of Neo-Sapiens in the senate. Factor in that only a few years ago her elder brother had been killed by a Neo-Sapien, the facts of which her family still kept to themselves, and Magnus Loder could see why she practically worshipped anyone with so much NS blood on their gauntleted hands.

He understood but he was hardly comfortable with that truth. The fact of the matter was that he himself was a Neo-Sapien and that was a revelation he had yet to give her or her family. For all she knew she was dating a perfectly normal human.

“It’s just… their kind needs to learn that they’re powers do not make them gods among men, you know? Someone needs to show them that they’re not above humanity! They need to see that they’re not above the law…

“They call themselves ‘Neo-Sapiens’—‘New Humans’ right? It’s so arrogant… like having powers makes them better than normal humans. Their powers don’t make them better, Magnus—they make them worse.”

“I dunno,” he said nervously, “I just wish there was a less violent way of dealing with the problem… you know?”

Chienne didn’t seem upset that he didn’t share her opinion of the armored menace as much as she came off as disappointed. “I guess I’m just not a very violent guy, you know?”

She rocked her body up into a sitting position and then began to scoot her terrycloth-clad booty across her unkempt bed to sit beside him. For a moment she hugged her knees into her chest and rocked back and forth, looking at though she was wrestling with the urge to tell him something.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, putting his arms around her.

“Nothing,” she said. “I dunno. I guess ZERO can be pretty harsh but… she only hurts the bad Neo-Sapiens, you know?”

“She?” Magnus asked. “You think ZERO is a girl?”

A smile came across Chienne’s face. “Oh, absolutely! Anyone who kicks that much butt has got to be a chick! It’s just… I dunno, you know how everyone is afraid of Neo-Sapiens? I mean… most of them could kill us all with just a thought, Magnus! They’re dangerous but… most of the people who hate them are afraid of them. They’re too weak to act. I guess I just sort of… look up to ZERO for doing what the rest of the world is too scared to do.”

It made sense to Magnus; Chienne had been the victim of Adonis’ Neo-Sapien powers. She felt powerless to fight back against her attacker so why shouldn’t she embody a madman who went around punishing those who abused their power?

“I see what you’re saying,” Magnus said. “Maybe…” He couldn’t believe what he was about to say. “Maybe you’re right. ZERO is a hero.”

Chienne rounded on him with the biggest, most pleased grin and he returned the favor, albeit with a hint of guilt and self-degradation slathered underneath. She gently put her hands on the sides of his face and then kissed him for the second time in their brief relationship.

Her hands left his face and he didn’t question where they had gone—not until he felt her comforter pulled up over them and realized she was scooting down in the bed. She was moving to lie down and he had followed her unwittingly.

As she continued to kiss him her hands moved under the covers and his eyes popped as he realized she was playing with his belt.

On his belt was a holographic inducer that kept her from seeing him as he really looked. It was that Morph Buckle which allowed Magnus Loder to continue at Eleanor Roosevelt High School without his peers recognizing him as the Neo-Sapien who had stood up to Atlas that day at Patriot Robotics. If that were removed from his body his hair would instantly cease to seem black and Chienne may see him for who he truly was.

“Wait,” he said, closing his fingers gently around her wrists.

“You’re not going to tell me you don’t want this,” she said, looking down at him with a wry grin. “I’m lying on top of you, Magnus; I can feel how much you want this.”

“I do,” he said. He closed his eyes and mentally kicked himself for having this misfortune. “I do, believe me I do. It’s just… it’s too soon. Can we take things slower first? When it feels right… then we can pick up here but for now…”

Chienne rolled off of him and he breathed easier. Still, he told himself he couldn’t keep putting off having sex with his girlfriend.

He sat up and dropped his legs over the edge of her bed. His mind reeled in all of the stray thoughts he was having. ‘What am I even doing with her in the first place?’ he asked himself. ‘I’m lying to her about who I am. We can never have an honest relationship… Not while she feels the way she does about Neo-Sapiens. Plus, what would my parents think? How would they take my telling them that I’m dating the daughter of Forrest and Amy Bedford? What if I never told her about what I am and our kids manifested?’

He froze on that thought and wondered if that might be the answer. A parent’s nature was to love their children unconditionally so what would happen if Chienne Bedford became pregnant with his child?

How would Chienne react if she had a Neo-Sapien as a child?

Magnus Loder made a mental note to talk to Quinton Jorgenson when he got back to the school. The boy genius invented the Morph Buckle—there had to be a way for him to allow something like a watch or a necklace provide the same effect…
To Be Continued... wrote:Quint versus Mirth and Girth
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:39 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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New Vindicators, Chapter 17

Post by Michuru81 » Mon Dec 11, 2006 6:40 pm

Chapter XVII: The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny
Quinton Jorgenson couldn’t believe what he was seeing. “You—you killed him!” he exclaimed.

David Meinstein shrugged. “It was either him or me… and I’m not partial to dying.” The incredulity of such a statement struck the young Neo-Sapien harder than the deed itself had. “Besides,” David added, “you were being cheap. I mean, Yoda is the cheapest character in the game.”

Quinton respawned as a Rebel Bothan Spy and immediately headed off to reclaim the base David had taken after his Imperial Shock Trooper had swept through Dagobah.

“He’s short so half the time, you barely register he’s even there. Plus, we’re in Dagobah where it’s foggy and you can’t see for crap. When you realize he’s there, you have to aim down at the little munchkin. But do you hit him? NO! He’s Yoda, so he’s flipping out like a ninja, and the entire time he’s hacking away at you… or he’ll Force pull you in and-”

“Dude, now I’m Yoda!” David nearly snapped at Ryan Mueller’s exclamation of joy. “The rebels may reclaim the swamp-lands yet!”

“And why is Yoda freaking respawning? When Yoda died in Episode VI, did he respawn and take down Vader for Luke? NO! Did Yoda respawn and bail everyone out in the Battle of Endor? NO!”

“Dude, they didn’t need Yoda in the Battle of Endor,” offered Cloud Goodman. “They had ewoks. Ewoks pwn Yoda.”

Quinton let out an audible gasp at the blasphemy which just escaped his friend’s lips. “Dude! He wailed on Count Dooku in ep two!”

“So what? So he took down Saruman the White! A bunch of TREES took down Saruman!”

Quinton narrowed his eyes at Cloud. “Saruman beat the snot out of your boy Gandalf.”

“Here we go again with the Gandalf… again with the Gandalf…” David shook his head, but couldn’t contain the grin as he watched ‘Zanza27 has defeated Yoda’ roll across the screen.

“Again with the Yoda-slaying!” Ryan exclaimed. “Are you discriminating against little green men?”

“You can’t take Gandalf. He’s the master of magnetism.”

“So? Saruman is also Dracula!”

“Magneto could totally take Dracula in a fight!”

“Look, I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it…” David paused the game and all eyes fell on their guest: Ben Altair had been invited along by Ryan Mueller and Quinton Jorgenson. He had opted to spend the bulk of his time here sitting back, making snide comments about their choices in lifestyle. “I’m fairly sure you’re all retarded.”

“Oh, well…” Ryan looked for a way to excuse their spirited conversation that had transfigured into a debate on hypothetical battle between Dracula and Magneto. “Well, Christopher Lee played Dracula and Saruman and Count Dooku and Ian McKellen was-”

“I know who they are—I’m not an idiot—I just think this is pointless. You guys just… sit around and play games and argue over who would win make believe fights? I mean… this doesn’t strike you as pathetic?”

“Dude…” Only David Meinstein could muster a response. “I oughta smack you so bad…” Ryan’s eyes bulged at the thought of a confrontation. He was not one for confrontation. Immediately, he moved to repair the damage… Still, it was hard to stop the train that was David Meinstein’s mouth. “Seriously… why are you even here? I mean, I only told Ryan you could come because he feels bad for you because you don’t have any friends… but all you’ve done is make fun of us and drink all my soda.”

“No, I didn’t…”

“Dude! You downed, like, five while we were on our first can!”

“No, I didn’t!” Ben snapped indignantly. As he rose to his feet he knocked over the small collection of empty Mountain Dew cans sitting beside him, well out of the others’ reach. “And I have plenty of friends! And they’re all much cooler than you are! They don’t sit around playing video games and wondering who would win stupid fights that are never going to happen!” “Good.” David turned back to the screen projected on the far wall and the game began again. “Give them a call. Tell ‘em I said ‘hi’.”

“They’re busy tonight,” Ben growled. “They’re out with their girlfriends. I’d be out with mine but she promised her dad they’d have dinner together.” He watched as each of the other young men turned back towards the game. “One of my friends is a DJ. He’s doing a party not far from here…” When he realized this too failed to astonish them he glared at their backs and let himself out. The shooting continued in somber silence. No one knew what to say. Perhaps what Ben had said struck a nerve. Maybe they each pondered over whether there was any glimmer of truth in what he said. Without another word, Cloud Goodman rose up and with naught but a nod he excused himself for the evening. It wasn’t long after that Quinton Jorgenson made his way out of the brownstone.

“You know…” Ryan said, left alone with his young friend, “technically… the Empire never even went to Dagobah…”

David let out a mournful sigh. “I oughta just slap all of you.”

The two remained oblivious to the goings on a few blocks away, where Quinton Jorgenson had caught up to Ben Altair. For a moment, the two walked on. Whether Ben noticed his roommate’s presence or not was a question that Quinton wasn’t sure how to ask. In a way, he felt bad for the young man. He had known David for years and knew the lashings his razor-tongue could deliver. He imagined it was all preparation for the board room; David was destined to control his father’s portion of Patriot Robotics one day. Deep down, Quinton always managed to convince himself that David never meant to be so brash or hurtful; it was just practice.

“You know, you shouldn’t be out alone… I mean, there’s that ZERO guy around.”

Ben shrugged. “I could probably take him. I mean… I’d just, like, incase him in ice or something.”

Quinton said nothing to contradict what he sincerely doubted. ZERO had been all over the news. The prototype armor was one of two stolen from Patriot Robotics the day Atlas had emerged from his sabbatical. It was made to hunt Neo-Sapiens and whoever wore the battlesuit now was doing it for just that purpose. The flimsiest of excuses were used to justice the intolerant, merciless arrests the being made. So far, seven Neo-Sapiens had been brought to justice by ZERO. Two had survived the night to stand trial.

Still, no matter how preposterous Ben’s claimants were, Quinton had enough tact to let him go on boasting of his ability. “It’s probably for the best that we all stick together.”

“Then why don’t you go find Cloud and walk home with him?”

“Because I was hoping to talk to you, Ben.”

“Well, maybe I don’t wanna talk to you.”

“That’s fine… but if you keep burning bridges, you’ll end up on an island.”

“That’s a pretty lame metaphor.”

Quinton shook his head at the young man’s abrasively blunt insults. There was no winning with him; why did he continue to try to be the friend of someone who seemed not to care about anyone but himself?

“Q-Ball!” a voice said, sending shivers down the back of Quinton’s spine.

The obnoxious laugh announced his partner in crime; the two were seldom apart. “Naw!” the hyena-like voice managed between guffaws. “He’s Q-Tip now!”

Mirth and Girth were the embodiment of every bully stereotype Quinton could think of. Having grown up on the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, the duo put him in mind of Bulk and Skull. Girth was a half-Palestinian, half-Mexican youth of exaggerated density. His waistline was bordering on alarming and only hinted at his lack of effort where health and hygiene were concerned. His hair was a wild growth of tangles and his single eyebrow was like a fuzzy worm across his face. Layers of fat covered his body, leaving his waddling form ambiguous as to what gender he was; what seemed like a camel-toe protruding from his hunter grey sweats did manage to detract from the most yellow white T-shirt anyone had ever seen.

Slightly.

His equally comical counterpart was an albino standing at six feet and six inches in height. His bold nose was crooked from repeated breaks in his youth and his attire was as ill-fitting as his seismic sidekick. His pants were cut just under the knee while the two hooded sweaters he alternated every other day exposed his navel in a most pulchritudinous fashion.

Their nicknames, once intended as stones and arrows to be used against them, were worn like badges of honor. Now it was all they answered to. While Girth merely refused to give his given name, Mirth claimed his was unpronounceable. Though his accent oft painted him as a Russian, he claimed to be from “an oddly shaped island in the middle of the ocean.” He was an exchange student, or so the story went. Most students at Eleanor Roosevelt High School were beginning to inquire as to what they could exchange him for.

Most alarming about the pair was the preposterous things which Girth claimed and the humor that Mirth found in them. Mirth’s was a hyena’s laugh, laughing and cracking, and Girth appeared confident in all that he said. “Is this your lesbian lover?” Girth asked, inclining his greasy head at Ben.

Quinton raised an eyebrow at the poor attempt at the insult. “You—you realize women are lesbians.”

Mirth ceased his inane laughter and flashed a worried and astonished look his companion’s way. “Of-of course,” Girth stammered. “I merely intended to insult your manhood.”

“My manhood?”

“Yes,” Girth said proudly. “It is very small.”

“So… you’ve been looking at my crotch? Remind me again who’s sexuality is in question?”

Girth could take it no more. Quinton was a typical target for the duo, but he was known for his quick wit and baffling ability to recover from what the pair genuinely envisioned as staggering insults. The big man moved to throw a punch; Ben was startled by the surprising speed and grace a man of his stature moved with. Still, what little combat training Quinton had received from Chimera was enough to keep him unscathed.

“Come! No more of the sissy running!”

“Last chance to walk away, big boy… think it through.”

“You and what army?” Mirth laughed.

A smirk appeared on Quinton’s face. Ben Altair would spend weeks wondering what made the young man do it. What made Quinton Jorgenson snap? Was he waiting for a reason to? Had he been pushed too far? Or was it something else?

Before Ben Altair knew it, there were five of Quinton Jorgenson… and all of them were lunging for a perplexed Girth…
To Be Continued... wrote:Rebels Without a Cause
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 18

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Dec 12, 2006 6:29 pm

Chapter XVIII: A Little Respect
Cloud Goodman turned the corner and couldn’t believe his eyes. In front of Kelly’s Hole, the underground bar and grill, Quinton Jorgenson had used his Neo-Sapien ability to split into five exact duplicates to take on a pair of bullies they had both been tormented by for years. In the span of a second he debated with whether to expose his own identity as a Neo-Sapien. It was true that his abilities weren’t nearly as impressive as some of the others, but he knew how to take advantage of them when worst came to worst.

Ben Altair faced a similar problem. Ben’s ability was to lower the thermal temperature of anything he could see. Often, this meant the rapid formation of frost and ice over his target. Since arriving at the New Vindicators Academy, he had been forced to work with Alicia Goodman, a young woman with similar powers. It had been she who had pushed him to experiment with his abilities. He had more control over the shape his ice took, letting him create objects out of virtually nowhere. Still, the most impressive thing she had inspired him to try was incasing himself in ice. Doing so gave him some degree of protection against attacks but most importantly it concealed his identity.

As Quinton Jorgenson teamed up with himself and assaulted Girth, Ben bolted. He needed to get away. Mirth and Girth had seen his face and they could identify him as a Neo-Sapien later at school. He needed to get to safety and transform.

“Where do you think you’re going?” Mirth cackled. Ben tripped and fell face-first into the pavement. He turned and attempted to deduce just what he had tripped over. Mirth wasn’t even close enough to touch him and nothing obstructed his path.

Two of Quinton’s duplicates grabbed Girth’s right arm and two more grabbed for the left. The foursome held the big man back while the fifth began hammering his fists into Girth’s stomach. Girth was too astonished to blurt out one of his trademarked, nonsensical insults. The revelation of Quinton Jorgenson’s powers left him speechless and for that alone was Quinton pleased. Still, he was far from being physically imposing; his punches may have connected, but they didn’t seem to count for much. Worse, it was taking all that he had to hold the man back and that wasn’t giving him much ground.

Girth swung himself free of their grasp, flinging the clones into each other and knocking them to the ground. They were falling just as Ben was making it to his feet. Once more he attempted to flee, but it felt as though someone pushed him back to the ground. The feeling of a hand planted on his back, throwing him forward was unmistakable. Still, no matter how hard he strained his eyes, he could not find his assailant. He looked to Cloud, as if his eyes could ask the young man for answers. Cloud’s eyes gave him no quarter; they were instead fixated upon the shinning form before him. Ben followed his gaze to the shape looming nearby. The moonlight glinted off of the armor, making the black and gold metal hum in the irradiance.

Rocket propulsion in each of the legs allowed for limited flight and permitted the armor-clad figure to blaze across the street and slam the titanic shape into Girth. As the big man toppled backwards, the silent figure spun around to focus itself on Mirth. Hydraulics pumped and factored into the augmented strength the suit possessed; it made for a tight grip that Mirth couldn’t free his wrist from. As the young albino cried out in pain, begging the metal man to cease crushing his arm, the others feared for the worse.

Television sets across New York City had been seething with reports on the violent displays of ZERO’s anti-Neo-Sapien policy. The figure attacked without discrimination when it came to Neo-Sapiens, always finding some way to excuse the severe thrashing delivered to the innocents. In less than a month since the supposed hero’s debut, numerous deaths had been attributed to him. Likely, he prided himself on it.

“ZERO is a real hero,” Forrest N. Bedford, the man who had turned the Ku-Klux Klan into the Church of Genetic Purity, was quoted as saying. “If you ask me, this city needs more upstanding citizens like ZERO.” Forrest had gone on to inform the media that he was not aware of the armored figure’s identity, nor was ZERO affiliated with the church in any way…

Much to his sorrow.

Cloud had fled the moment he had the chance. Ben made it to his feet and hurried off through the streets, seeking safety from the perceived threat.

“Everything okay?” the armored figure said, looking down at the mess of doppelgangers.

Quinton cringed at the realization that the armored form was speaking to him. Then confusion set in at the realization that he was still alive. “You-you’re not ZERO,” he realized.

“Kind of ZERO’s kid brother,” the figure said, the wielder’s voice reverberating through the metal and digitally obscured. “I go by… Portal.”

“Why?”

In the twinkling of an eye, the armored being was gone and suddenly behind Quinton. “That’s why,” he said. “The armor has a lot of gimmicks, but the main function is apparently electron-displacing teleportation. You need help getting home?”

Quinton shook his head. The idea that Roosevelt Island had its own personal super-hero was a new development to him. “I-I should probably find my friends. I think I’m going to be okay now… Thanks for the help.”

With a nod, Portal had teleported away and Quinton began his walk back to the school… Unbeknownst to him, his pontification of the night’s momentous events had him fail to notice two of his other peers walking the streets of Roosevelt Island one Sunday night…

“I told ya I could do it,” J.T. said as he pulled back his arm to hurl the empty beer can across the street. He had stopped at the sight of Quinton, but a deep sigh was released upon realizing their escapade had not been seen. “Wasn’t much to shadow-walk in, grab a couple of cases and shadow-walk out.”

On his fourth attempt, Deimos successfully crushed his can beneath his booted foot and reached for another. “It’s about time you found a use for your powers besides peeking on chicks.”

“At least my abilities are useful!” J.T. laughed. “Ooo! You can create energy weapons! Personification of fear, my rear! Did you like that? I made a rhyme!”

“I can make more than just weapons…” Deimos growled. “Sides… Deimos is a better name than J.T. is. What kind of name is J.T. anyway?”

“Heh… my mom was a geek, okay? My full name is James R Tiberius Kirk.”

“What’s the ‘R’ stand for?”

“Nothing. It’s just the letter ‘R’. I guess at one point, he was Captain James R. Kirk but they retconned it to James Tiberius Kirk. Only a geek like my mother would know his middle initial was ‘R’ for one freaking episode of Star Trek.”

“Only a geek like you would use a word like ‘retconned’.”

“It means-”

“I know what it means, dill hole.”

“Then you’re a geek too!”

Deimos laughed. “Yeah, but I didn’t use it…”

J.T. grinned. “Wow… you’re pretty drunk, huh?”

Deimos just nodded stupidly, barely noticing that his cell phone was ringing. Each student was outfitted with one, among other benefits of attending the New Vindicators Academy. Sluggishly, he produced it from the deep pockets of his duster, only to strain his eyes to make out the caller. “Who’s ‘Gay Kid’?” he asked, looking at J.T. with narrowed eyes; deep down, he suspected he was looking at the answer.

At J.T.’s shrug, Deimos answered his phone. “What?” he grumbled.

“Mister Deimos?” came Malachi Brown’s panicked voice.

“What is it? You’re bothering me.”

“I went to the nursing home to make sure Miss White didn’t need someone to walk her home and…” Deimos swore; he had completed his required community service but Mister Bradshaw had insisted on him going longer.

“Someone tried to make it look like you killed Lucas,” his teacher had told him. “It would be best for you to continue going and maintain that alibi, least someone try to incriminate you on another crime.”

Still, the invitation J.T. had given him was a hard one to pass up and Deimos found himself skipping quality time with Atlanta, bussing trays in the dining hall, to get drunk and celebrate his newfound freedom. It seemed, to Deimos, that Kai was checking up on him. The young man cut off and Deimos slowly began to sober up at the sounds of Malachi’s cell phone hitting the pavement.

“Where are you, kid? What’s going on?”

J.T. raised an eyebrow.

“NO!” Kai’s scream was distant, as if he were further away from his phone now. Yet it echoed through the night; Deimos could hear his voice calling out from just a few blocks away. “Please, don’t kill me!” he was begging. Deimos was already running in the direction the scream had come. The alcohol had taken its toll on his equilibrium, but he fought against it, listening desperately at his cell phone for signs that everything was going to be okay.

“MISTER DEIMOS!” Malachi’s scream reached the receiver and tore through the night. J.T. had shadow-walked in front of his tattooed compatriot. “Don’t trust Mi-” He cut off suddenly and Deimos feared the worst.

“Get me to him!” Deimos thundered. “Shadow-walk me there! I gotta stop this guy before I take the blame again!”

J.T. shook his head. “Sorry, man… those weren’t my orders.”

Deimos hoped that was the alcohol talking to him and not what J.T. Kirk had actually just said. “Wh-what? Who’s orders?”

“My boss,” he said. “Deimos… Addison and Lucas… they died because they found out about us. They found out about what we were doing. We couldn’t let them tell anyone…”

“We WHO?” Deimos demanded, grabbing J.T.’s collar and pulling him face-to-face.

J.T. radiated calm as he looked at his friend and said, “The Affiliation.”
To Be Continued... wrote:Deimos versus Lurker
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 19

Post by Michuru81 » Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:40 pm

Chapter XIX: Rebel Yell
Deimos attempted to push past Lurker; J.T. Kirk was apparently made of tougher than he had allowed the New Vindicators to think. “We want you, Deimos. Come with us…”

Deimos threw the young man’s gentle hold off him and hurried off in the direction Malachi Brown’s scream had come from. He didn’t care about the young man either way; he was simply determined to not be set up for any more murders. At least his enemies had a name now. “The Affiliation,” Lurker had called them.

Once more Lurker shadow-walked into the young man’s path; with a thought the black, heatless flames at Deimos’ command encompassed his form and erupted out of his back at shimmering, black moth’s wings. There was no hesitation as he took to the skies, leaving Lurker bewildered and stranded in the moonlight.

Deimos scanned the ground, looking for a flame. At the New Vindicators Academy, Malachi had been given the codename Kelvin, due to his thermal abilities. The young man could surround himself in an aura of extreme heat or cold. If he had been assaulted, Deimos suspected to spot flames somewhere. Nothing; nothing pointed to where the attack had happened. Scanning the surface closer, he spotted the nursing home he had been forced to spend yesterday and descended. Kelvin had said he was coming here when it all happened…

Had he ran into another lackey for the Affiliation?

Malachi’s body lay not far from Atlanta’s. She was nearest where the black-figure landed. Without knowing who was still lurking in the shadows, Deimos kept his energy armor up as he hurried to Atlanta’s side. She was breathing, but unconscious. A look over his shoulder said not to expect the same mercy for Kelvin. By the silhouette Deimos could make out the katana protruding from the young man’s back.

Years ago, Deimos’ Uncle John had told him that in the old days, it was disgraceful to die with sword wounds on your back. “To have died from wounds inflicted on your back would imply that you were running from battle,” John had told him. “If the wounds were on the front… then you had faced your death like a man and your family could be proud of how you died.”

“How did you die?” he asked Malachi, dropping low near him. Deimos’ eyes went to the bulge in Malachi’s back pocket. His wallet was on him; likely his keys as well. Unless he was in his academy uniform, whatever he wore or carried became incinerated when he became engulfed in flames. That his civilian clothes were intact showed he had not used his powers. Still, there was the matter of the sword…

The katana was one Deimos readily recognized as Michuru’s. The half-Asian was reported as being an expert in aikido and iaido in addition to being an excellent swordsman. He had to be, Deimos felt, given that his powers were so unreliable. Deimos had never trusted the man before… and now he had reason not to: Michuru’s sword was jutting from Kelvin’s back.

“MISTER DEIMOS!” Kelvin’s last words were a warning to him, screamed to his cell phone. He had known death was coming for him and had concerned himself with warning Deimos of the identity of their enemies. “Don’t trust Mi-” Michuru; he had been about to say Michuru. Michuru had tried to get Deimos to take up residence in the surveillance room at the Lighthouse. Why else but to keep track of his target?

In his anger, Deimos merely missed something else… there was no crimson pool formed under Kelvin’s heavy form. At the realization, Deimos grabbed at the young man’s shirt and tore it apart to see the wound.

The sword was going through Kelvin… and yet it wasn’t. There was no wound made in the attack: the sword was fused with the young man’s body. Immediately, Deimos’ mind went to scenarios where Kelvin’s flame form had cauterized the wound. “No,” he mused. “There would be signs of the flame on the blade.” How could someone stab him with a sword and not leave any wounds?

As if in an answer, he caught a blur of blue energy out of the corner of his eye. Lifting his head up, he came face to face with the young man. The two had never met, but he had heard enough about him in the last twenty-four hours to recognize his company. “Blitzkrieg?” he asked, eyeing the man darkly. His mind drifted back to a workshop he had barely stayed awake through on his first weekend attending the New Vindicators Academy.

“Super-speed,” Doctor Styles had intoned dully as she read from the approved text, “is one of the more versatile powers manifesting in Neo-Sapiens today. Of the numerous speedsters in existence, each has been unique. Some, like Tick-tock and Walkabout, bend time around them to simulate speed. They slow down the rest of the world while speeding themselves up. More modern heroes, such as Caliber and Momentum move so fast that nothing on earth can possibly slow them down. Others have displayed a mastery over air, letting them create tornados and propel gusts. Some can vibrate their molecules to a point that they pass through solid matter.”

The lecture had made Deimos hate speedsters; if they didn’t exist, he wouldn’t have had to sit through such a boring session. Still, in addition to their normal studies, each student was required to also learn about the other world they lived in, facilitating classes such as SPB History and Theoretical Physics amongst others.

“So what did you do? Move so fast that the sword just went right through him and then let go? Is that what you did? Why can’t you leave us alone, you freak?”

“My master is building an army,” Blitzkrieg intoned coldly. “You have been found worthy, just as Lazarus and Singe informed Amalgam and Tripper.” Deimos’ eyes widened at the recognition of those names; if Lazarus and Singe were a part of this and the Affiliation had found him worthy to join their ranks then the pair knew he was still alive.

How long before this information reached Bogart?

“We’re not your enemies, Deimos! We are the future. Lawanda Murphy appeared at Deimos’ side and J.T. Kirk shadow-walked in across from her. They had him surrounded; Atlanta was still unconscious. She was a sitting target if a battle began here; if he took the fight away she could be captured easily by any of the three. “What will it be, Deimos?”

“I never planned on being a good little soldier for the New Vindicators,” Deimos said, his lips turning up into a fiendish grin, “but I don’t think I could stand to take orders from the same person you freaks do… Guess that makes me what I always knew I was: the wild card!”

As Deimos lifted a hand to blast his eerie black energy at Lawanda, Blitzkrieg moved to charge for him. He knew he could divert the attack. He could reach Deimos before he even channeled a spark of his powers. The young man was powerless against him.

Blitzkrieg feet slipped from under him and his jaw cracked down against the pool of ice that hard formed under him. Undeterred from his assault, Deimos’ blast connected with Lawanda and J.T. made his move to pull her from harm’s way. Drawn out of the fray, the two watched as Deimos was joined by another student of the school: Ben Altair, covered head-to-toe in ice and ready to help take Blitzkrieg down.

“How much of a radius do you have with that Slip-N-Slide?” asked Deimos.

“Not enough to keep him back,” Frostbite returned. “He could be out of my range in no time…”

“He’s close range though,” Deimos growled. “Surround us… keep him from getting anywhere near here. I’ll blast away.”

“Nice plan,” Blitzkrieg offered, “but it won’t work if you can’t hit me.”

Deimos shrugged. “Who said anything about hitting you?” Unleashing a full power blast of black fire, Deimos tore a trench through the ground and flashed the young speedster his most fiendish grin. “You’re pretty quick on your feet… but Doctor Styles said that you people hate friction. You can’t touch us and I slowly whittle away at your ability to maneuver.”

“I could grab the girl and run.”

“Yeah, but then you’d have to deal with her when she wakes up. I’ve been on the receiving end of her powers before: she’s stronger than she looks.”

Blitzkrieg sighed and shook his head. “We’re not at war here, Jeremy.”

“Deimos,” the young man corrected. “My name is Deimos.”

“Of course.” Deimos didn’t imagine the arrogant smirk suppressed by Blitzkrieg. The man actually seemed amused by all of this somehow. “Deimos… we’re not at war. I don’t need any of you. I merely came to make you an offer…”

“You killed Kai!” Frostbite thundered.

“He’s killed more than fatty,” Deimos grumbled. “The winged chick and the other tub were done in by him… He tried to set me up for the second one!”

“Actually, I didn’t kill anyone… but you’re just going to believe what you want to believe. Just remember, Deimos: we gave you your chance.” Suddenly, Deimos caught the movement in the trees. Lurker had returned from shadow-walking Lawanda away. Blitzkrieg must have noticed the movement too. That had to be what conjured his grin; he knew he had an ace up his sleeve!

Deimos rushed forward to try and stop them. It was no use. Lurker’s hands touched Blitzkrieg as the younger man leapt down from the tree branches. Almost instantly the two faded backwards into the darkness and left Deimos only with the image of Blitzkrieg’s shinning smile, perpetually etched into his psyche.

“Dude…” Frostbite said, starring into the space their enemy had only just been occupying. “Why—why do you think he didn’t ask me to join his group?”

Deimos had already opened his phone and had dialed for Doctor Styles. At the moment, she was the only one he trusted amongst their teachers—and that wasn’t saying much. “Maybe because you suck,” he said, staggering a smidge. He hadn’t had much to drink, but he was thankful for being able to feign sobriety as long as he had. “Hey, doc… I need you to get over at this old fart’s home as fast as possible. Come alone too… I’ll explain when you get here.”

Hanging up, he pocketed the phone and shook his head. There was no way the Vindicator would come alone; she had no reason to trust him. It never occurred to Deimos that she also had no reason to be afraid of him though; he didn’t imagine a world where the seasoned super-heroine could easily best him in combat. Expecting Michuru Bradshaw to be arriving with her, Deimos knelt down next to Atlanta, gently stroking her cheek with the back of his hand. Her personality was so fiery; she reminded him of Enyo.

“I don’t suck,” grumbled Frostbite under his breath, folding his arms over his chest and pouting. “You suck… and you smell like pee.”
To Be Continued... wrote:What Atlanta remembers.
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 20

Post by Michuru81 » Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:03 pm

Chapter XX: Once You Wake Up
As the first rays of the sun were streaming out over the horizon, Atlanta Jane White regained consciousness. By the cold, sterile feel of the room, she took herself for being in the medical lab. Her own medical training made her familiar with many of the machines sitting idle and at the ready nearby. As her eyes explored the room she was surprised to find, not far from her, Doctor Natalie Styles slumped in an arm chair, drooling on her arm. “Gal better be havin’ a mighty good dream,” she said as she sat forward. “My head’s hurtin’ so bad… reckon Ah ain’t had much of a good one.”

“And what do you reckon?”

Atlanta was startled to find she wasn’t alone in the land of waking. Alexandra Hawk was a tall girl with wavy, blonde hair and a penchant for immodesty. She showed more skin than Atlanta thought appropriate and wore too much makeup for the young Georgian peach’s taste. Rumors surrounded the young woman; while most whispered of her licentious lifestyle, the preferred gender of most of her partners was a heated debate.

“From one med student to another… you’re an odd case. Your body’s soft but your skin is so durable; I couldn’t get the needle in for blood work. Good thing you didn’t need an IV. Your physiology is… bizarre.” Alexa began rapidly clicking the pen she was holding at the realization of how Atlanta was looking at her. “Am I making you nervous?”

“Ah—Ah’m sorry. Ah’m bein’ rude… Ah just…”

“You think… what? I’m going to come onto you?”

Atlanta’s eyes widened as the fear began to take root.

“You’re cute,” Alexa said with a smile. “You have this naïve little innocence about you but… that’s just not my type. Besides, that accent would get grating after a while.”

The admittance of the girl’s sexual preference obscured Atlanta’s senses to the insult to her Georgian heritage. “So—y’all really are a- a-”

“Lesbian? No. I prefer ‘bi-curious’. I like both men and women, Atlanta. The keyword is ‘women’; you’re safe, kiddo. I’d rather play with Barbie than I would Skipper.” Without missing a beat, Alexa went on with her analysis, snatching her flashlight and thumping open Atlanta’s eye. “You lost consciousness outside of the nursing home…” she said as she shinned the light into the young woman’s eyes. “Was that before or after Malachi Brown was murdered?”

“Malachi’s dead!?” Atlanta boomed. Her face showed how truly surprising this was for her and Alexa opted not to press any further.

Alexa sighed and ran her finger around the inside of her ear. “As soon as I get my hearing back… maybe I can figure out what you do remember and we can work on getting you filled in.”

Atlanta thought back on where she had been before waking up in the med lab. “The last thing Ah remember was leaving the nursing home. It was Missus Benefield’s birthday and Ah had made this pie… She’s diabetic, so Ah made sure to make a cheesecake she could eat. Turned out pretty well…”

“Wow… cheesecake. That trumps dead kid. Please… continue with the pointless details.”

Atlanta narrowed her eyes at the young woman. “And y’all thought Ah could get grating…”

“Are you gunna go on or-”

“That’s it… Ah came outside and… that’s the last thing Ah remember.”

“You don’t remember how you lost consciousness? Maybe if someone did something to you?”

“Should Ah?”

Alexa shook her head. “After you lost consciousness, Malachi Brown showed up with the impression that a girl possessed of your powers would need his protection walking home. Seems like he was right. He was attacked and reacted by calling Jeremy Carlson—Deimos as he’s so adamant about being called. He wasn’t able to give Jeremy much information before being killed. Jeremy arrived on the scene some scant moments afterwards, accompanied by Ben Altair.

“The pair was approached by representatives of a group known as the Affiliation. Blitzkrieg was accompanied by two of our own—James Kirk and Lawanda Murphy. This fits the pattern they seem to move in, as Blitzkrieg and two unknowns identifying themselves as Lazarus and Singe appeared to Alexander Sway and Jacquelyn Webber. In each situation, their targets are extended an offer to join their ranks.”

“That’s only what we KNOW.” The girls were somewhat surprised to see Doctor Styles awake and attempting to compose herself. “What we THINK is that they were also involved in the attack on the dance. It’s possible that they have a member with fear-inducing phantasms. At this point, this is purely speculation; Drew Jenkins’ abilities appear to be capable of granting him the powers of nearby Neo-Sapiens and he displayed Blitzkrieg’s powers at that time. We have no choice but to accept that this group may have been responsible for Addison, Lucas, Malachi and Quinton’s deaths.”

Atlanta couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “Quinton? As in… Quinton Jorgenson?”

“You know any other guys unfortunate enough to be named ‘Quinton’, princess?” Alexa snorted. “While Blitzkrieg was handling Deimos, Quinton was murdered. It’s just like the fiasco at the dance; everything was a smokescreen to divert us from someone’s murder.”

Atlanta shook her head as she was told the details of how Quinton’s body was found by Cloud Goodman. The young man had been hysterical when he returned, telling of how he had stumbled upon Quinton Jorgenson. The young Neo-Sapien had been strapped to pyre near the shore of the East River and his body had been lit aflame. Most bizarre was how Quinton starred off into the distance blankly; he never screamed… never moved… It was as if he had accepted his death.

Cloud said he had thrown himself into the flames, attempting to force the pyre into the river and save Quinton’s life. He had been all but hysterical when he returned, telling of the young man’s death. Everyone knew the two to be friends… but no one could have anticipated how hard their parting would be.

The med bay doors opened and in walked Patrick Goodman, the former Vindicator known as Coach Crag. The man was the father of Cassandra and Cloud Goodman, heirs to the powers possessed of him and his wife. They had another child, a son some years older than the twins, although they seldom talked about him.

At his appearance, talk of Quinton’s death ceased and all eyes fell on him. “She’s conscious then,” he mused, nodding to himself before continuing to talk as if Atlanta were not in the room. “Does she remember anything?”

“Nothing,” Doctor Styles offered. “How’s Cloud?”

“Victoria’s with him… he’s… I don’t know. I was never close to him, I suppose but… it’s like he’s a different person. I know I haven’t really been there for him these last few years but… but still. He’s almost inconsolable.” The big man shook off his momentary weakness and fixed himself down on Doctor Styles. “Kimberly’s back from dropping the Canadian girl off at JFK. We’re needed up top.”

He left without waiting for confirmation from the young woman and a battery of questions remained in his place. “Kimberly?” Alexa asked.

“Canadian girl?” offered Atlanta.

“Mister Goodman doesn’t think highly of Mister Bradshaw’s status as an instructor here… nor as a Vindicator. Mister Bradshaw’s powers are ruled by his emotions and… there are a lot of people who think he’s not cut out to teach the next generation of Neo-Sapiens to control their powers when he is not able to do so himself. I think calling Mister Bradshaw a girl’s name like Sarah or Gwen or Kimberly is his way of towing the line. He feels he’s not outright insulting him… so much as he is just making sure people know how he feels about him but Mich- Mister Bradshaw says Mister Goodman’s done it to him since he was a kid. He seems okay with it but… I wish the man wouldn’t do it in front of you kids; it undermines Mister Bradshaw’s authority as one of your teachers.”

“What about JFK?”

“Many of the students here had… difficult manifestations. Maybe it was at school, or on the football field… Their communities were ready to lynch them and we stepped in. We promised every student’s parents that their son or daughter would be safe with us. Four students have died on our watch and… a lot of parents have taken their children out of our care. Michuru saw to putting most students on a bus home or drove those in the New York area back home.”

“Alicia?” Atlanta asked, hoping to God that Patrick Goodman had meant some other Canadian girl.

“Her parents called her back for a different reason… Alicia… she went home because she found out she’s pregnant.”

Atlanta said no more. She had liked Alicia. She had respected her and looked up to her. The girls were the same age, true… but Alicia had been at the New Vindicators Academy longer than Atlanta had. She had better control over her powers and over herself. Atlanta was no longer crushing everything she touched; she was beginning to learn her own strength but she was still a far cry off from being at the level Alicia was at. That the young woman had been so promiscuous hit her just as hard as the news of Malachi and Quinton’s deaths.

“I’d better get going,” Doctor Styles said. “The teachers are having a meeting on what to do about the Affiliation… now that we have a little more information. Atlanta, I’m really glad you’re safe. You—you probably don’t want to hear this, but I was on the same team of Vindicators as your parents. I was only about thirteen when I became a Vindicator and the two of them… they were like surrogate parents to me. In my head, that makes us something like sisters and… and I’m just glad that I had the chance to tell you that. I hope we have more chances to get to know each other.”

Atlanta smiled sweetly for the doctor’s sake… and watched on as the young woman made her way out of the medical bay.

“Now HER…” Alexa said, cocking her head slightly as she watched the albino woman walk away through the window into the hall. “THAT’S my type of woman.”
To Be Continued... wrote:Faculty meeting
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michuru81
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Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:17 pm
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New Vindicators, Chapter 21

Post by Michuru81 » Mon Dec 18, 2006 4:29 pm

Chapter XXI: Crutch
Doctor Styles sat down in one of the chairs around the war room’s table. Two of the other nine chairs were empty; their group was missing two of the administration. A quick head count told her those two were Richard Jorgenson and Victoria Goodman. Richard’s son had been killed the night before; his absence was more than understandable; oddly enough, no one had seen Richard since the news came to them so how he could have found out escaped them. It made them all worry over the true reason for his dearth… Victoria Gladstone was also missing; her son was close friends with Quinton Jorgenson and it was likely that she was still consoling her child.

“Our enemy has a name,” Professor Alston intoned dryly. “They call themselves the Affiliation and we have no reason not to suspect them for the deaths of four of our students at this point. We know little about them, save that they are apparently recruiting. They have already approached three of our students: Jeremy Carlson, Alexander Sway and Jacquelyn Webber. It is possible that this invitation has been extended to other students, as two of our own have shown themselves to be affiliated with the Affiliation. James Kirk and Lawanda Murphy have shown their true colors… and we’re not sure how many other sleeper agents in our midst they may have.”

“At present, we know of four other members.” Doctor Splash’s watery form wavered and shook on the spot. He had spent well over two decades unable to revert to his true state. In such a form he had less than stable control over his form; it took a great deal of concentration to pull together in a shape reminiscent of the man he once was. “One we assume to have some level of mental abilities. Someone managed to induce phantasms based on what each person fears most. This person was never directly engaged, only manifestations of their abilities were encountered. The other two may be complete unknowns to us but at least we know a bit more about them. They call themselves Lazarus and Singe and appear capable of cellular regeneration and flame manipulation, respectively. The two engaged Mister Sway and Miss Webber not too few nights ago and admitted that there are apparently three levels to this organization. Over the numerous peons, to which we feel justified in grouping Mister Kirk and Miss Murphy, or Lurker and Black Widow as they are apparently calling themselves now, are two who serve their leader directly. Only these two apparently know their leader’s true identity… One of these two is confirmed to be a former student here: Blitzkrieg.”

With a nod to Doctor Natalie Styles, she took over the briefing. “In his time here, Blitzkrieg revealed little about himself. We don’t know his real name… only that his father was intolerant of his status as a Neo-Sapien and that he has a younger sibling. He was never really a leader; he was always a follower. At first, his class was led by Rift, Miss Breanne Jordan.” Breanne had graduated years ago and returned to the school as an instructor. Most eyes moved across the table to her. Under such scrutiny, the young woman pulled her knees into her chest and forced herself to continue to look at Doctor Styles. She didn’t want to show her peers how nervous their gazes made her feel. She was determined to rise above the opinion of an impetuous young girl. “After her graduation it was Ambrosia who took the reins of leadership. Blitzkrieg was always content to follow; he had no grand ambitions. In the last four years since he graduated, neither we nor any of his teammates have had contact with him. Obviously, during this time, something in him changed.”

“Are we assuming that the students who were killed were approached by recruiters?” asked Pandora. “Should we be worried for the other students?”

“I believe we should be worried for them…” intoned Michuru, “but not for the reasons you’d believe. I don’t believe the Affiliation approached any of those killed. Addison and Lawanda were close friends. They were both denied a normal existence due to the unique bone structure that came with their powers. Addison couldn’t go out in public because of her wings and Lawanda because of the four extra arms sprouting from her torso. It’s possible that Lawanda told Addison about the Affiliation and her leaders demanded Addison’s death.”

“That’s possible,” Professor Alston mused, stroking his chin as he thought on the scenario his fellow instructor presented.

“That’s preposterous, Susan!” boomed Patrick Goodman. “Who in their right mind goes around blabbing about being in a super-secret covert group with intentions as mysterious as their leader?”

“Teenaged girls,” Michuru answered. “Consider it further: Lawanda was on the tape of Lucas’ death when another member was in the midst of the deed, posed as Deimos. Isn’t it possible that she was being punished for her slip of the tongue and seeking to make amends? She doesn’t react to the murder in any way but to turn and leave the room. She knew it was going to happen. I think she was hoping to get there before the real killer. If Lucas’ blood was on her hands then she’s back in their leader’s good graces.”

“Are we even sure it wasn’t Deimos that killed Lucas?”

Michuru nodded in response to Patrick’s further questioning. “Atlanta White is his alibi. She was with him at the nursing home, watching him fulfill his community service. Further, Ben Altair testifies that Blitzkrieg attempted to get Deimos to join the Affiliation. He actually seemed disappointed that he wasn’t asked to join himself. If Deimos indeed killed Lucas, none of the rest fits.”

“Then who else could it have been?” asked Jacob Lang, the aged Vindicator known to the world as Walkabout. “We’re sure that the Morph Buckle stolen from Addison’s body couldn’t be reconfigured to Deimos’ appearance?”

“What about Chimera?” Patrick Goodman had asked the question that was weighing down on everyone else’s minds… the one thing most were too afraid to ask.

“I know Richard,” Michuru began. “He’s a good person.”

“I know him too,” Patrick thundered, slamming his fist down on the table as he rose to his feet. “Him and that wife of his were villains, Laurie. They were super-villains and the Vindicators IV were the ones who fought them. We weren’t out doing talk shows or holding publicity rallies…” Breanne glared daggers at the man. “We were out there in the middle of it all, fighting anyone who threatened this world or our way of life!”

“Richard Jorgenson impersonated me,” Professor Alston admitted. “We’re all adults here and you all know what happened… yes, Richard Jorgenson was a student of mine at John Adams High School in Chicago. Yes, he was the student I had an affair with. Yes, it was because of our relationship that I faced jail time and yes, that’s why I became a Vindicator… to avoid my conviction for molestation. What I did to Richard embarrassed him and hurt him. After he graduated, he used his ability to resemble me and began his campaign to destroy my image. I was terrified when I learned he’d be joining the faculty this year but… so far, he’s been so relaxed. It’s like Richard is a different person… like he’s come to grips with all that I did to him and forgave me. I don’t believe that he killed Addison or Lucas or any of the students… and I know him just as good, if not better, than Mister Bradshaw here does.”

Patrick said nothing else. He merely dropped back into his chair and fixed a hate-filled glare on Michuru.

“Further,” Michuru intoned, “among the dead is Richard’s own son. No matter what he did in his past, I don’t think he’s capable of harming Quinton.”

“Please,” Pandora groaned, rolling her eyes and she swiveled around in her seat. “Quinton Jorgenson isn’t just a genius; he’s a Neo-Sapien! His ability to separate into five exact duplicates doesn’t make anyone else question if he’s truly gone from this mortal toil? Isn’t it possible that one of his clones died and he’s still alive out there?”

“The exact details of Quinton’s abilities are still an enigma to us,” Doctor Styles said, leaning forward to use the controls before her. On the ring of monitors suspended over the table, every analysis of Quinton Jorgenson was displayed. “We don’t have much data on duplicators. It is known that Bipolar, Jihad, Magnus Loder and Miss Multiple are capable of it to some extent… Bipolar and her nephew Magnus utilize it as a part of their magnetic abilities: they divide themselves into two beings with distinctive personalities… a positive and a negative side. Jihad’s duplicates are disposable, making him the most dangerous suicide bomber the world has ever known. Miss Multiple on the other hand… every duplicate has their own powers and personality. When they die, it’s not a manifestation of her powers that goes poof: it’s a living, breathing person.”

“So if Quinton’s like Jihad?” Jacob asked.

“Quinton loves video games,” Michuru muttered. “He likes to use his powers to create a few extra players and beat them down in Super Smash Bros. Melee. They tend to use Doctor Mario, Marth, Zelda and Kirby the most.”

Patrick blinked repeatedly before managing, “Did—did Charity blow a gasket? In what universe is that information even remotely pertinent?”

Michuru rose up and paced the room, eyeing the monitors. “His duplicates slept in cycles and attended certain classes for him. When the five merged, the whole assimilated all the knowledge and experiences each had gained.”

“Is there a point to any of this, Connie?”

“My point is that it wasn’t a reset button. They’re not just manifestations of his ability: they’re unique. They have their own personalities. They have likes and dislikes… One of them is even learning French! The others make fun of him for it but still…”

“You’re not making sense-”

“How many times was Quinton analyzed? How often did any of you actually attempt to get to know him? For God’s sake… we’re educators! We’re entrusted with these lives and with their future and so far you’ve just interacted with them when it was required and gleamed what bits of knowledge you can from an analysis of their abilities! These kids are not their abilities… they’re people! You want to know if Quinton could just set one of his duplicates on a pyre and fake his death? The answer is no… It’s not proven, no, but Quinton mentioned to me once that he assumes if one of his duplicates died… he’d lose them forever. Quinton’s ability is not to split into five duplicates: it’s that he’s five individual people who can come together.” Michuru glared at the monitors. “Be sure to add THAT to your files.”

Breanne was beaming at her former teammate. Doctor Styles and Jacob Lang were the only present who nodded in agreement. The rest of the staff seemed more than offended by Michuru’s outburst. They appeared uncomfortable. They knew change when they saw it; they knew that the way the New Vindicators Academy was administered was endangered.

“While I applaud Mister Bradshaw’s passion… I have to say that these revelations get us no further. This meeting was not to debate the fate of young Mister Jorgenson, but to determine what to do with our charges.”

“They’re being killed,” Michuru said plainly. “I say we teach them to fight.”

“What do you think we’re doing here?” growled Patrick Goodman.

“I think we’re sitting comfortably and watching them led to the slaughter one-by-one! The stated purpose of this school is to teach them to use their powers and to defend themselves and their loved ones! When are we going to begin to do that?”

“Hey, Nancy… how about we leave the training to the people who know how to control their powers?”

“I am trained in Tennen Rishin-ryu,” Michuru offered, “and have elevated my aikido and iaido to levels undreamt of. I may not be in total control of my powers but I know how to handle myself in a fight. So can Breanne—she’s studied capoeira. Unless I miss my guess… we’re the only two here who know how to fight. Am I right?”

A few of the former Vindicators shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.

“I suggest we make use of the facilities and begin training these kids to defend themselves. Breanne can begin working with the girls and I’ll take the men.” None voiced anything contrary to his suggestion. “Then I suggest we begin right away…”
To Be Continued... wrote:The training begins.
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michuru81
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New Vindicators, Chapter 22

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Dec 19, 2006 8:09 pm

Chapter XXII: Fight Test
Drew Jenkins couldn’t help but ogle the massive chamber. He stood in the center of a room the size of two football fields set side-by-side; the floor, ceiling and walls were all blindingly white and broken only by the double doors at the end of the chamber and the observation booth above them.

The Wreck Room was nothing he had not seen before: on his first day at the New Vindicators Academy, not too many weeks ago, Professor Alston had shown them the room during the tour all the incoming students were given. Still, it was one thing to be shown the Brobdinagian room and another to stand in its epicenter.

Mister Bradshaw stood before the Senior class, many of them rendered apprehensive by simply being summoned here. Those who were veterans of this institution were more experienced with the sort of exercises administered here. “The stated purpose of this school is to teach you to protect yourselves and your loved ones as you attempt to assimilate with a society that fears and hates you,” pronounced the former Vindicator. As he held the status of Most Dangerous Man on the Planet he was more than a little imposing. “This school has failed you all in that. Four of your classmates are now dead; that’s testament enough to this faculty’s fallibility.”

Many of the students began to murmur as he admitted fault on behalf of the rest of the staff.

“Miss Jordan and I were brought on to train you all in basic self-defense and we’ve done that… but that obviously was not enough. As some of you may know, this school used to operate much differently. Just last year you were divided into squadrons and trained in simulations that ranged from rescue missions to actual combat against the very villains the Vindicators themselves fought. We’re going to be returning to those days now… putting you through scenarios designed to push you in your training.”

Magnus Loder’s hand went into the air.

“What is it Mister Loder?” Mister Bradshaw asked.

“Who’s in charge?” Magnus asked.

“I am.”

“That’s not what I meant,” Magnus said. “In these sorts of scenarios… shouldn’t one of us be calling the shots?”

“We’ll be gauging how you each act throughout these exercises, looking for someone who stands out as leadership material. However, this scenario won’t require a leader…” He turned to his former teammate and Miss Jordan stepped forward, holding a box. “Each of you will need to take one of these arm bands…” One-by-one the students took the strange bracers and began to affix them to their arms, staring quizzically at the screen on the back of each. “Most of you already have codenames but… those of you new to the school have not been designated with one yet.

“Ben Altair, Jeremy Carlson, Drew Jenkins, Magnus Loder, Adonis Skraag… do any of you have a preference?”

“Lodestone,” Magnus iterated.

“Duh,” grumbled Deimos.

“Frostbite,” said Ben, nodding to himself.

Mister Bradshaw looked to Adonis and Drew. “Adonis,” offered one of the young men.

“What kind of loser uses their first name as a codename?” laughed Magnus.

Mister Bradshaw fixed him with a warning glare but still concurred with what the young man was saying. “Adonis… you might find yourself in a situation where you’re in public and-”

“Everyone knows my face,” muttered Adonis apathetically, “and codenames exist to protect our families, right? My parents already lost their lives because of me. What do I have left to protect? Why do I need to hide?”

Mister Bradshaw nodded thoughtfully. “All right, then,” he said, turning to Drew Jenkins. “I suppose that leaves you, Mister Jenkins. What’s your codename?”

“Well… I… I absorb the powers of people near me so… how about ‘the Sponge’?”

Cassandra and Alexa started to laugh.

“Fine!” barked Drew. “How does ‘Commander Amazing’ sound?”

“‘Mimic’,” offered Lex. “‘Rogue’.”

“Those are Marvel Comics characters,” Donna-Anne explained.

“‘Copycat’,” suggested Magnus.

“‘Foo Fighter’!” exclaimed Drew. “I love that band!”

“‘The Imitator’,” offered Jacque.

Mister Bradshaw sighed dejectedly. “Well, Drew?”

“What did you say?” Drew asked, looking to Magnus.

“‘Copycat’?” asked Magnus.

“Copycat,” repeated Drew. “I could live with that.”

“Fine then,” said Mister Bradshaw, turning back to the observation deck where Miss Jordan had disappeared. “We’re going to be starting up the simulation soon. You’ll have five minutes to spread out once it starts. After that someone’s codename will appear on your bracer. The scenario’s parameters are very simple: your objective is to be the last man standing. You will accomplish this by incapacitating whomever you are given as a target. You may not directly attack anyone you do not have as a target. Once your target is disposed of you will then receive their target. If you receive your own name you may target anyone you choose. Again, the last man standing wins.”

Magnus’ hand went into the air and Mister Bradshaw opted to ignore him as he made his way to the doors and to the observation deck.

True to his word the environment changed. Holograms appeared all around them, depositing them in an environment larger than the Wreck Room itself was. Copycat looked around in awe, shocked to find himself standing in the middle of a baseball stadium. “Where are we?” he asked.

“Busch Memorial Stadium,” explained Lodestone. Some of the New Vindicators stood spellbound by the terrain the Wreck Room had created. Others wasted no time in putting as much distance as they could between them and their possible opponents. “It was the home to the Saint Louis Cardinals until the new Busch Stadium was opened. It was demolished in 2005…”

“How do you know all that?” asked Frostbite.

Lodestone shrugged. “My granddad is big into baseball. Him and my dad have probably been to every major league stadium in North America. They’ve taken me to at least half of them…”

Lodestone looked to Copycat and Frostbite; no others remained with them. “Shouldn’t you guys be running now?” he asked. “What happens if I get your name?”

“What happens if we get yours, you mean!” laughed Copycat.

“We’re in a stadium,” Lodestone explained. “I control magnetism. Everything here is a weapon. I won’t be running. I’ll be standing out in the open, waiting for all challengers. Whoever has my name has to come to me and once I defeat them I’ll be safe from any further targets. From there I just have to wait for someone to climb over the rest of you until only he and I survive. Once I defeat him, I’ll have one.”

“Mister Bradshaw didn’t say anything about that,” Frostbite said.

“What?” asked Lodestone.

“He didn’t say we could fight back. He said we could only take attack whoever’s name we had.”

Lodestone’s eyes widened in horror and he immediately began to run, determined to find his target before anyone else found him.

He vanished into the home team’s dugout and hurried down the long corridor towards the empty locker-room. Once there he used his powers to seal himself inside and sat down to wait out the remainder of the five minutes.

Soon enough his bracer beeped softly and he touched at the screen, watching as his target’s codename appeared: “JETSTREAM”

“Perfect,” he said as he stepped out into the hall, seeking out the Tennessean and determined to prove himself to the proctors as the perfect prefect.

In the hall he ran into Fog and glared suspiciously at the young man. “Who do you have?” Lodestone growled.

“Forecast,” Fog said apathetically, “but I’m not feeling good so… I think I’ll just wait to be taken out…”

“Taken out!?” exclaimed Lodestone. “You could just turn vaporous and wait the whole test out…”

“That… it just seems kind of cheap,” Fog offered, slithering down the hall past Lodestone. “Good luck, Magnus.”

“Hey!” the young hero called after his classmate. Fog shuddered at the exclamation and turned slowly, a nervous expression on his face. “It’s ‘Lodestone’,” the youth said with a proud smile before running off to find his target.

He didn’t dare tell Fog that he was hunting down the young man’s girlfriend but also didn’t think such a revelation would faze him. Ever since Quinton Jorgenson’s death, Cloud Goodman had been more distant towards Donna-Anne Manther. It only helped Lodestone to see his inevitable removing her from this exercise as a charitable action.

He rushed past the boiler room, oblivious to the pair lurking in the shadows there. Amalgam and Tripper crouched in the sweltering room, anticipating their moment to move. Once more Amalgam checked his bracer and watched as “RUMBLE” flashed before him. It seemed like an appropriate match-up; no other Senior could match him in strength. He would have felt guilty had he drawn Adonis as a target.

“Atlanta and Donna-Anne,” Amalgam whispered to his girlfriend. “Think you’ll be able to take her out?” he asked. “You guys are roommates and best friends, after all…”

Tripper smiled sweetly and checked her bracer again. “AMALGAM” it read. “It’s going to sting, having to take out someone I’m so close to,” she admitted, “but we have to do what he have to do, right?”

Amalgam nodded in agreement. “Yeah… it’s nothing personal. She’s mature enough to accept that.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that,” she said before putting him down with the Trip Field.

As Amalgam fell to the ground he watched as Circe sprinted down the halls, trying her best to outrun Hourglass’s slithering form. Hourglass’ body rose up into the air like a tidal wave and then crashed down over Circe, pinning her to the ground and keeping her buried in the shifting particles that composed the young woman’s body. “You win! You win!” Circe exclaimed. A beep sounded from her bracer and she pulled her arm free from the mire to take in the black ‘X’ where her target’s name had been. “It wasn’t like I stood a chance against my target anyway…” she grumbled as Hourglass began to withdraw.

Suddenly all of the sand that composed the young heroine flew upwards and slammed into the ceiling of the corridor. Hourglass began to reform as her body began to fall but then she flew to the side and was slammed against one wall. Then her entirety exploded through the air, slamming into the adjacent wall.

Hourglass took her human form and fell to the floor. She scrambled onto her back and looked up at Loess. She knew she didn’t stand a chance against her roommate’s geokinesis and audibly cursed. “You win,” she grumbled, surrendering before she even had a chance to view who her newly acquired target was.

With Hourglass’ defeat Loess received the target her opponent had inherited from Circe. “Deimos, huh?” Loess asked, eyeing her bracer and assessing how this bout would go. “It’s been a pleasure, Cassie.” Loess saluted the disgruntled Circe before running down the winding hall. “Take it easy, Mae.”

Loess hurried out of the hall and exploded from the dugout. Part of Deimos’ abilities included flight so it was likely that he was wherever he could use that to his fullest. It seemed that she was not alone in this reasoning though: Lodestone was here, scouring the sky for Jetstream.

“Who do you have?” Loess asked, startling the hero by spontaneously announcing her presence. She touched at her bracer and twisted her arm to show him that she did not have his name. Likewise he showed her that he did not have her. “Which one are you on?”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“I started with Hourglass,” Loess said. “She dropped Circe from the competition to get Deimos so… yeah.”

“Oh.” Lodestone returned to watching the skies. “Jetstream’s my first.”

Loess nodded. “So… how do you like the school?”

“Hmm?” he asked, oblivious to the longing looks she fixed him with.

“The school.”

“What about it?”

“How do you like it?”

His eyes widened as Jetstream exploded through his field of vision. “GOT YOU!” he screamed, swinging his arms through the air. The bleachers responded to his command and were hurled through the air, moving to slam the young woman as she catapulted through the sky.

Her force field absorbed the brunt of the blow but the impact still knocked her off her course. Lodestone watched as she was knocked out of the air and collided with the upper section of the stadium, then fell down into the cheap seats.

A beep from his arm told him that he had succeeded. “Congratulations!” Loess exclaimed excitedly as he checked for his new target.

“ADONIS,” the bracer read.

“Oh, too perfect,” Lodestone said, half-laughing. He took off at a run, charging out onto the field, oblivious to Frostbite trying to fend of Copycat, using the young man’s powers to try and eliminate him from the exercise. “Adonis!” Lodestone screamed to the rafters. “You and I both know that you don’t stand any chance of dropping anyone from this game! Give it up and let me take you out!”

In the control booth Miss Jordan looked to Mister Bradshaw with a worried expression. “Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea…” She looked from the intense concentration Mister Bradshaw was giving to monitors and her eyes widened at the sight of Adonis, walking towards the field. “What’s he doing?” she asked.

“He’s going to face Magnus.”

“He doesn’t stand a chance.”

“He knows.” The tone in the man’s voice articulated how impressed with their student he was. “His alternative is to run and hide… He’s hardly about to do that.” He remained in his seat, ready to watch how this scenario played out.

“You’re really just going to sit there and watch this?”

The man nodded.

“Adonis shouldn’t have been in this exercise, Michy. His power is non-combative. What did you hope to teach him through this?”

Mister Bradshaw only continued to watch as Adonis stepped out of the visiting team’s dug out, adjacent to where Lodestone had appeared.

“About time,” Lodestone growled. “Are you ready to give up now?”

Adonis looked past Lodestone to Loess. “Hardly,” he said as he touched at the bracer he wore. “I came to claim my target.” He turned his arm over to show them that he had received Lodestone as his opponent.

“You can’t take me,” Lodestone said, chuckling softly.

“He’s right, Maria. I don’t stand a chance against him… Would you help me?”

Lodestone’s laughter faded as he felt the earth move under his feet. While Adonis’ abilities may not have been directly combative the hero had neglected that they were effective. His ability had left Loess infatuated with him and willing to do almost anything to help him.

Under his gloves and under his boots Lodestone wore magnetic bracelets. It hurt to fly by those by in a situation like this he had no choice. Lodestone hovered back from the shaking ground and was startled to see it tear apart and form into a hand that began to reach for him.

The ground split apart at his command too—it surprised Lodestone that he was able to evoke the sprinkler system considering that Busch Memorial Stadium had surrendered their attempts to keep a natural ball field during the 1970’s; the challenge of combating Saint Louis’ summer heat and sustaining the grass surface was too much when presented with the option of Astroturf.

The network of pipes began to groan and twist and bend as it formed a protective cage around him and he used his own energy to reinforce it against Loess’ geokinetic assault. He maintained his exoskeleton with one hand raised to the heavens and with his other he beckoned for the tables from the picnic area to come to his cause.

Guiding them through the air he propelled them for Adonis and slammed the young man with the first, knocking the breath out of him and forcing him onto his back. Adonis swung onto his side and moved to sprint out of the path of a second table falling out of the sky, gunning to crush him beneath its weight.

Lodestone hurled more after him and Adonis continued to flee from the threat. “Look at him run!” boasted Lodestone. “You really can’t fight your own battles, can you!?! This fight would have been over a long time ago if you didn’t have Loess to manipulate!”

Even without his Neo-Sapien powers Adonis was considered a genius. He was very intellectual but that facet of his being was never something he had applied. He was a quick learner though and as he continued to evade Lodestone’s attacks narrowly his eyes darted about the field looking for anything that could help him claim this one, minute victory. Still, his eyes found nothing he could use that would not fall into Lodestone’s domain of power.

A table whirled through the air towards him and Adonis throw himself out of its path, only to roll under another table dropping out of the sky. He got to his feet quickly and moved to run but it landed on his leg and he howled out in pain.

Another table hovered over the ground.

“Yield,” Lodestone said.

“Not to you,” Adonis grumbled.

Lodestone hammered the object into the ground before Adonis and then commanded another to hover over his prone form. “YIELD!” the hero demanded.

In the control booth Breanne Jordan watched as Lodestone incapacitated Adonis. He had waited as long as Loess’ attempts to pierce his defenses would permit; he had wanted to hear Adonis admit defeat rather than claim it for himself. “His powers aren’t combative,” she told the man before her, still watching the screen thoughtfully. “Adonis shouldn’t have been a part of this exercise.”

Michuru nodded. “We’ll eliminate Mister Skraag from any more of these exercises,” he said darkly. “It’s pointless to include him in these sessions, given the nature of his abilities.”

That and he could not see an exercise that Adonis and Lodestone did not turn their attempts to train them into a grudge match. “For now, go retrieve Adonis and I’ll call Nat. Her healing powers will take care of his leg and anything else Mister Loder may have damaged.”

Still, as Breanne vanished through the floor of the chamber Michuru couldn’t help but wonder what it would take to repair Adonis’ soul.
To Be Continued... wrote:Frostbite versus therapy
Last edited by Michuru81 on Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Michuru81
Cosmic Scion
Cosmic Scion
Posts: 5693
Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:17 pm
Location: Pekin, IL

New Vindicators, Chapter 23

Post by Michuru81 » Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:31 pm

NEW VINDICATORS #4: Head Games


Chapter XXIII: What’s Up
“Are you ready, kids!?”

“Aye-aye, Michuru!”

“I can’t hear you!”

“AYE-AYE, MICHURU!”

“Oh… who lives in a lighthouse under New York?”

“Ben-jamin Al-tair!”

“Oblivious and white and frosty is he!”

“Ben-jamin Al-tair!”

“If super-hero hijinx be something you wish…”

“Ben-jamin Al-tair!”

“I’m going to stop you there, Ben.”

Ben Altair, the young hero known also as Frostbite blinked as he was snapped back to reality. “But I didn’t get to the part where I’m a Pokémon yet. Deimos is this annoying black mouse that won’t get in his ball and-”

“And you play by the rules but aren’t used as much. I’m seeing the pattern here, Ben. In your dreams, you’re cartoon characters. Endearing characters all, but yet… well, the dreams are conflicting. In some, you’re the main character. In others, you’re frustrated that you could be upstaged by your friends.”

“I wouldn’t call them friends.”

“What would you call them?”

“I dunno. Teammates? Coworkers? We’re not close. Not like most of them are. I mean, Anomaly and Tripper are dating. Same for Fog and Jetstream. Copycat is like, best-friends with Adonis and Lodestone.”

“Why do you think that is?”

“I dunno.”

“Do you want that?”

“I dunno.”

“Why do you constantly refer to them by their code names?”

“See? Deimos said you’d do this.”

“Do what?”

Ben grinned viciously- though he didn’t realize he was doing it. For a moment, he felt superior to the man. “He said that psychiatrists speak in Questionese: a language made up entirely of questions. Even when answering a question, they’re just asking more questions.”

Doctor Jason Pickford gave a quick chortle before regaining the modicum of composure he had lost in his minute outburst. “Deimos sounds as if he has a lot of experience with psychiatric medicine. He sounds interesting… from everything I’ve read.”

“You’ve read about us? Like… what?”

“Well, some of your teachers have been kind enough to disclose notes on your behavior, background… the things I’d need to know in order to get to know you. We’re only spending an hour together, Ben. If I was going to do my job right, I needed to be more involved in your life.”

“So… what did they write about me?”

“Oh… not much,” he said as his hands covered the word ‘pathological’ on his steno pad.

The disappointment on Ben’s face was apparent and though it rode on the back of his voice, he did his best to mask it. “Oh,” he managed, slightly wounded. “I guess they just… couldn’t… think of something. At least I thought they would have put down something about how I saved Deimos’ life by fighting Blitzkrieg off of him.”

“Why don’t you tell me about your music, Ben? Tell me how band is going.”

Ben’s face lit up. “Well, our instructor says I’m pretty much the best player he’s ever heard and that I’m light years ahead of the others. He even apologized to me: he said he hoped it didn’t make me a worse musician having to be in the same class as so many rank amateurs.”

“Oh. Wow. You must be…” Doctor Pickford searched for the words. It was hard to toe the line between further inflating the young man’s ego and simply hurting him. Ultimately, he settled on a Cheshire smile and a simple, “That’s really great. So, I take it you don’t interact much with the kids from band?”

“Not many… there are two though… Ryan’s kind of annoying. He gets on my nerves. He’s always following me around. I kind of feel sorry for him. I mean, he doesn’t have any real friends so he just follows me around because he thinks he’ll be cool by association. Then there’s this other one: Katie. It’s hard to really talk about it…”

“Why is that?”

“Okay, don’t think I’m a jerk for saying this but… Katie and I… we’ve been going out for a few weeks now. I just… well, I didn’t want her to meet any of the kids from the New Vindicators Academy. I mean… we’re all Neo-Sapiens and most people… they don’t like Neo-Sapiens. If people knew I was one and that I went to a special school for Neo-Sapiens… they probably wouldn’t look up to me the way they do.”

“Is that why you distance yourself from the others? Are you ashamed of them?”

“Katie’s cute and… she’s a really good kisser. She’s not as hot as the girls I dated back home in Kansas City but… I can see myself having a future with her and I don’t want to blow it by… by…”

“By what, Ben?”

“By pulling an Adonis.”
To Be Continued... wrote:X-Factor #87
Last edited by Michuru81 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Michuru81
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Cosmic Scion
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Joined: Wed Apr 05, 2006 9:17 pm
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New Vindicators, Chapter 24

Post by Michuru81 » Thu Dec 21, 2006 8:22 pm

Chapter XXIV: Duck and Run
“Welcome back, Mister Skraag.”

Adonis sat down in his usual spot. Since his parents’ murder only weeks ago, his new guardians in the Department of SPB Affairs had required him to attend counseling sessions with Doctor Jason Pickford of Harbor Therapies.

“It never ceases to amaze me… the sorry state of your periodicals, I mean.” He tossed down the well-read comic book on the table before the doctor. Doctor Pickford only glanced down at the cover of X-Factor #87. “Not only are they childish… they’re a little out of date. I mean… they’re advertising games for the Super Nintendo here on the back. What year is this?”

“1993? Maybe ’92?”

“God… I was like, three-years-old then.”

“I’m sure you were a real cute baby,” Doctor Pickford said dryly. Adonis met him with an intensely serious expression. In Adonis’ world, things like physical beauty, no matter the euphemism used for it, were a curse. It was the mark of his Neo-Sapien abilities—the powers that had left him an orphan.

“So, how does it feel to get to meet the people I live with?”

“I’m waiting to get to Magnus…” Adonis’ expression only soured and his psychiatrist noted the reaction. “Are things improving with him at all?”

“Does the Pope crap in the woods?”

“I would assume he wouldn’t, but having never met the man…”

Adonis sighed. “I’ve been coming here for… what, four months now?”

“You remembered our anniversary. I’m flattered.”

“You’re supposed to be the professional,” Adonis said. “Tell me, doc… is there any improvement?”

“Honestly, Adonis? No, there’s not. I’ve spent all these weeks trying to get you to open up… to talk about anything. The only time there was a break in your wall was when Magnus began dating this girl. You went on about the Gentlemen’s Code and you ranted and you raved but before that you had been so careful not to give me anything. You were so guarded. That tells me that she meant something to you… What that something is, I’m not sure. Your feelings may border on the obsessive or they might actually be true love.”

“I love her.”

“Convince me,” Doctor Pickford offered.

“No. No, tell me doctor, why do I have to vindicate myself to you? Who are you to judge me and what I feel? I mean… okay, psychiatry, right? People come to you and they tell you that they hurt, that they’re not happy and you tell them it’s because of a chemical imbalance in their brain but if they take these magical pills then they’ll go down the rabbit hole and come out into a land filled with sunshine, daisies and lollipops! I may not have a degree showing that I’m a fake doctor but… my two cents? It’s part of the human experience to be sad. I think it’s normal to mope and hurt and not like it when things don’t go your way. Sure, it’s selfish… but just because you don’t smile every time life beams you in the head with a fast ball, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. It’s not indicative of a mental disease. It’s not bipolar disorder or post-partum depression… it’s… it’s called being alive. From time-to-time, things suck. Just because we let it get us down does not mean we are sick though.”

“You- you realize post-partum depression is for pregnant women?”

Adonis rolled his eyes. “It was the best I could come up with. My point, doctor, and believe me, I use the term loosely, is that people like you don’t have a right to convince people there is something wrong with them because they’re not happy.”

“Is it my turn yet?”

“Please!”

“In my professional opinion, I don’t think that it’s fair to chalk up anyone else’s pain to some disorder. I believe that all doctors should talk to their patients and look for outside factors. We shouldn’t just be healers, but preventers. If a man comes into a private medical practice with a nail infection every week then there reaches a point where handing him a prescription for Cephalexin stops doing the trick. A doctor should look at outside factors and determine what causes the problem… help the patient stomp it out and conquer that mountain.

“I believe your mountain is going to be a hard one to climb, Adonis. I think that you’re frustrated… I think you realize that acting on your desires was what got your parents killed. I think you blame yourself more than you do Forrest Bedford. I think that you blame your powers. I think that you despise that facet of who you are because it’s not only what led to the death of your parents and your future with Chienne, but it’s also what holds you back. If you were anyone else, say Magnus or Ben or… or God help you, Deimos… they could use their powers to sunder Forrest’s congregation and make you an avenger. I think that it tears you up inside knowing that you’re a part of what is considered a deadly faction of humanity… and yet, your powers aren’t dangerous.

“I don’t think that you hate Lodestone… I think that you’re jealous of him. He has his parents. He has the power to be a threat. He has the girl. I don’t think you wish him ill… I think you wish you were him.”

“And I think our hour is up.”

Doctor Pickford smiled, knowing that he had struck a chord with the young man. “I look forward to making some progress next session, Adonis.”

Adonis said nothing, neither with his voice nor with his body language. He merely rose from his chair and left the room. And when he was safe on the other side… he began to cry.
To Be Continued... wrote:Fathom's Turn
Last edited by Michuru81 on Sun Sep 05, 2010 2:55 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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