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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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Beatae Memoriae (6 Chapters -- Conclusion)

Post by Michuru81 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 6:22 am

Manintights wrote:why is it that everytime I go away for a couple of days, bucketloads of new story material is posted.
I normally try to sync these massive updates up with NateDogg's departures. :-p

Actually, I tend to worry about being overwhelming when I post so many chapters all at once. Its something I'm going to try to cut back on soon, as the chapters to come are a bit meatier. The first chapter of the next book runs close to 4000 words while the one behind it is 3000.

Really like the conclusion Michuru. Deimos should make a mental note not to interrupt Bullwark's introduction.
Or Blitzkrieg's. ;) Seriously though, Bulwark's ending the fight was one of the first scenes I wrote for this book. I've always been a linear writer but a pretty blonde writer encouraged me to try things this way. I had it in my head that Bulwark was going to snap after frequent interuptions and that had me giggling like a school girl when I wrote the scenes foreshadowing this (I'm a dork).
By the way, Libra is scary as hell. The fact that he (seemingly) gives everyone a fair chance for a 1on1 battle with him, makes him even more freaky.
Libra is a character I've been anxious to get into. While he'll be popping up every so often to off a few more characters, it won't be until much later that he'll get to really shine as a villain...
Like Bullwark would probably say: " That is sooo Lundgren!"
Its only a matter of time before Lundgren enters the global lexicon. We'll be watching television and someone will say, "That's incredibly Lundgren..." and all of us will know... :)
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Beatae Memoriae (6 Chapters -- Conclusion)

Post by GPrime » Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:58 pm

Lundgren entering the global lexicon would be so... Well, Lundgren.

Michuru81
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NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:18 pm

NEW VINDICATORS #71: Winner At a Losing Game - Months after their engagment, Magnus and Maria return to New York City and find the Vindicators investigating the Church of Genetic Purity. When the heroes dig in they discover that Apocatastasis is planning a comeback and that he has a rebuilt Zero serving him. Just when things couldn't possibly get any worse, Ben learns what lurks behind the mask... NEW VINDICATORS #72: Push - The Vindicators try to recover from the events of the night before only to have a few unexpected run ins: Bogart is being hunted by Black Box who is being hunted by Coriolis. And then, of course, there's Libra... NEW VINDICATORS #73: Fighting For My Love - As our heroes attempt to heal their fractured relationships, Justice returns. Is he after Magnus or Maria or someone else? NEW VINDICATORS #74: Movies - The wedding is almost here and that means Bachelor Party! Magnus, David, Ben, Tyson and Evan attempt to enjoy a nice quiet evening but someone has plans of their own... NEW VINDICATORS #75: Happiness - The big day has arrived: Magnus Loder and Maria Espada are getting married. It may be a black tie affair but Deimos is about to turn it into a black fire affair...
Last edited by Michuru81 on Sun Nov 22, 2009 1:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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New Vindicators, Chapter 791

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:24 pm

NEW VINDICATORS #71: Winner At a Losing Game

Chapter I: Question
“I don’t think I could bare it if they told me something had happened to you, Magnus. I don’t think I could take being apart from you. And that’s when I realized…” Maria dropped down to one knee, kneeling before Magnus and looking up at him with glassy eyes. “…This is it.”

“What are you–?”

“Magnus Loder?”

His heart began racing out of control.

“Will you marry me?”

Magnus froze then, staring down into Maria’s chestnut eyes bulging with hope and he sighed. “No,” he said.

Her resolve wavered as her heart broke.

“It’s not supposed to be like this,” he said. “I’m the man. I’m the one who’s supposed to be on his knees, proposing-”

“You took too long.” Maria laughed uneasily and brushed her eyes with the back of her hand. “You are such a jerk, you know that?” She punched him in the thigh as she stood up again. “I thought you were turning me down!” she thundered.

“I thought you were breaking up with me!” Magnus stormed. “All that talk about… not being able to withstand this life and all—I just…” He shook his head and started to laugh. “I love you. You know that, right?” Her enthusiastic nod was all the answer he needed but her kiss was just as welcome.

“So do you wanna get married or not?” she asked.

“I can’t imagine spending my life with anyone else.” He sealed the deal with a kiss and as Maria began to kiss him back Magnus broke their embrace. “I… I’m sorry I don’t have a ring.”

“That’s okay,” Maria whispered as she took the sides of his head in her hands. Slowly she guided his lips back to hers; kissing him proved a challenge as she couldn’t stop giggling giddily. “I don’t need a ring, Magnus Loder. I just need you.”

He smiled as he kissed her. “Can you imagine? Before long you’ll be Maria Loder…”

As he pulled her into a loving hug Maria’s eyes widened as she was immersed in realization. She was proud of her heritage as a Mexican-America; taking his name would destroy what remnants of her father’s country she had to cling to. Laying her head on his chest she prayed that the sound of his heart beating would muffle the mournful sigh that escaped her. “Hey,” he said uneasily. She rolled her eyes up to look at him but she continued to listen to his strong heart. “I love you. I love you more than anything in this life. You know that, right, Maria?”

She smiled and the act of nodding brushed her head over his chest. “I love you more than words can say.”

“I can’t believe this is happening,” he said cheerily. “We… we’re going to be married. Wow. That’s just… that’s wow. I…” His fingers gently fell over hers. “I need to tell my parents…”

It was a simple trick to find them: the RV the Loder family had left in was filled with three generations of Loder men: William Loder, James Loder and Jacob Loder were blessed with the same command over magnetic waves as Magnus was and that made them as easy to find as magnetic north.

Magnus felt out for them and was surprised to find the clan fast approaching them. “They’re on their way to us,” he said suspiciously. Soon enough the RV they had used to escape Ohio came into view and Magnus fixed them a disapproving look. “I thought I told you to get out of town,” he said as his grandfather stepped out.

“We were on our way when the fighting broke out,” James Loder offered. “I was countering your dad’s powers while Will monitored your situation. He felt you get shot across the river and when you stopped moving we started fearing for the worst and doubled back.”

Magnus looked down at Maria who simply held him tightly. Her head was rested on his chest but he could picture the smile plastered on her face. “We were about to come looking for you,” he said. “We have some news…” His hand worked up Maria’s back and gently squeezed her shoulder, telling her to tell him.

“We’re getting married,” she offered.

Nothing could have contained James’ grin. “Marvelous,” he said as he hurried towards them. He hesitated for a moment, recalling that Maria didn’t like being touched. “Congratulations you two,” he offered instead, clapping a hand on his grandson’s shoulder. “I guess I should be saying, ‘Welcome to the family, Maria.’” There was a soft chuckle as he came to his senses. “Go on and get moving,” he said. “We gotta tell your parents this…”

With Maria’s hand in his, Magnus Loder sprinted for the RV and climbed back into their temporary home. “Mom? Dad? Will?” he proclaimed as he got inside. “We have some news…”

His parents reacted with infinitely more enthusiasm than his grandfather had. Magnus was thankful that his father seemed in control of himself; the man had been diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and often the neurological degeneration kept him from being the father Magnus remembered.

The Loder family celebrated for a brief moment before Magnus slowly came to his senses: they were still in a war zone. The battle with Deimos was attracting more than the military: the skies were darkened by clouds of Sentries converging on the Empire State Building. “As much as I want to continue to soak this feeling in,” Magnus said as he replaced his grandfather at the helm of the RV, “we need to get somewhere safe.”

Maria took her spot at his side and he paused to smile lovingly at her. “We’re going to regroup with the Dave,” he told her, “and the first chance we get you and I are going to head into Canada—find your family and tell them the good news too.”

His fiancé’s grin was brighter than any ring he could have dreamt of giving her and it took vast reserves of his will power to pull away and focus on taking their mobile home through the traffic cluttering the streets of Manhattan.

The devastation caused by the Vindicators’ brawl with Deimos had brought traffic to a standstill. A few blocks into the city and the RV ceased to budge. Ultimately it was Will who was asked Magnus to admit defeat: their vehicle was parked and abandoned as the six made their way towards their new home on foot.

Not many months ago the Vindicators had been defeated by the Sixth Reich. The eighth incarnation of the team had been composed of veteran heroes from preceding generations of the legendary team. Crusader, Falkenburg and Tick-Tock had survived but Detective, Blacksmith, Hound and Phenomena had been killed in action.

In the wake of such a terrible event, the United Nations scrambled to create a team to stamp out any wild ideas the more Machiavellian members of the super-powered community might get. Three teams were formed—one in America, one in Europe and one in Asia. The hope was that by having three teams of Vindicators serving concurrently, the world would be prepared in the event that one team ever fail. Additionally, this new system gave the Vindicators a faster response time. No longer did a team have to scramble out of their base in New York City and fly to respond to a crisis in Russia. By locating the Vindicators in New York City, Vienna and Tokyo respectively, the heroes were better able to defend the world.

Magnus and Maria had been drafted onto the American roster and one of their teammates had been David Meinstein. David’s father was Noah Meinstein, head of Patriot Robotics. The public was relatively unaware that this philanthropic industrialist was a corrupt scientist bent on orchestrating the obliteration of the Neo-Sapien race. One tool he had built towards executing their extermination was the 001, a high-powered suit of armor that David secretly stole and used as the vigilante known as Portal.

The armor had been destroyed during the war three months ago and David’s latent Neo-Sapien abilities had seemingly awoken. Masquerading under his prodigal brother’s former identity, Blitzkrieg, David had begun gathering other rogue heroes to his side; he had provided them with a safe place to live and the world with a team of unofficial Vindicators.

As one of the few people privy to David Meinstein’s secret identity, Magnus Loder knew where the rogue Vindicators would be based out of and after vacating the RV he led his family through a throng of fearful New Yorkers towards Hub Enterprises.

Once in the lobby Magnus Loder approached the front desk and casually announced himself: “I’m here to see David Meinstein,” he intoned.

The security guard reached for his clipboard and Magnus raised a hand to stop him. “I assure you that while he’s expecting me, you won’t find we have an appointment.”

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask-”

“Call Quinton Jorgenson,” said Magnus, knowing that his former classmate at the New Vindicators Academy worked as David Meinstein’s right-hand man.

“Can I ask your name?”

“Kennedy Meinstein,” offered Magnus, knowing how damning his real name was. It was part of the reason that Neo-Sapiens were in the mess they were in: a shapeshifting madman had posed as Magnus and assassinated presidential hopeful Senator Amy Bedford, live on national television. That Senator Bedford was a strong opponent of Neo-Sapien rights didn’t help their cause and in the wake of her death a privately funded militia, Black Box, came to power and began hunting down all Neo-Sapiens in the country.

Some were sealed away in internment camps while the less fortunate were reprogrammed and deputized as agents—super-powered soldiers in Black Box’s campaign to stamp out the Neo-Sapien threat.

It was why so many of their friends had tried to build a new life for themselves and for their families; it was why Magnus had to cut his hair, dye it black, grow a goatee and give a fake name.

“Sir?” asked the security guard as he hung up the phone. “Mister Jorgenson says that Mister Meinstein will see you and your family brought to him immediately. I apologize for this delay.”

“It’s all right,” Magnus said loftily. “I understand…” He struggled with seeming snooty and important when all he wanted to do was smile and look at his promoted-girlfriend. Together they led his family towards the elevator that would take them up to the first level of the floors David Meinstein had reserved for the Vindicators.

As the car ascended each floor Magnus and Maria tensed with excitement. He smiled as he kissed the top of her head. The doors opened, revealing an unoccupied front desk before a sign reading, “Blitz Solutions.” Their party walked around it and down the hall that took them past empty offices. Soon they were in a large nexus: a meeting room was divided by frosted glass panels while wide, curving stairs led up to the next floor.

Quinton Jorgenson was halfway down the stairs when they emerged. “Come on up,” he said. “The gang’s all here.”

Magnus and Maria followed him up into the common room where the Vindicators’ numbers had surged. Alexa Hawk was here, joined by Mia Stanton and her daughter Lexie. Ben and Alicia Altair held their daughters, Neige and Margaret, while Phobos stood at the back of the room, watching everyone nervously. Atlanta White was sitting on the couch, quietly observing the beige carpet while her boyfriend, Michael Luom, looked on at her worriedly.

Adrianna Covington and Clarissa Townsend were still technically students, although their school had been dissolved. Both young women were in somber spirits as they respectively recalled their time dating the now-deceased Peter Errons. Connor Crete, the chunk of organic rock better known as Bulwark, guffawed as he watched syndicated reruns of Home Improvement.

“Will Loder,” David Meinstein said as he led Cassandra Goodman towards their guests, “James Loder. Jacob Loder. It is an honor to be in your presence. Welcome—all of you—to Hub Enterprises. Welcome to my home and… yours if you want. Welcome to the future.”

Will gawked at the scope of the second floor while James smiled politely and shook David’s hand. “Honey?” asked Magnus. “Are you ready to tell them the good news?”

“Tell us what?” asked David.

“I… I have decided to change my codename,” Maria offered shyly. Magnus looked down at her with a look of sheer shock mixed well with confusion. This wasn’t the good news he had expected her to be telling them.

Bulwark shrugged. “Why not? Everyone else does. ‘I’m not Amalgam anymore; I’m Anomaly.’ ‘Portal? No, you have me confused for someone else! I’m Blitzkrieg II: Electric Boogaloo!’ ‘Flostobito? Sorry, I go by Coldfire now.’ Not that I can blame him on that one. ‘Cold Fire’ is an awesome song by Rush and they’re from Canada! The Curler approves of anything that gives honor and glory back to our home and native land!”

“Since when was I ever known as ‘Flostobito’?” asked Ben.

“When you were in Japan! The Japanese have trouble with their ‘L’s and ‘R’s…”

“I was in Japan for like… a day!”

“Could be worse, dude,” offered David reassuringly. “Japan took Portal’s image and turned him into the spokesman for some cell phone company.”

Cassie groaned loudly, silencing the three men and then offered the attention back to Maria. “So what are you changing your codename to?” she asked, feigning interest.

“Tierra,” said Maria. “It… it’s the Spanish word for ‘earth.’ It’s just… with Magnus and I being engaged now, I… I want to reflect my heritage somehow… even after I take his last name.”

“Kind of like Alicia Altair being Captain Canada?” asked Bulwark. “I can relate. For a while, when I was in the Netherlands, I went by the name Grote Stomme Rotsmens!”

“And that means…?” asked Ben.

Bulwark shrugged. “How would I know? You think I speak German?”

“Congratulations!” exclaimed Atlanta, erupting forward and hugging Maria. Michael walked forward and shook Magnus’ hand.

“For what?” asked Bulwark as Cassie put her arms around Atlanta and their newly engaged friend. Ben smiled warmly as he patted Magnus on the back. “What’s going on?”

“Didn’t you hear her?” asked Phobos, standing back and observing the happy moment. When he had first met most of these heroes he had been their enemy. He didn’t know if they would accept him yet or not. “Lodestone and… Tierra… are engaged.”

“In what?” asked Bulwark.

“They’re getting married,” answered David happily. “Congrats, man!”

Alicia, holding Margaret, cleared her throat. “That’s… that’s great news,” she said coldly. “When did this happen?”

“Just now, Al,” said Magnus. In his bliss he was oblivious to the scowl Maria fixed on her fiancé’s former lover. If the story Hikari had woven at the Gladstone’s abode could be believed then the baby in her arms was Magnus’ daughter. Maria could guess the child’s age and did the math; she would have been conceived in that window of time Maria had spent on trial for murder. Looking at the woman with her illegitimate child only caused feelings of murderous rage to bubble up once more…

“Oh,” Alicia said. There was no mistaking the disappointment in her voice. “Congratulations, you guys. I’m sure you’ll be very happy.”

“I know I’m happy,” said David. “I’m very happy for the both of you.”

“Well I’m glad that someone’s happy!” thundered Anna. “In case you people forgot, we’ve lost a lot people today!”

They didn’t need to be reminded; it was there in the back of their heads that today Steve Potter and Peter Errons had both lost their lives. No one here needed to be remembered of what they had lost—they simply needed to remember that there were still things to celebrate.

They needed to be reminded of why they were fighting this fight to begin with.

Still, no one needed to be reminded more than Rissa. As soon as Anna had articulated that Steve and Peter had both been slain in combat today, she sped off towards her room and Quinton—three of him—rushed to follow her. Though he wasn’t naïve enough to presume that he knew what she was going through, he understood what the catalyst for this was: “What did you people do?” Donna-Anne Potter had frantically asked after the Aurelia had teleported them away from Elizabeth City, North Carolina. Only moments ago the woman had watched her husband and the father of her unborn child slain by a volley of bullets while he tried to break through the force field Boson had erected around them. “Rissa! Why did you let Steve die!?”

“What happened?” Magnus asked.

David shook his head. “I’ll give you the details later. For now… don’t let anything darken this day.” If anything he was thankful for this spot of good news on an otherwise bleak day. This could be what he needed to invigorate the moral of his friends once more. “I think this calls for a celebration…”

“A celebration?” asked Anna darkly. “Steve died, Miss Manther ran away, Peter was killed and the Empire State Building is giving everyone who remembers 9/11 really bad déjà vu. What part did you want to celebrate?”

David grimaced. “You forgot about Deimos’ going over to the Dark Side. Look, Anna… I’m well aware of all that we’ve lost today and I think that’s why it’s so important for us to find some measure of happiness here.”

“So you just want to forget about Steve and Peter?”

“I do!” exclaimed Bulwark.

“Not helping,” growled David. “I’m not trying to forget them, Anna! I just… I don’t know, y’know? Would you prefer us to be like Rissa? To ache and hurt and try to figure out who’s to blame for this? No one is to blame, Anna. It was senseless and-”

“Peter got himself killed,” said Bulwark.

Everyone in the room froze. In part they were undone by the big man’s audacity and also in stark fear of what logic he applied to arrive at such a conclusion. “Earlier today, we were talking about people dying and I said that everyone dies at some point. I was all like, ‘The Aurelia is going to die. Quint is going to die. Savant is going to die without remembering what had for breakfast.’ Then later, after you revealed your erectile dysfunction to everyone-” As David slapped himself in the forehead all eyes wandered to him. “-Peter came up to me and was all like, ‘hey, I remember what I had for breakfast.’ We should have warned him that the laws of dramatic irony were closing in on him. See, I didn’t know it at the time but I was foreshadowing his death and had he not remembered what he had for breakfast, he would still be alive.”

No one knew what to say. “Oh, wow…” Ben finally articulated as he shook his head at his former charge. “Just… wow…”

“Of all the stupid, idiotic, inconsiderate, hurtful things you’ve said,” fumed Anna, “this one tops the list.” The sorceress turned around and fixed David with a baleful glare. “I’m sick of him! I’m sick of the way he treats everyone!”

“All right,” said David, trying to be diplomatic.

“No! It’s not all right! As soon as Bulwark finds something that affects us, he just keeps rubbing it in! He never lets up! I’m not going to stand here and have him constantly dredging up Peter’s death like that!” She folded her arms over her chest as she turned her back on the gathered heroes. “Either Bulwark leaves or I leave.”

Bulwark shrugged. “Well, it was nice knowing you then.” He dropped back onto his mound of cushions, picked up his oversized remote and began laughing at the antic of Tim Allen once more.

David approached Anna cautiously; he didn’t believe surprising a frustrated magus was an intelligent thing to do. “Adrianna,” he said, “can we please talk about this-”

“No,” she said. “No one can actually stand him so… either he goes or I go. What’s it going to be?”

David looked back to Bulwark and sighed. He knew she had a point: Bulwark got on everyone’s nerves. He was the problem here and the solution was to simply exile him from the team. “Let me make some arrangements,” David said calmly. “I’m not just going to throw him out on the street.”

“What!?!” exclaimed Bulwark. The titan spun around, hardly able to believe what he had just heard. “You—you’re actually kicking me off the team!?!”

“It’s like she said, Connor-”

“Bulwark.”

“-you don’t let up. Even when we tell you something hurts you just continue to say it or do it and…”

“Is this about me joking about your PE? We’ve been over this, Davey! You told me! How can you not expect me to joke about it?”

“Again, I didn’t tell you anything… See, this is what I’m talking about, Bulwark. It’s just… this isn’t working out. Like I said, give me a minute to make some calls and get someone who can take you in-”

“Don’t bother,” growled Bulwark as he climbed to his feet. “I know where the door is. I can show myself out.”

The titanic figure lumbered past the Loder’s and down the hall they had followed Quinton down. A few moments later a loud crashing noise carried to them and David shut his eyes tightly. “The stairs weren’t build to support his weight,” he groaned.

“So not Lundgren…” they heard Bulwark say.

David opened his eyes, took a deep breath, and tried to put the unpleasantness behind them. “So… we were about to celebrate,” he said then. “Who wants cake?”
To Be Continued... wrote:Chienne versus Apocatastasis
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New Vindicators, Chapter 792

Post by Michuru81 » Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:08 am

Chapter II: Devil’s Daughter
She took off running and instantly was moving at speeds that put any automobile on the market to shame. An instant later she had reached the security fence surrounding the compound and a mere thought allowed her to hurtle over its borders. Once she gingerly descended onto the manicured lawn she counted it a blessing that it had been a warm winter. Normally, this time of the year would have seen the ground blanketed in white and her footprints would have made her easy to track.

After rocketing across the grounds she soon found herself diving into the shadows that clung to the manor’s southern wall. Speed was sacrificed as stealth became her weapon of choice; this close to the manor she would be encountering guards and using her powers to sprint through their midst would undoubtedly summon an alarm. This mission demanded precision and surreptitiousness; she could not afford to have them detect her presence. Now she applied her powers in other ways: she used them to block any radio signals coming in or out of her vicinity. If she was discovered she could easily dispatch any guards before they dispatched backup.

Not that she needed one but she had brought two weapons with her: a katana and wakisashi were at her waist, ready to be drawn in a flash if so needed. She slipped through the darkness and was forced to dive into the light when she reached the interior of the barracks.

Without the shadows garbing her she was revealed to be wearing thread-bare jeans and a black leather jacket over a stained T-shirt that was as dark as the ski mask she wore over her face. She practiced caution as she tread over the tile floors of the foyer, peaking around every corner as she expertly navigated the inner sanctum of the Church of Genetic Purity.

A man was sitting in a chair by the front window, enchanted by the image on his television. By the sound of things, the ball was about to drop in the Big Apple and soon 2009 would descend on them. Banners were plastered all over the walls, announcing the church’s intent to see 2009 be a better year than 2008 had been. They reminded the public of two black dates on the calendar; they bombarded the general public with ads in their newspapers and on television, forcing them to remember the terrible deeds wrought by Neo-Sapiens. May 17, 2008 was the day Senator Amy Bedford had been killed. September 8, 2008 was the day a ring of SPBs appeared in the sky and destroyed the top of the Empire State Building.

Like the public, the Church of Genetic Purity had no idea that the being who assaulted the Empire State Building was not an ordinary Neo-Sapien. Codenamed Deimos, Jeremy Carlson was a Nephilim—a being created when a fallen seraphim mated with a member of humanity. In the case of Deimos, Abaddon had impregnated his own daughter, giving rise to twin Nephilim/Neo-Sapien hybrids.

The young woman who had infiltrated the Church of Genetic Purity knew this because she was not a Neo-Sapien herself. Like Deimos, she too was a Nephilim—once conceived when the Fallen known as Samael slept with a fledgling attorney named Amy Bedford.

The girl’s name was Chienne and for the last six months she had been dwelling in New York, continuing on the mission she had been executing for over a year. She had fought side-by-side with Magnus Loder as he faced the man who Chienne had grown up believing to be her father; Forrest N. Bedford was more than the founder of the Church of Genetic Purity—he was the man who had martyred her mother to further his own cause.

Chienne had fought alongside Magnus during the war against Apocatastasis and she had been on the frontlines when a small cluster of heroes bravely stood defiant against an ancient enemy who threatened this world. She had stood victorious when he was defeated and had been catapulted out of the city by celestial forces seeking to protect the heroes from Black Box.

Ultimately she had found her way back to New York with the drive to continue on the path she had been on. It wasn’t until her high school graduation last May that Chienne’s abilities had first manifested. She had spent the bulk of her senior year masquerading as Zero, the armored vigilante with no tolerance for Neo-Sapiens. It had been the mindset of Forrest and Amy Bedford that had birthed such excessive hatred in her soul and when she learned she was the very thing she hated most, her soul had become confused.

It was her half-brother, the Nephilim known as Michuru Bradshaw, who had given her a purpose and put her on the path to redemption. As Zero she had caused so much heartache and destruction—she had even gone so far as to take lives—but as Chienne she was determined to make up for her past sins. She believed Zero was protecting mankind from evil but now she worked to stop a greater evil…

Raised on this compound she knew her way around. Though the public didn’t know that beneath the barracks, the church kept holding cells, Chienne knew right where to go. She descended the stairs and stalked the corridors expertly. Soon she had arrived at the base of the holding cells. She opened the door and was hardly surprised to find the first signs of opposition guarding the path down to the dungeon.

Chienne drew her blades in a flash and expertly whirled around. The first man hefted a baseball bat while the other attempted to radio for backup. As a Nephilim, one of Chienne’s base abilities allowed her to conjure a weapon that resonated with her soul. She had not manifested her soul-weapon until after learning the basics of self-defense and kendo from her half-brother. It was only after she had learnt the sword that she manifested one. Still, with her applying her powers to scramble radio frequencies, manifesting a weapon would be out of the question. For now she would have to rely on corporeal weapons. She didn’t mind, except that this meant more danger to her opponents. Rather than slashing through them with a blade forged from psionic energy she was cutting them down with tempered steel.

Their blood formed crimson pools in the white robes they wore. An off-shoot of the Ku-Klux Klan, the Church of Genetic Purity dressed like their ideological ancestors.

Both crumbled at her feet and Chienne wiped her swords on their robes before driving them home into their respective saya. She gripped the bookcase behind their table then and swung it back to reveal a door. Behind that Chienne discovered a stairwell spiraling down deeper into the earth.

Below she ceased to use her powers to magnetically jam their frequencies; her father—not her biological father—had designed these levels to block signals from reaching the outside. He didn’t want any of his captives someone getting a signal out, allowing their friends to find them. On some level she believed he genuinely hoped to one day capture and restrain a Vindicator in here.

It had not happened in his lifetime.

“Hikari!?!” she exclaimed after killing four more guards. She tore off her ski cap, letting down the platinum blonde hair that tumbled down and reached for her shoulders. Once upon a time she had worn it much longer but the warrior’s lifestyle that she now lived meant cutting her hair and keeping it in a style more sensible in combat.

The twenty-year-old woman’s flashed into the first cell and over the curious young man who resided there. Hikari claimed to be her nephew from an alternate dimension’s nightmarish future. She had not expected to find the leader of his time and dimension’s Vindicators imprisoned here.

In the world Hikari called home his mother, Doctor Natalie Styles, had survived the White War; it was an act she had not emulated in this dimension. She had survived her battle with Breanne Jordan and gone on to marry the infernally-bred Vindicator Chienne called a brother. Michuru’s mother was Japanese, giving Hikari just a trace of Asian ancestry about him. While he was only a quarter Japanese, the young woman in the cell next to him was full-blooded.

Chienne took in the sight of the woman lying on the floor of the cell. Her wrists were bound behind her back and a gag was stuffed into her mouth. Chienne recognized her from the war with Apocatastasis but she had never been introduced to the woman. “Hold on a second,” Chienne said as she commanded abilities imprinted from her ex-boyfriend, Magnus Loder. Commanding magnetic waves Chienne ripped the bars out of the stone and swiftly shot into the shadows to the girl’s side.

“Aunt Chienne,” Hikari said weakly, “this is Tiffany Soto, one of the Asian Vindicators. Tiffany, this is my father’s sister, Chienne Bedford.”

“Bedford?” Tiffany asked as Chienne removed her bonds. “As in the guy who locked us in here?”

“Yeah,” Chienne offered embarrassedly. “I was raised by the late, great Forrest Bedford.”

“Late?” asked Tiffany. “What are you talking about?”

“Magnus Loder killed him months ago.”

“Forrest Bedford was down here an hour ago gloating!” thundered Tiffany.

Chienne’s crystal blue eyes reflected her intense hatred. “That wasn’t my father she said. That was…” It was the reason she had come back here—to the place her parents had raised her and her other half-brother, Mortimer.

Last May Michuru had found her and gave her a purpose; he had drafted her into his private war against Abaddon. The two had set off to stop the heralds—they had fought Terahertz and divided her consciousness to decrease her power. Everything they had done they did to prevent Apocatastasis’ return to the surface—they strove to prevent the end of his submariner sentence.

They had failed. Apocatastasis had been freed. He had emerged from the depths of the ocean once more the world would never be the same. Still, while so many of her peers were apt to rejoice in his defeat, Chienne knew that the battle was far from over. She had pieced together what had happened: she knew that Forrest Bedford had been mind switched into Chimera’s body and the arrival of his body on the battlefield and Apocatastasis’ apparent surrender to Rift meant that Apocatastasis was still alive… in the body of Forrest Bedford.

He had lost all his power and yet he was now more powerful than ever.

Michuru and Chienne had set out to stop Apocatastasis and as far as she was concerned her mission wasn’t over yet.

“What is it?” asked Hikari.

“Forrest Bedford,” she said slowly, “died… He died in Chimera’s body. Hikari… Inside Forrest Bedford’s body is… is Apocatastasis.”

Light bent in the Neo-Sapien’s hand and solidified into a katana. Immediately Hikari charged from his cell, rushing off to cut a path through the compound straight to his sworn enemy.

He made it to the stairs before his sword vanished.

Chienne looked at the grid of lime green light Hikari had run into and immediately she knew what they were facing. “Impossible,” she said, shaking her head at the very notion that they were facing the Zero armor. “Magnus said he destroyed it on the train…”

“He did,” came Forrest Bedford’s voice from the stairs, “and I rebuilt it.”

Forrest Bedford stepped through the threshold and behind him was Zero. “When your father found the armor under your bed he began to reverse engineer it, hoping that he could somehow mass produce it. He hit a small snag though: powering the armor was a nigh-impossible feat…”

“Yet here it is,” growled Hikari.

Forrest Bedford nodded. “After I fled from the island, racing to escape you all before you realized how vulnerable I was, I found scraps of armor in the streets of the Bronx.”

Hikari’s eyes fell on the 001 branded into the shoulder of the rebuilt Zero. “Portal,” he hissed. “You adopted the power source to recreate the Zero.”

Forrest Bedford shrugged. “Your lot stripped me of my power—all of it. And now, I’m going to do the same to you…”

“Hikari!” screamed Chienne. The swordsman never took his eyes from the man before him. Instead he threw back his hand and caught the katana Chienne through to him. The instant the blade was in his hands Hikari charged for his enemy and Zero moved to arbitrate the youth’s attack.

Chienne dove past them with her wakizashi, determined to use it to slice open Forrest Bedford’s belly. “Now that’s hardly the way to greet your father,” he laughed as he drew his own sword. In the human’s body he didn’t have any powers but Apocatastasis had still been a capable fighter and his expertise carried with him to this form. He swung the broadsword around to intercept Chienne’s strike and cackled at the raw determination on her face.

“You’re not my father,” Chienne growled. She grinned then, knowing what the knowledge of this would do to Apocatastasis. “Samael is.”

“Accursed child!” he snarled. It was Samael’s first-born son, Aryan, who had entombed Apocatastasis beneath the oceans. “I hope he can see us in Hell! I want him to watch helplessly as I flay the flesh from your bones and feed it to my dogs!”

“Tiffany!” Chienne screamed. “Go!”

The dark-headed woman dove between Chienne and Hikari as they held back Forrest Bedford and Zero. Forrest’s eyes bulged as she rushed through them and darted up the stairwell. Forrest turned to chase after her and then felt Chienne’s short sword slash across his back. “You already have a dance partner,” Chienne growled as the leader of the Church of Genetic Purity turned his eyes towards her.

“Insipid fool!” he thundered. “You forget that you have no powers!”

Chienne shook her head. “You forget that the good guys took you down a very considerable peg. I don’t need my powers to take on a normal, weak human.”

“The last few months have been a learning experience for me,” said Apocatastasis. “First I had to learn to speak this language. I spent six thousand years on the ocean floor and suddenly the language of the land isn’t so widely spoken anymore. Without magical runes translating your speech for me, I had to first learn to understand… and then I learned who you fools had trapped me in. While I may not have had my powers, I still had power…

“And finally…” One hand left his broad sword and reached behind his belt. There he drew a pistol and Chienne’s eyes bulged at the sight. “I’ve learned than in six thousand years, mankind has made some strides in the art of killing.”

At the egress of the dungeon the sounds of gunfire only caused Tiffany Soto to run faster…
To Be Continued... wrote:The Vindicators versus Triple Threat.
OUBLIETTE - NVAE: IC | OOC

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

New Vindicators, Chapter 793

Post by Michuru81 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:16 pm

Chapter III: How’s This For Space?
Scissors raked his claws over the back of the retreating man. The plaque hanging above the counter held a picture that matched the man’s face, identifying him as the grocery store’s general manager. “Where do you think you’re going?” the Puerto Rican asked as his metallic fingers flexed. His blade-like phalanges ground against each other, causing the store’s patrons to cringe at the sound. “It’s impolite to run off like that when you have guests!”

The vertically-challenged man was one third of the criminal syndicate known as Triple Threat: Rock, Paper and Scissors were three Neo-Sapiens who had met at a convention for little people—all three suffered from dwarfism. When they came out about their abilities it was Paper—the mastermind of the group—who had suggested they take to a life of crime. For years he had been using his ability to adopt a two-dimensional form to slip into bank vaults. Still, with more and more Neo-Sapiens appearing banks were taking precautions against their kind: they upped security detail to prevent people from fazing through walls, slipping under the door or otherwise teleporting in.

Banks had higher security but as Paper pointed out this wasn’t the case with the branch finance offices held in most grocery stores. ‘Think about it,’ he had long ago told his colleagues. ‘More and more people walk into their grocer to get their check cashed. You can pay your utilities there… Grocery stores have mini-banks there! They have the cash but not the security!’

So began Triple Threat’s string of grocery store robberies. It was a laughable idea but one that had netted the group millions of dollars to date.

They had terminated their career after a thorough trouncing at the hands of the Illuminati several years back but after May 17 they had come out of their early retirement. It was a risky move: the United States government was rounding up Neo-Sapiens and shipping them away to parts unknown. Still, that meant decreased security: the super teams that once dwelt in the country were nothing but a bad memory. With careful planning Paper was able to strike a grocery store and vacate the city before Black Box could arrive to stop them.

“Give me all the cash,” demanded Rock, a native of Mexico who obscured his craggy visage with a luchadore mask, “and top the sack off with as many cartons of unfiltered as you can.” He tossed a burlap sack onto the counter and the nervous woman began to comply, emptying the register into the bag and then moving to the safe.

Rock reached to his utility belt and produced a lighter and a cigarette. As he lit up a flash of blue streaked through his vision; he sputtered and wondered if lightning had struck. “Don’t you know?” He turned towards the sound of the voice and took in the sight of the young hero: his would-be opponent couldn’t have been more than 20-years-old. His face was concealed by a black cowl save for the area around his mouth. The hood was part of his uniform—all black save for the white boots, gloves and ‘V’ streaking over his chest. “These things’ll kill ya…”

Rock stumbled back from the threat before him; he knew the uniform of the Vindicators when he saw it and where there was one there had to be others.

While Rock was paralyzed by fear at the sight of that uniform, his accomplices were hardly as intimidated; Scissors knew that the Vindicators were decommissioned here in the United States. Was it possible that this young man was just an imposter? “Who are you?” he asked, desperate to find out how credible of a threat he now faced.

“Glad you asked,” said Blitzkrieg. “I am Blitzkrieg, Deputy Fire Marshall, Professional Cat Juggler, Leprechaun Whisperer, Worshipper of Neil Patrick Harris, Seeker of Lost Remotes, Goodwill Ambassador to Wakanda, Inventor of Velcro, Not a Big Fan of 50 Cent, Federal Pants Inspector, Megan Fox’s Personal Mammogram Machine, Stockholder in Axe Body Spray, Undefeated Heavy Weight Champion of Marvel versus Capcom 2, Charter Member of the ‘Dawson’s Creek’ Fan Club, 80th-level Priestess, the Rock, the Hard Place, Like a Wind from Gelderland Who Sweeps By Blown Far From His Homeland in Search of Glory and Honor, Boyfriend to That…” He pointed to Hourglass and when the trio of villains’ eyes drifted to her they found her waving politely at them. “…Prince of Eternia and Defender of the Secrets of Castle Grey—wait for it… Skull.”
Momentarily distracted by Blitzkrieg’s apparent buffoonery, Scissors didn’t register Phobos’ approach until it was too late. “You all talk too much,” he said as he withdrew his spectral lance from the small man’s back. Scissors staggered on the spot but he seemed to still be in the game.

“Electrical speed powers were revealed to me the day my armor was destroyed,” intoned Blitzkrieg. “And I became THE MOST POWERFUL MAN IN THE UNIVERSE!” Blitzkrieg accentuated his decree by punching Scissors in the nose. “Only three others share my secret,” he offered as the little person fell onto his back. “Our friends the sorceress-” He gestured towards the Aurelia who was watching her leader with disdain. “-Man-of-Arms-” He nodded to Mithril who was presently dodging attacks thrown by Paper; the two-dimensional man was slashing his paper-thin hands at the metal-limbed warrior vainly. “-and Orco.” The speedster turned and looked towards Phobos.

“Why do I have to be Orco?” asked Phobos. He shrugged then as he raised his shield to intercept a wild punch from Rock. “Eh, at least I’m one of the good guys. It only took you how many months to accept me?”

“Who said anything about us accepting you?” asked Hourglass as she assumed her rock form. Matching Rock’s strength with her own, Hourglass easily picked up the small villain and laughed viciously as his arms and legs flailed helplessly against her. “He’s so cute!” she cooed. “Honey? Can we keep him?”

Blitzkrieg sighed and shook his head.

Rumble and Boson rounded out their cadre; the two blonde women moved to assist Mithril and Phobos respectively. As Scissors’ arm elongated out and swept for Phobos, Rumble caught his arm at the wrist and tugged him off his feet. In no time she had spun around and flung Scissors into a pillar that supported the loft overlooking the checkout lanes. “People!” Blitzkrieg bellowed as Boson moved to contain Paper in a force cube. “Can we possibly work on avoiding property damage? Just this once?”

“Bad news, boss man,” said Quint as his voice cut across the team’s communicators. “Black Box is moving in. You’d best get out of there quick.”

“You heard the man,” Blitzkrieg exclaimed. “Round up the bad guys and let’s get out of here.”

Boson kept Paper contained inside of a force cube while Rumble and Hourglass grabbed his accomplices. The Aurelia rolled her eyes and began casting the spell she perceived as the only reason the Vindicators kept her around. An instant later they had gone from a grocery store in Muskogee, Oklahoma to a church basement in San Francisco, California. There the Aurelia began casting the next spell she found herself casting more frequently. Weaving her hands through the air in the intricate pattern she had been taught she uttered the incantation: “Etag,” she intoned.

Part of the room took on an ethereal look. Blitzkrieg looked to Phobos and watched as the Nephilim visibly shuddered; he despised these frequent ventures to the Astral Plane.

“Let’s get this over with,” grumbled the Aurelia. “I want to get out of here before the warden knows we’re visiting.” Rumble seemed equally eager to leave this place and the reason for her discomfort hurried into the room as soon as he heard the sorceress’ voice.

“Goodness but you’ve certainly been a busy beaver,” articulated Doctor Steven White dramatically. Once upon a time he had been the Aurelius. It was a title he had lost the day he lost the ability to function as a mage. En route to Apocatastasis, the Aurelius had joined his fellow heroes in fighting a wild Nephilim known only as Amy. He had cast a spell that transmuted his flesh to iron but it apparently had not granted him enough durability against the infernal girl: her claws easily tore through his arm and cost him the appendage.

Magic was an art that required the ability to make intricate hand gestures and utter incantations in the Language of the Birds. Though Doctor White could still speak he could no longer fulfill the other half of the arcane requirements. Rumble’s father had been outfitted with a prosthetic limb from Patriot Robotics—Blitzkrieg’s father’s company—but it didn’t give him the control to execute the complicated hand movements.

His career as a sorcerer was over and he had retired as the Aurelius. He had been training an apprentice—Coup Field—who died fighting Apocatastasis. Adrianna Covington had been offered the position but she had flatly refused. Now the Illuminati, the strange team who dwelt here in the Chapel, had undertaken a quest to find a replacement…

“Whom have your cadre of heroes triumphed over now?” the washed-out wizard asked.

“Triple Threat,” offered Blitzkrieg as the three women released their prisoners. “Okay, here’s how it is, boys: this is Doctor Steven White—formerly known as the Aurelius. You might remember him from such superhero teams as the Vindicators. He runs the show here. You will do what he says and treat him with all the respect he deserves.”

“Or else what?” asked Rock defiantly.

“Or else we hand you over to the proper authorities,” offered Hourglass. “You don’t get it, do you? Black Box’s presence in America means it’s illegal to be a Neo-Sapien. Tack on that you used your powers to rob grocery stores? You think they just put you in prison?” She chuckled softly.

“Black Box has a concentration camp for SPBs whose powers aren’t the most useful,” Mithril explained. “Not every Neo-Sapien wins the genetic jackpot. Some only have the power to breathe underwater or communicate with insects. There was a girl I went to school with who had a confusion aura. Anyone who got within five feet of her just… got muddled up.”

“The point is that people like you and us don’t get off so easy,” added Boson. “Our powers are more useful. While the Church of Genetic Purity wants to eradicate our species, Black Box thinks we’re a tool they can employ… so long as they can control us.”

“I think you should show them Mister Fitzpatrick,” offered Doctor White. Immediately Rumble, the Aurelia and Phobos sighed, rolled their eyes or otherwise conveyed a pout. None of them liked spending extended periods of time here: for Rumble it meant being around her father, for Phobos is meant enduring the torture Nephilim experienced in this realm and for the Aurelia is was risking an encounter with the warden…

Blitzkrieg nodded and led Triple Threat into the next room and down the hall. “Most of the criminals we apprehend are free to move around down here,” he explained. “Upstairs is the sanctuary. There’s television, pool tables… Doctor White makes sure you have the amenities you need. Most of the bad guys are content with that because… they don’t want to end up like Max here.”

Blitzkrieg opened a door and inside Triple Threat took in the sight of an enormous man whose wrinkled grey skin was covered in terrible scars. What had once been his tusks were snapped off and only jagged stumps remained. “This is Max Fitzpatrick. Once upon a time he was a student at the New Vindicators Academy of America. He was a regular elephant man; they codenamed him ‘Tusk.’

“Black Box got a hold of him and they… they sort of reprogrammed him. We’re not sure how yet, but they have some sort of way of altering our memories. They make us believe that we’re the scum of the earth—that we’re this terrible plague on society. They brainwash Neo-Sapiens into becoming agents. They make them hunt their own kind.

“Tusk already hated himself and their mental conditioning just… caused him to snap. He tore off his own tusks and tried to kill himself with them.

“We’re offering you a safe place here. Yes, it’s like prison but… it’s humane. You’ll still be you. You can either stay here or… we can gift wrap you and leave you for Black Box. The choice is yours.”

“I wanna stay,” said Rock, trembling at the sight of Tusk. Scissors nodded in quiet compliance.

Paper was deep in thought. Blitzkrieg regarded him for a moment and wondered what he was thinking. Was he looking for a way out of this? Was he planning a riot? Cassandra warned him that his extra-dimensional prison was a bad idea from the moment he suggested it…

The Vindicators had just taken down Light-Man. Following Bogart’s death at Coldfire’s hands, the small cadre of super-powered criminals had split up. The other three—Lazarus, Singe and the Reptile—hadn’t been seen yet. Magnus Loder didn’t believe they would be. ‘Lazarus and Singe will lie low. They know better than to stick their head up now.’ Light-Man didn’t seem to have their sense though and had executed an attack on a bank in Connecticut. The Vindicators had stopped him but then came the question of what to do with him…

‘What about the Astral Plane?’ he asked her one night as the couple lay on the couch in his apartment. In the months since their relationship had begun to blossom they hadn’t taken things much further than that. Of course, that wasn’t for lack of trying. In the months since they had first attempted to make love they had tried four times and each time only yielded the same results. Eventually one of them would find an article about premature ejaculation online or in a magazine and the temptation to try any manner of quirky remedies to their present malady consumed them.

In the end only disappointment ever greeted them. Finally the two had just opted to build their relationship and postpone the coitus that complicated so many of their friend’s relationships. Still, every so often a simple kiss turned into a steamy session that always seemed to end with their fulfilling the unspoken promise to not talk about what had happened.

‘What about it?’ she asked him as she shifted herself slowly. She was so careful anymore not to arouse him with the slightest brush of her body against his.

‘What about putting the people we capture there?’

‘You want to put the bad guys on the Astral Plane? How is that not what Black Box is doing?’

‘Well… we only put people there who break the law.’

‘Who’s law? Which laws? What if I steal a candy bar? Are you going to put me there for that? How about if I don’t pay my parking tickets?’

‘Cass…’

‘I’m sorry, honey but… it’s a bad idea. I mean… okay, you start putting super-villains on the Astral Plane and eventually they’re going to band together. What happens when they riot?’

‘On the Astral Plane? Who cares?’

‘Inevitably someone is going to break them out. I think we need to build a place with better security…’

‘Like our own Alcatraz? Yeah, we can put it on the twelfth floor. No one’s using that floor.’

‘You’re the one with all the money. Just… build a facility.’

‘Don’t you think the government will question why I’m building a prison?’

Cassandra rolled her eyes. ‘I vote we kill him.’

‘You wanted to kill Stratocaster.’

‘Out of pity!’

‘Just admit that you have some pent up hostility issues…’

‘You know what’s really pent up?’

It was David’s turn to roll his eyes.

‘Sorry,’ she said reflexively. ‘I know how you-’

‘So the Astral Plane,’ said David, masterfully avoiding the sore subject. ‘Atlanta’s dad lives there right? Maybe I should give him a call—see what he thinks about the idea…’

‘I think its inviting trouble, honey,’ Cassandra said. She sunk back into the couch and folded her arms across her chest in a pout.

‘You may be right,’ said David, ‘but at the moment I don’t think we have any other options…’

Blitzkrieg looked at Paper—deep in thought—and wondered if this was the moment Cassandra had predicted: was Paper the one that would find a way to organize the inmates and find a way to break out of the prison the Vindicators had built? “Your call,” David finally said.

Paper smiled mysteriously and chills ran up David’s spin. For a moment he wondered if this was how Phobos had felt the instant they had crossed to this plane. “I’m in,” the mastermind behind Triple Threat said.
Blitzkrieg began to walk away—to return to his team—when Paper called after him. “Oh, and sir?” Blitzkrieg turned expectantly. “Thank you for the opportunity,” Paper intoned darkly.

Immediately he had decided that however uncomfortable the Astral Plane made Phobos didn’t compare to how uneasy Blitzkrieg felt at leaving Paper here…
To Be Continued... wrote:A new hero manifests...
OUBLIETTE - NVAE: IC | OOC

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

New Vindicators, Chapter 794

Post by Michuru81 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 3:20 pm

Chapter IV: Ironic
“What do we do, sir?” asked Pastor Strauss. In the weeks that marked Forrest Bedford’s disappearance, beginning with his wife’s assassination and ending mid-way into September, Jonathon Strauss had served as the interim leader of the Church of Genetic Purity. It was a position he still seemed to hold as Forrest Bedford wasn’t quite himself upon his return. There were so many things he didn’t seem to understand; he got lost easily on the grounds at first and frequently relied on Pastor Strauss to guide him.

Forrest Bedford had molded Jonathon Strauss into becoming the man he was today and, at times, it felt like Jonathon was now teaching him how to be his former self.

“Should we send Zero?”

“No!” insisted Bedford. “We have two Neo-Sapiens in the cells below—both are strong enough to bring the entire church down here and now! We need Zero to stay here and guard them…” He was nervous; aside from him, Zero was the only one who had seen that Chienne Bedford was one of their captives. He couldn’t imagine the fiasco that would trigger if any of the other members of the church saw her. For over a year the church of Genetic Purity had believed her dead—these days the popular notion was that Magnus Loder had killed her. Granted, he could explain that she was a Neo-Sapien capable of altering her appearance but how would he explain her maintaining such a façade under the effects of Zero’s negation field?

“Take a force of our brothers to find her.”

Strauss turned and hurried into the outer room. There his former secretary, Red Kreichgauer, stood with three men he had drafted from the barracks. “Pastor Strauss,” Kreichgauer articulated, “these men are Brother Ryan Murphy, Brother Jason Potter, and Brother John Doe.”

Ryan Murphy was an overweight youth in his early twenties who possessed beady eyes that pierced through long, stringy, dish-water blonde hair. His face was coated in a bushy, unkempt beard that put Strauss in mind of the Amish he saw on frequent trips to their country in his childhood. He had joined the Church of Genetic Purity in the wake of Senator Bedford’s death. Before that fateful day he had been apathetic to the Church of Genetic Purity’s war against Neo-Sapiens. Now he saw how dangerous and chaotic their kind was and was full-heartedly involved in their war.

The man standing next to him had always been a practicing bigot. The dark-headed Jason Potter hated anyone who wasn’t a Caucasian Christian. Still he hadn’t joined the Church of Genetic Purity until last August, when his wife finally left him with their four children. He had fought her for custody of their youngest—their only son—but a history of abuse had a county judge almost laughing at the man’s plea.

A Persian Gulf veteran, the suit of muscle Jason wore was now punctuated by a beer belly. He was hardly the image of bodily health that John Doe was. John was one of the newest recruits; they had found him in a local hospital where another church member’s wife worked. She had told her husband about the amnesic man. It was the day after Senator Bedford had been killed when a tall, dark man in his forties carried the comatose man into the emergency room. He claimed to be the man’s son but their John Doe looked to only been in his late twenties. Some of the floor nurses wondered if they had simply misheard him: maybe he had said that their John Doe was his son…

Regardless, the man who had brought him in didn’t give them much information—he didn’t even give them a name. He simply told them that he had been put in this condition following an attack from a Neo-Sapien.
Only recently had John Doe woken up with no memory of who he was or what had happened to him. Whether the man was his son or his father still remained unseen; the man who brought John Doe in disappeared without a trace shortly after surrendering the victim…

The only clue John Doe had as to his past was that he had survived an attack from a Neo-Sapien. An afternoon visit with Brother Scott Baxter had convinced him that he had been robbed of his entire existence by a Neo-Sapien and he joined the campaign against their kind.

“A Neo-Sapien we were holding below has escaped,” intoned Pastor Strauss. “We encountered her in Queens shortly after she arrived here from Japan. One of our brothers witnessed her stopping a suicide bomber with sound-based powers and proceeded to follow her into the city. Backup arrived and was able to drug her and avoid a devastating battle.”

“Does she fly?” asked Murphy.

“God willing she can’t,” said Strauss. “Regardless, time is of the essence. Every moment we continue to talk about her puts her further and further from us. Move out and find her and bring her in dead or alive.”

As the men charged out it was John Doe who seemed hesitant. “Pastor?” he asked. “If this girl is so dangerous… why are we only sending the three of us?”

Pastor Strauss stared at him for a moment, considering his question. It was something that didn’t make much sense to him either but this was what Red Kreichgauer had pulled together. Ultimately the man turned towards his former secretary for the answers: “Did you know about the cells beneath the church?” the man asked as he pushed his ruby-tinted sunglasses back up his nose. “The fact of the matter is, this girl is carrying a dangerous secret that we don’t even trust the church with: beneath these facilities is a center for holding prisoners. What do you think would happen if this information got out?”

John Doe nodded sadly. “I understand, sir,” he said humbly.

Kreichgauer nodded. “I’m sure you do,” he said. There was a hint of disgust in his tone—as if there was something about John Doe’s presence he found intolerable.

None of the men knew that there was another reason for sending so few after the escapee: fewer numbers meant a slimmer chance of survival. Kreichgauer anticipated that this woman was dangerous and believed that sending such a small group ensured that she would kill John Doe.

Hope swelled in him as he watched the amnesic turn and hustle after his two companions…

Determination propelled John Doe and caused him to erupt onto the lawn of the church’s estate. Brother Murphy and Brother Potter were already a few yards away, though they didn’t know where to even begin. “She’s desperate,” Potter was saying, “so she’d probably just head straight and start looking for a way out…” He didn’t look to either of his accomplices to see how they felt about his theory; Jason Potter took off, confident that he was right.

Even when he was wrong he failed to acknowledge it.

Potter led Murphy and Doe across the grounds and through the gate flanked by a pair of their brothers, serving as sentries. Potter continued to leave the estate but Doe doubled back and only Murphy noticed. “Where are you going?” he cried.

“She didn’t go that way!” Doe thundered. “You really think if she’d come through here, the guards would still be standing?” Murphy took off after him and Potter rolled his eyes as he brought up the rear. “There was no sign of a struggle back there,” offered Doe. “She didn’t go there…” He scanned their surroundings and finally nodded left. “I’m going to head there. You two go right. Give a cry if you find her…”

Potter stood defiantly as Murphy bolted; he wasn’t about to heed anyone else’s orders. Instead he watched Doe’s retreating back and then he rushed to join him. “What are you doing?” Doe asked when he registered the man at his heels.

“Coming with you,” snarled Potter. “Brother Murphy should be able to handle himself.”

The two continued towards the east wall of the compound and there they found Tiffany Soto frantically trying to scramble up the eight-foot wall.

Potter wasted no time in rushing her. She registered his approach but that only spurred her to push forward. She jumped and her fingers slipped off the rough surface. His shoulder landed into her back and crushed her against the wall.

Once Potter pulled back the Neo-Sapien staggered back and took a second to recoil from the hit. He was determined to not give her the chance to fight back and swung his fist into her jaw. By the appearance of her she was just a girl barely out of her teen years but she had spent her high school career learning self-defense. She took his first punch and then swung her own and connected with his left eye.

Jason Potter took another swing at her and Tiffany Soto caught his fist in hers. Holding his arm out straight she moved in and brought her fist up and into his armpit. He was stunned by the blow and that was what gave her the opportunity to slam her palm into his chest and thrust him down and onto his back.

John Doe tackled her and the momentum of his charge caused the two to roll across the lawn. He pushed himself up and buried his knees on both sides of her small waist before launching a volley of punches into her face. The girl fought to resist him and in his fervor he failed to register his own comrade jumping him.

Brother Potter was a proud man and he wouldn’t allow anyone to show him up; he had initiated this fight and he was determined to be the one to drag her in. In his folly he gave the girl the respite she needed: her mouth opened and she unleashed her sonic scream that left both deafened.

Tiffany had been hesitant to use her abilities here; there was nothing subtle about her sonic talents and using them would only draw the attention she wanted so desperately to avoid.

The two staggered on the spot and Tiffany moved to flee before any more of them arrived to join the fight. She hurried to the wall and jumped; her fingers caught the top lip and she struggled to pull herself up.
John Doe’s head was ringing. He looked to Jason Potter, stumbling about due to the attack on their equilibrium. He needed to stop her before she got away; he couldn’t let her attack any other innocent humans.

He couldn’t let anyone else suffer the way he had…

John Doe raised his hand to stop her and suddenly a jet of flames, darker than night, erupted from his palm. Had it not been for the vertigo Tiffany had inflicted on him, he may have struck true; with the world spinning before him the blast struck the wall. A section of it was obliterated and the two members of the Church of Genetic Purity were bombarded with debris.

The hole he had made gave Tiffany the egress she needed. She swung her leg into the hole and fled into the night…

Tiffany’s scream had called any available guards to the scene and Ryan Murphy led the bunch in. Shadows slithered from their white robes as they erupted into the tussle and all of them froze at the sight before them…

Jason Potter was on the ground, underneath the sundered wall, and John Doe towered above him with eyes glowing black…
To Be Continued... wrote:Magnus Loder and Jack Olsen reunite...
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by smashed247 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 1:55 pm

Oh, You're freakin' kidding me!!

I wouldn't call him a hero....more of a time-bomb
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 2:11 pm

smashed247 wrote:Oh, You're freakin' kidding me!!

I wouldn't call him a hero....more of a time-bomb
Oh, what harm can possibly come from Blitzkrieg recruited an amnesic guy with black hellfire to the Vindicators? :)
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by Manintights » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:04 pm

dude, I think the amnesiac guy is actually abbadon, brought to the hospital by the shadow.
"As my father taught, 'Training will raise your shield to the blow, but courage fills the gaps the shield leaves open.'"

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New Vindicators: [Gae Bolg]

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by Michuru81 » Tue Sep 29, 2009 11:09 pm

Manintights wrote:dude, I think the amnesiac guy is actually abbadon, brought to the hospital by the shadow.
Dude, I think you're right. :) Abaddon had his mental attributes sucked out of him by Apocatastasis and has slowly regained some level of basic thought--just no inkling of who he is.

Most important though is why Mister Kreichgauer wants him offed. I figure that's equally obvious to everyone, yes?
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by Manintights » Wed Sep 30, 2009 12:03 am

don't really want to spoil anything, but Kreichgauer is one of the other fallen I think. He can't off him himself, so he sends him on missions that will most likely get him killed.
My gues is asmodeus, because he pops up just about everywhere you can imagine. Not that I mind, I love asmodeus.

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"As my father taught, 'Training will raise your shield to the blow, but courage fills the gaps the shield leaves open.'"

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New Vindicators: [Gae Bolg]

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by Michuru81 » Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:46 am

Manintights wrote:don't really want to spoil anything, but Kreichgauer is one of the other fallen I think. He can't off him himself, so he sends him on missions that will most likely get him killed.
My gues is asmodeus, because he pops up just about everywhere you can imagine. Not that I mind, I love asmodeus.

MIT
Kriechgauer is one of the Fallen. He's made two other appearances before this--both in chapters detailing Jehu Grossman's story two books back. If I weren't on my BlackBerry I'd quote them but the gist is Kreichgauer went on record with the CGP as saying his son was killed by a Neo-Sapien during the war with Apocatastasis. There's also a glow that fills a hall later and his peculiarity towards a certain colour...

At present time, Asmodeus is possessing the body of a Neo-Sapien known as Michael McDougall; Abaddon is John Doe; Semyazza has yet to take a form and Leviathan is someone the PCs are interacting with in the present camapaign...

Not that the players knew that yet...
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by SandersonCooper » Thu Oct 01, 2009 8:58 am

Michuru81 wrote:
Manintights wrote:don't really want to spoil anything, but Kreichgauer is one of the other fallen I think. He can't off him himself, so he sends him on missions that will most likely get him killed.
My gues is asmodeus, because he pops up just about everywhere you can imagine. Not that I mind, I love asmodeus.

MIT
Kriechgauer is one of the Fallen. He's made two other appearances before this--both in chapters detailing Jehu Grossman's story two books back. If I weren't on my BlackBerry I'd quote them but the gist is Kreichgauer went on record with the CGP as saying his son was killed by a Neo-Sapien during the war with Apocatastasis. There's also a glow that fills a hall later and his peculiarity towards a certain colour...

At present time, Asmodeus is possessing the body of a Neo-Sapien known as Michael McDougall; Abaddon is John Doe; Semyazza has yet to take a form and Leviathan is someone the PCs are interacting with in the present camapaign...

Not that the players knew that yet...
ORLY? Ah but I will keep OOC and IC knowledge separate even though my character's IC knowledge sort of covers a lot in the narrative. :D
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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Dulcis Amor (Chapters III and IV)

Post by Michuru81 » Fri Oct 02, 2009 3:11 pm

There've been a few PMs asking about Kreichgauer. So, here it is...
NEW VINDICATORS: hostis humani generis, Chapter LX wrote:A couch contorted into a broken ring rested around the emblem of the Ku Klux Klan and was reflected on the mirrored ceiling above them—serving to make the room look bigger than it was and to bounce the natural light that proceeded the view of Manhattan’s surrounding skyline into the office. “Brother Kreichgauer, was injured during the White War,” Scott said, motioning to the figure looming over the desk, enthusiastically routing calls for the head of the church. “He hasn’t been able to walk without that cane since… but his handicap has only made him more fervent in our goals.”

Jehu Grossman didn’t know what to say.

“He’s lost a great deal to their kind,” Scott said, continuing as they waited for the secretary to put down the phone. “He lost a son in this most recent ordeal: his boy Dominic was stolen from him by an SPB…”

Red Kreichgauer hung up the phone and regarded both men with a faux smile. “Greetings, gentlemen,” he intoned darkly. “Brother Baxter… I assume this is the man we’ve heard so much about?”

Scott stepped aside and motioned grandly with his arms. “This is Jehu Grossman, another victim of the plague that is the Neo-Sapien race. He’s told me all about how he’s lost his family, his home, his job… everything he had was robbed of him by one of their kind—a girl with glowing blue eyes.”

Red Kreichgauer smiled fiendishly and Jehu wondered if it had been his imagination or if the secretary actually had mouthed the word, “Nephilim.”

Curious at their greeter’s oddity, Jehu was helpless as Scott swept him away from the onyx-haired man adorned in a blood-red suit that could have used a trip to the dry cleaners. As he was thrust into Pastor Strauss’ chamber he craned his neck to try and get another look at this being—something in Jehu’s gut told him that though Jonathon Strauss was the leader of the Church of Genetic Purity, the most powerful entity in the organization sat just outside the pastor’s doors…
The first tip off that something is wonky with Kreichgauer is that he knows from her description that Gabrielle Farouk is a Nephilim. Remember that in the OUBLIverse the average person has no inkling that there are different types of SPBs: they believe anyone with powers is a Neo-Sapien. They're not aware of the existance of Nephilim, magi, Espers or Aesir.

The other thing is Kreichgauer's son's name: Paragon's real name was Dominique Infinity. Baxter's just mispronouncing it. Paragon wasn't killed so much as Quintessence forced him to cease being--unraveling him on a molecular level...

Later on, in the same book...
NEW VINDICATORS: hostis humani generis, Chapter LXXX wrote:In the rafters Red Kreichgauer smiled at his perfect little pawn. He was not dressed in the robes of the other members of the Church of Genetic Purity. In actuality none of them knew he was even here. As the personal assistant to Pastor Strauss, Red Kreichgauer was supposed to have been back in New York, going over next week’s agenda… Still, he couldn’t help but come all this way to witness this moment—the catalyst for all that he had planned.

If the heroes failed to show, police would apprehend Jehu Grossman and the world would undoubtedly see the New Vindicators as cowards. If she showed up and Jehu Grossman got his way she would be dead and one of Red’s biggest opponents would lose one of his most important pieces. If she surfaced and defeated Jehu it would only help to demonize her and her cohorts more.

Red Kreichgauer chuckled darkly and smiled fiendishly as he turned his back on the scene unfolding below him. As he headed back through the dark corridor a crimson glow illuminated his path back to the office where his paperwork awaited him…
That crimson glow would be from the heatless red flames burning in his skull as he's walking away.

Red Kreichgauer is actually Astaroth.

So, the status of the Fallen at this point:

*Lucifer: In Hell, on the throne
*Abaddon: John Doe, amnesic after Apocatastasis drained his mind to heal his hand
*Asmodeus: Possessing Michael McDougall, following Prompt admist an army of Espers
*Astaroth: Posing as Red Kreichgauer, manipulating the CGP
*Semyazza: unknown
*Leviathan: unknown
*Samael: destroyed by the Shadow during the White War
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