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Re: New Vindicators, Chapter 1124

Post by Thrincold » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:49 pm

flynnarrel wrote:
To Be Continued... wrote:Please, God, no...


Infinity plus two - ed.
But Ranaan should be able to annoy even Elemenoh enough to get himself eradicated. Win win there.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1123 - 1124

Post by Desero » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:24 pm

Thrincold wrote:
flynnarrel wrote:
To Be Continued... wrote:Please, God, no...


Infinity plus two - ed.
But Ranaan should be able to annoy even Elemenoh enough to get himself eradicated. Win win there.
Quoth the Triggs... wow
I am genuinely hurt by the Raanan hate. He's done so much good in this world, and this is the thanks he gets. Without Raanan, there would be no Sol Invictus. If there's no Sol Invictus, theres no Jupiter Empire, no Glark, no immortal hand puppets, and most importaintly no King Bulwark the God of gods.
So you see, Rannan isn't all bad, he's just misguided. All he wants is to be the greatest hero the world has ever know and if he can't have that... Some alone time to bake his brownies in peace.

And if you ask me, I thought the time Lurker killed Rannan was better than when Carl did.
Did you know you can't hurt a Minotaur with Corn?
Apparently, they are immune to Maze.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1123 - 1124

Post by Solarflare » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:18 am

I feel that the Time Carl killed Raanan was much more fun that when Lurker killed Rannan. I know it gave me more pleasue to stop him from talking any longer. And when he ran away from the school I was one the 1st to say let him go he can take care of himself.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1123 - 1124

Post by Horsenhero » Fri Aug 26, 2011 6:53 pm

I don't know...I find Raanan annoying (being the Id to Razi's Ego), but he's actually no worse than Bulwark...Curler...whatever. Heck, at least his violence is well intentioned (at least from his perspective), as opposed to some students at the Vienna school, who're just reactionary and violent by nature (Lex, Lex, Lex).

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1123 - 1124

Post by Arkrite » Fri Aug 26, 2011 9:36 pm

Hey, I didn't stab anybody in the eyes ;~)

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1123 - 1124

Post by Horsenhero » Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:41 pm

Arkrite wrote:Hey, I didn't stab anybody in the eyes ;~)
THAT wasn't violent and reactionary, it was premeditated and calculating, there's a huuuuge difference. One indicates a lack of emotional control and anger issues, the other possibly indicates sociopathy. They aren't the same thing at all. :twisted:

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1123 - 1124

Post by Arkrite » Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:42 pm

And I finally realized the problem.
Lex is Bones(Passion), Vlad was Spock(Logic), but we never found a Kirk(Leadership Lothario?) they could follow.

Ya pointy eared hobgoblin ;~)

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New Vindicators, Chapter 1125

Post by Michuru81 » Wed Aug 31, 2011 4:55 pm

Chapter XXV: Emo
“This evening, one of my teammates discovered a guy wearing a Phi Alpha Tau shirt using magic to build himself a harem. When she tried to stop him, he cast a spell on her to force her to leave. She radioed in for backup, only to run into another guy wearing a Phi Alpha Tau shirt and using magic. That guy—Ron Spencer—was handed over to the police when it became apparent that we weren’t getting any information from him on where he and his brother learned to wield arcana. Still, it can’t be coincidence that two mages pledged the same fraternity.

“I found out about a party at their frat house tonight and thought it was the perfect time to snoop around—see if anyone else is magically-inclined. Since Solon’s one of a handful of people I know who knows what we’re looking for, I figured I should call him.” Adrianna sighed as she looked over the five other boys Solon had transported with him. “I’m not exactly sure why he thought to bring all of you though…”

“Well, he brought me because he needed his wingman,” Raanan declared proudly. “The others don’t matter—they just sort of tagged along.”

“Well, sending you all back won’t take long,” the sorceress said. “My teleport spell is a bit different from Solon’s: I only teleport anyone touching me.” Without having to be asked, Raanan reached out and grabbed the Vindicator around the waist.

“Take your time,” he whispered as he snuggled closer to her.

“You can just as easily put a hand on her shoulder,” growled the other Vindicator in their company: the dark-headed young man who identified himself as Owen Reagan. “Or even just touching someone who’s touching someone who’s got a hand on her shoulder…”

“Still getting’ blue-balled by her, huh?” Raanan asked. Adrianna and Owen had been tasked with collecting Raanan and Razi after they first arrived in New York from their home in Atlanta.

It had not been a pleasant experience for either of the Vindicators.

“Actually, if you don’t mind, I’d like to stay,” Carl said firmly. “I have ambitions of joining your ranks myself someday and would appreciate the insight from watching-”

“Dude, could you be any more of a brown-noser?” asked Raanan.

“I might be of some assistance to you as well,” Gregaro offered. “I joined the Vindicators on numerous missions when I was younger.”

Such a statement caused Owen to raise an eyebrow at him. “How?” he asked. “I mean, you’ve got to be a couple of years younger than me and… Well, even before the Time Without Heroes, the Vindicators I’m old enough to remember weren’t dragging a kid around with them.”

“I’m speaking of the second incarnation,” Gregaro explained. His expression soured as he delved further into his exposition: “My father was Absolute Zero and drug me along on several missions… after my mother died… I assure you, I was an invaluable asset to the team—a fact Will would vouch for if only he were here…”

Carl shrugged. “He was too busy trying to smother Jessie with his tongue to come along.”

Adrianna threw up her hands in defeat. “Fine! Everyone stays! Just… try to stay focused on the mission at hand, okay? Like I said, Solon and I are going to be trying to scout for any other mages in there; hopefully we’ll find one who’s a little more forthcoming with how they learned to wield one of the most primal forces of the universe. The rest of you can back us all up. Like I said, the first mage my teammate encountered was able to put the whammy on her so… it’s best we don’t underestimate these guys.”

“I’m still a little fuzzy on what we’re going up against here,” Gage offered. “I mean… magic is real?”

Though Adrianna opened her mouth to explain things, Solon spoke more quickly. “Magic is an ancient art that dates back to the time before the Deluge,” the younger mage said proudly. “A classification of angels—the Grigori—were charged with watching humanity and documenting all of history. Eventually, they became enamored with human women; their lust caused them to defect and… well, they started to spill the beans on a lot of forbidden arts…

“One of the humans of this age, Aurelius, transcribed everything that they taught into the Book of the Grigori. One of his daughters married one of Noah’s sons and, book in arm, she survived the Deluge and carried their bloodline into the new world.

“His descendants are the only ones who can assume the title of the Aurelius, a master mage charged with protecting mankind from things which normal people could never hope to understand.” There was no mistaking the tone he used there: Solon looked down his nose at his classmates for not possessing the same abilities he did. “There are eight schools of magic: abjuration deals with wards and protections; enchantment is the realm of charms and compulsions; illusion is… well, illusion… while evocation is destructive and elemental; transmutation alters physical matter while conjuration governs summoning magic; divination is knowledge magic while necromancy deals with the dead. Individuals like myself or Adrianna—descendants of the original Aurelius—are capable of employing the energies that each domain is ruled by but for other mages? They’ll find their power crippling limited to only school of magic. These two individuals the Vindicators encountered tonight? Likely, one is attuned to enchantment magic while the other is an illusionist.

“The thing is, nobody ever just spontaneously figures out how to wield magic. It’s entirely too complex to just… stumble on. If Adrianna and her teammates encountered mages then someone had to teach them to use magic.”

“Right,” Adrianna said, “and even though I might have passed on the job offer, I get how bad it could be if someone is teaching just anyone how to wield arcana. I mean, look at how these two guys used their power! The knowledge needs to be protected. We have to make sure no one else is able to abuse this… Like I was saying, Solon and I know what to look for so we’ll split into two groups to cover the most ground. Try to fit in with the party and keep your eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary—ugly dudes with harems, jocks with a pet giraffe, communications majors with a talent for manipulating the weather…”

“I’ll be with Adrianna,” Owen offered. “Gregaro, you’ll be with Solon-”

“Actually,” the conjurer said slowly, looking at Owen worriedly, “I was thinking you could go with Solon, Owen.” When she felt her cheeks flare up from blushing, she looked away and to the ground. “I mean, you and I are the only Vindicators here and… well, if anything happens to these kids, it’s on us, right?”

“Is that the only reason you want me with Solon?” Owen asked softly.

“Ooo,” Raanan howled before making kissing sounds.

“Take the idiot with you,” Adrianna hissed. Immediately, Raanan began to protest not being assigned to the sorceress’ group.

He was not the only one… “Hold on a second,” Owen snapped. “I’m older than you are, Anna: I’m pretty sure I outrank you here…”

“Oh, please! That’s not how that works! You’re older than Rissa but she’s still the second-in-command! Besides, this mission’s about magic and since I was asked to be the Aurelia and you weren’t-” She failed to notice Solon begin to pout. “-I’d say that makes me qualified to make the decisions here! Carl and Gregaro can come with me.” She eyed Sergio and Gage—the only two students not to be divided up. “You want the blind kid?”

Owen merely shrugged. “Whatever,” he grumbled. “C’mon, Solon: the sooner we get this over with, the sooner we can all get on with our lives…” With Solon, Raanan and Gage in tow, Owen stomped off towards the party.

Adrianna’s gaze lingered on him as he left, agitatedly shuffling into the shadows. It was a look that her companions noticed. Carl wanted to talk to her about the obvious tension between her and her teammate; ultimately, he felt it was impolite to pry into the life of someone that he did not know very well.

Gregaro Vinctensson did not have such reservations.

“You should just tell him how you feel,” the boy in the fedora spat without looking at her. The sorceress opened her mouth to protest, only for the young man to go on: “I was engaged,” he said. “It’s so weird to think that… a few months ago for me was a half century for everyone else. Regardless, before I fell in the water, I was engaged: I was planning on spending the rest of my life waking up next to Virginia and now? I’ll never see her again.

“You have make the most of the time you have because all any of us actually have is now. I mean, it’s not like you can afford to dawdle. You’re what? Nineteen? Twenty? If you don’t hurry up and find a man, you’ll die a spinster.”

Adrianna looked at Carl with a confused look. “Gregaro grew up in the fifties,” he explained softly. “Women married around… twelve or something.”

From that point forward, Carl felt as though they were not merely plodding along towards the party but through a miasma of awkwardness. The silence felt like a tangible force that offered resistance as they traveled down the street; the haze even served to muffle the sounds of revelry ahead of them. It was only as they walked up the steps to the front porch and crossed the threshold that the thumping music pelted away their discomfiture.

Adrianna immediately tried to fit in by grabbing Sergio and making him dance. Choosing Sergio made sense, Carl realized: even if Gregaro had not just offended her, the trench coat he perpetually kept wrapped tight around his body made him stand out and the extra pounds Carl had been trying to shed meant he did not look as though he belonged with such a beautiful dance partner.

Still, Sergio seemed not to know what to do. At first, he simply looked at her as if trying to determine what it was she was doing. Even when she grumbled, “Just dance” Sergio continued to stare helplessly at her.

Frustrated with the robotic youth, Adrianna grabbed Carl by the hand and tried to coerce him into helping her blend in with the others moving to the loud, thumping beat. Carl looked at them—at how suggestively they moved or how their bodies grinded against each other—and blushed at the thought of doing that with the sorceress.

Abraded, Adrianna grabbed Gregaro who immediately launched himself into the hully gully: a dance popularized in the 1950’s which involved almost shuffling around Adrianna while swinging his arms and thrusting his shoulders back and forth. Had it not been for the distinctive high steps he took, the archaic dance born in the juke joints of the 1920’s would almost have fit in with the type of unstructured gyrations the other partygoers were now executing.

“I’m sorry,” Sergio said to Carl, “I didn’t know what to do.”

“What!?!” howled Carl, unable to make out his roommate’s words over the music. As Sergio began to repeat himself—with no change in his volume—Carl simply sighed and shook his head. His mind recalled his orders: be on the lookout for anything unusual. If anyone was going to find something, it would be one of the mages, but that did not meant that he could not look.

If anything, it was better than standing around and feeling useless.

As Carl turned his back, a youth in a Phi Alpha Tau shirt moved to cut in between Gregaro and Adrianna. As he continued to make his way through the throng of college students, Adrianna suggestively responded to the man’s advances. As Carl rounded the corner, Gregaro grabbed the man by the shoulder, spun him around and swung his fist into the man’s stomach.

The blow had not gone unnoticed by everyone else in the room but Carl’s eyes were on something else: he watched as Raanan sat on a couch beside a young woman who looked barely conscious. One of the small boy’s hands had slithered up underneath the baby doll shirt she wore while his tongue searched the inside of her mouth unresponsively.

Carl knew he could not restrain him with his bands of light—not without exposing himself as a Neo-Sapien in front of everyone here—but he also knew he could not permit him to continue to take advantage of a girl who had obviously had one too many drinks… “Raanan!” he hissed, grabbing the boy by the shoulder and jerking him away from the dazed girl.

“The hell, bro!?!” Raanan thundered. “Do you get off on trying to ruin my life!?!”

“You can’t do that!” Carl hissed. “Have you ever heard of date rape!?!”

“Heard of it!?! Back in Atlanta they call it a Raanan Lumanta!”

Carl rolled his eyes and massaged his forehead with his thumb and forefinger. “You say it like it’s something to be proud of,” Carl groaned. “Look, Raanan, you can’t just…” Carl trailed off as he spotted Gregaro slide through his field of vision. He turned and took in the sight of the time-displaced youth trudging through the party with a disgruntled look on his face with an absconded bottle of vodka held firmly in his hands. He looked like he was about to hit someone: he looked like he was about to do something stupid…

“Gregaro!” Carl cried out as he tried to move after him. The density of the crowd hindered him; he considered flying over everyone but again, he was slow to expose his abilities in public. Instead, he began to trudge through the throng and lose sight of the back of his peer’s trench coat. Though his aggravation was hardly at the level Gregaro’s had been at, he now wore his own disgruntled look at he doubled back to find Adrianna.

She was in the same room where he had left her, although she was no longer dancing: she was now curled up on a couch beside one of the youths who called the Phi Alpha Tau house their home. Determinedly, Carl advanced towards them. “Miss Covington?” he asked, raising his voice to be heard over the music. “Gregaro wasn’t looking too-”

“Hey, back off, tubs!” the other boy bellowed.

Adrianna flashed Carl a warning look. “Gregaro got jealous when I started dancing with Dan here,” she said. “He punched him, Dan punched him back; I told Gregaro to go cool off. End of story.” Her eyes slowly rolled towards Dan and Carl understood: she was trying to get whatever information she could about the magi from this man.

“I’ll go talk to him,” Carl said solemnly. Turning to leave, he spotted Sergio standing against a wall, watching Adrianna and Dan vigilantly. Striding up to his roommate, Carl whispered a quick order to him: “Watch them,” he said. “Make sure he doesn’t put anything in her drink.”

Sergio nodded his compliance and Carl knew the robotic youth could be trusted to do just that. Continuing on his mission to find Gregaro, Carl stopped when he saw Raanan once more. It seemed as though the Filipino had given up on trying to molest the unconscious young woman and was now being handed a small stack of bills folded over onto each other. Carl watched in wonder as Raanan reached into his pocket and pulled out a business card: as Raanan slipped it into the hand of his buyer, Carl spotted a small baggie hidden under the card.

The possibility that Raanan was dealing drugs was pushed out of Carl’s mind by the urgency he felt. Though he was not a drinker himself, Carl had seen what alcohol could make a person do.

He did not know Gregaro very well but, then again, who did? Will Loder did. Will had been on the team of Vindicators Gregaro’s father had been a part of. When Gregaro first came to the school, Will had volunteered to be his roommate. Carl thought it was touching that the de-aged hero wanted to act as a touchstone to Gregaro’s lost past but since then, Will had paid Gregaro little mind: he was more interested in satisfying his carnal desires than he was helping an old friend adjust to his new life in a new millennia…

In the weeks they had been at the New Vindicators Academy, Carl had only observed Gregaro wade through each day with a dour expression. Now, he had some faint understanding of why Gregaro looked so perpetually miserable: before he had been frozen, he had been engaged. It was so weird for Carl to think about someone the same age as him being engaged but, then again, Gregaro lived in a different time…

Regardless, he now knew what was eating at Gregaro; worse, tonight was the first time Gregaro spoke about his old life: all of those old wounds were rising to the surface and with alcohol added to the mix, he feared for what the youth would do next…

After scouring the main level, Carl made his way up the stairs and discovered Gage standing against the wall. “Hey,” Carl said at the sight of him, “have you seen Gregaro?”

The blind boy stared at Carl with a deadpan expression.

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it like that! I just…” Carl shook his head. “I’m sorry. Gregaro’s in trouble…”

Gage’s body tensed. “Did he find one of the mages?”

Carl shrugged sheepishly—an answer that went unnoticed by his classmate. “He… He sort of told us something big earlier. He’s hurting and… I saw him head off with a bottle… I’m worried about him.”

“You’re not keen on seeing the big picture, are you?” Gage asked before sighing and shaking his head. “I know that we’re not dealing with anything world-threatening here—just a guy who used mystical powers to make girls like him and another who tried to use his to help steal a car. Still, it’s probably not such a great idea to go running off to help Gregaro sort out his feelings when we’re supposed to be dealing with these wizards.”

“I know, I know,” Carl said. “It’s just… What if he does something… stupid? I mean, you know what his powers are, right? You know what will happen if he takes off his coat?”

Gage’s face remained unreadable. “We need to stick to the mission at hand.”

Frustrated, Carl left Gage’s side and began to make his way down the hall. One-by-one, he checked the doors; a plethora of them were locked and a line wound its way away from the bathroom. Again, Carl made his way up some stairs where another line led away from the floor’s bathroom. Again, door-after-door was locked with faint sounds of love-making coming from the other side. Finally, a doorknob turned. Expecting to find Gregaro here, Carl stumbled into the room to find two young men together…

One of them was wearing the same T-shirt as the other members of the fraternity and knelt before a boy about Carl’s age. The teen was garbed all in black: a black leather jacket was worn over a black shirt; baggy, black denim jeans adorned with numerous chains hung around his narrow waist by a studded black belt.

His hair was dyed jet black and swept down over one eye. Black mascara ringed his exposed eye and matched his nail polish. “The hell do you want?” he asked. Countless candles were burning all around them.

“Sorry,” Carl muttered as he backed out of the room. The man on his knees looked at the door with pleading eyes. “Wrong door.”

Fearing he might have just interrupted some sort of bizarre foreplay, Carl continued his search for Gregaro. When it yielded no fruit, he returned to the main level where he watched as Owen and Solon were dragging another boy out in handcuffs. “What happened?” he asked at the sight of them.

Owen chose his words carefully: he was aware of how many eyes were on them. “We’ve been looking for this guy,” he said, showing Carl a badge. Carl did not know if it was real or not—he was not aware of the Vindicators possessing anything like this. Still, it seemed to do the trick: the party goers seemed to think Owen and Solon were ordinary, undercover officers who had just made an arrest. It never occurred to them that they were failing to act on the numerous counts of underage drinking undoubtedly going on all through the house. “Let Anna know,” Owen said before leading the mage out and into the night.

For a moment, Carl postponed his personal quest to find and console Gregaro: he slipped into the room where Adrianna was still feigning interest in everything Dan was saying. The senior took a step forward—intending to take several more to reach her—when he stopped at the sight of something falling past the window behind where Adrianna and her host sat.

Instincts seized Carl and carried him back into the hall and out the front door. Owen and Solon had paused—likely after hearing the crash—but Carl assuaged their worries with an outstretched arm. “I’ve got this,” he called as he rushed to put his medical training to the test.

Rounding around the house, he was surprised to see the black-clad boy from before standing up and brushing himself off. There did not seem to be a scratch on him as he casually cracked his neck and gazed up from the grass-spattered lawn to the window he had been thrown through. “Son of a bitch is dead,” he growled.

“Are you okay?” Carl asked, amazed at the boy’s resiliency. He looked up to the window and back to the boy. “You just took a three-story fall!”

“I’m fine,” the boy grumbled. “I’m tougher than I look…”

“What happened?”

“Some drunk idiot in a trench coat came in and threw me out a damn window.” The boy began to pat himself down. “Made me drop my switchblade too…”

Carl winced at Gregaro’s description and drew out his cell phone. One of the perks of being a student at the New Vindicators Academy was the small allowance he received: last week, he had gone out and purchased his very first cell phone. It may have lacked all of the bells and whistles the other students’ phones possessed, but it was top of the line to him. “Maybe we should call 9-1-1. You might be concussed-”

“I said I’m fine!” roared the boy.


Carl turned and took in the sight of Adrianna and Sergio standing at the head of a small gaggle of party goers. “Roland Birkmeyer?” There was a look of realization in the sorceress’ eyes. “You’re the one who’s been teaching these guys to wield arcana?”

Roland glared at the Vindicator. “I didn’t know that was a crime,” he said. He mockingly offered out his wrists. “I guess you’d better arrest me. Take me into police custody and tell them I’ve been teaching people magic.”

“Why have you been teaching them?” Adrianna asked, still stunned by the sight of the boy. “Where have you been all this time? God, it’s been… It’s been months since…” Carl watched as she strained to think of the last time she had seen him. “The blackout? It was the blackout, wasn’t it?”

“It was after Quinton used that Goddamn electric glove on me,” Roland growled. “But don’t even try to pretend like you care! Christmas, Katherine—how many people do you know who could just think and know right where I was at? You didn’t waste one second looking for me…”

“Oh, God, you’ve turned into a little Deimos…”

“I have not turned into-”

“You dropped something, y’Fancy Nancy!” Gregaro exclaimed as he pushed his way through the crowd.
Roland raised an eyebrow. “‘Fancy Nancy’?” he asked as Gregaro threw the switchblade at him. The blade was retracted into the hilt which harmlessly bounced off the lawn a few feet from where Roland was standing. He had not had long with the bottle Carl had seen him with but it seemed as if the effects took him quickly…

“Put ‘em up,” Gregaro said, slurring only slightly. He raised his fists threateningly and tried to shuffle, only to stumble.

The sight of the drunken boxer only made Roland laugh. “Not that I don’t think I could kick a drunk man’s ass,” he said, “but I have someone who does the heavy lifting for me…”

Carl watched as one of the spectators burst from the crowd, right on cue. He watched as Adrianna’s eyes popped and her jaw dropped. He watched as the man charged for Gregaro and changed shape as he did. Gregaro turned and took in the sight of the man—now fully transformed—moving to run him over…

The Rhino slammed Gregaro and bucked him into the air.
To Be Continued... wrote:The New Vindicators versus the Rhino.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1125

Post by Horsenhero » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:07 pm

What kind of Rhino?

Really, since the Rhino was last seen being hauled away by Blackbox (I think), this has got to be some fratboy poser imitating his shtick. Plus the real Rhino would've given some sort of warning from "meezers to youzers".

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1125

Post by Thrincold » Wed Aug 31, 2011 9:11 pm

Horsenhero wrote:What kind of Rhino?

Really, since the Rhino was last seen being hauled away by Blackbox (I think), this has got to be some fratboy poser imitating his shtick. Plus the real Rhino would've given some sort of warning from "meezers to youzers".
The old Rhino would have, but I have a feeling with Teegan's death and his never admitted love, he is probably a much darker character, combine that with hanging out with the Damned, he's probably not the same lovable guy.

But, YAY Rhino!

Or it could be a frat boy with Transmutation affinity.

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1125

Post by Arkrite » Wed Aug 31, 2011 10:15 pm

Are you guys hinting at a Rhino vs Rhino fight? I'm not sure the setting could handle it ;~)

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1125

Post by Manintights » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:27 am

I kinda guessed the Damned would be behind this hole fratboy mages thing, but I seriously thought we'd lost the Rhino to black box. Great to hear he's back though.

Can he please kill Ranaan now? :mrgreen:
"As my father taught, 'Training will raise your shield to the blow, but courage fills the gaps the shield leaves open.'"

Play by post games:

New Vindicators: [Gae Bolg]

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Re: NEW VINDICATORS: Chapter 1125

Post by Michuru81 » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:08 am

Horsenhero wrote:What kind of Rhino?

Really, since the Rhino was last seen being hauled away by Blackbox (I think), this has got to be some fratboy poser imitating his shtick. Plus the real Rhino would've given some sort of warning from "meezers to youzers".
While I'll leave it to A.J. to explain how he got away, the last time we saw him he had thrown away his speech pattern. Actually, it was something seen as far back as the prelude to the big fight with the Big A: when A.J. Found out about Taegan's death, he stopped joking around.

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New Vindicators, Chapter 1126

Post by Michuru81 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 8:58 pm

Chapter XXVI: Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)
Carl watched as the Rhino slammed into Gregaro and bucked him into the air. Given that the onlookers had just seen a man transform into a rhinoceros, Carl felt no need to hide his abilities any longer: “Go limp!” he shouted as an aura of light surrounded him. In seconds, Carl’s feet left the ground and he shot into the air after his intoxicated classmate.

Reaching both arms out before him, Carl was able to swoop in and catch Gregaro’s tumbling body and safely transport him back to the ground. There, he turned in time to see one of the party’s hosts—Dan, the man Adrianna had been talking to—weaving his hands through the air.

Reality warped beside Carl and the air vomited a great white shark onto the south lawn of the frat house.

Carl gave a scream before ascending into the air again—narrowly avoiding the beast’s wildly snapping jaws from taking off one of his feet. From above, he watched as it continued to flail about, sending several of the partygoers running in fear.

In the midst of the human stampede, one figure stood vigilant—a sentry in the night: Sergio Leone eyed the shark casually and raised his right arm towards it. He never said a word as his flesh separated into shifting plates—never uttered a witty one-liner as steam escaped his transforming limb. In seconds, Sergio’s arm had transformed into an odd, technological cannon that emitted a column of light that slammed the oceanic behemoth and banished it from existence.

He wasted no time in training his weapon on the man who had summoned it. “Move and I fire,” Sergio told him matter-of-factly.

With the area cleared once more, Carl landed and set Gregaro down; the flying boy now wore some of his teammate’s sick on the front of his shirt. “Sorry,” Gregaro muttered. His speech was still slurred and his stance was shaky.

“Look out!” Adrianna screamed. Carl and his classmates turned to see the Rhino charge into Sergio. Again, the momentum of his blow sent his opponent flying back: Sergio slammed into the side of the house and through the wall. “What do you think you’re doing, A.J.!?!” the sorceress screamed.

“You know this guy?” Carl called down from the sky.

“We used to date,” the Rhino said.

“We never dated,” Adrianna grumbled.

“We used to make out,” corrected the Rhino.

“God, I kissed you, like, once!”

From above, Carl could make out another mage joining the battle. He screamed in warning and Adrianna turned just as the young college student finished casting his spell. Electricity crackled around his right arm an instant before he lunged for the young heroine. Quickly adopting her feline form gave Adrianna the deftness to dodge his attack: the youth tumbled to the ground and watched in astonishment as the grass began to grow and bind his arms and legs.

“Everybody chill,” Raanan said. He was crouching low and had his hands planted firmly on the firmament. “I got this.” All around them the grass began to grow; soon the lawn was so tall that it brushed Adrianna’s waist. While Raanan saw it as a means for impeding their enemies, one of the heroes’ opponents saw it as cover…

Dan cast another spell—this time summoning a king cobra and unleashing it into the thicket of grass.

Sergio and Gage emerged through the hole made in Sergio’s ejection from the battle. The robot’s body was slowly knitting itself back together: it hardly showed any sign of the Rhino’s attack but Carl feared the same could not be said for Gregaro. Still, as he tried to keep his comrade from slipping into unconsciousness, his allies struggled to bring about a resolution to this scuffle.

“Again,” Sergio said, aiming his cannon arm at Dan, “move and I shoot.”

Dan smirked and immediately began to cast. True to his word, Sergio fired another coruscating beam at the conjurer, only to watch as it dissipated against an invisible barrier surrounding the magus.

“He’s got an abjurer shielding him!” Adrianna cried. As Dan finished casting a spell that summoned a ferocious lion to his side, she moved to cast a spell that would dispel the barrier that warded him. Her casting was halted when Dan’s snake found its way to her ankle: Adrianna screamed when she felt the snake sink its fangs into her ankle.

As her body began to crumble into the foliage Raanan had evoked, Owen descended upon her. The winged man hoisted her into his arms and eyed the snake rising back to strike him…

Carl knew what to do and sped towards where the Vindicators were cornered by the cobra. As he moved, he tugged at the belt of Gregaro’s coat. As he opened the trench coat, Carl’s breath was suddenly visible in front of him; his hands felt numb just touching his barely-conscious classmate.

Once on the ground he dropped Gregaro out of his coat and onto the grass. “Get clear!” he shouted to anyone within earshot. He ascended into the air and Owen—seeing the snake’s focus shift to Gregaro—lifted Adrianna into the sky.

Carl looked down and watched as frost began to seep from Gregaro at uncanny speeds. Each blade of grass was suddenly painted white as the ice crept out from the youth and in every direction. “What the hell just happened!?!” Owen asked.

“It’s Gregaro’s power!” Carl explained. “His body radiates extreme cold but he has zero control! That’s why he wears that coat at all times: so long as he stays bundled up, Gregaro tricks his power into staying contained inside of him!”

Owen flashed a mournful look at the boy curled up on the ground. Even barely conscious, Gregaro’s power oozed from him, covering everything in his immediate vicinity in ice. “Guess that’s why his dad’s codename was Absolute Zero, huh?” he muttered.

The winged man looked to the woman in his arms: the effects of the elapid’s postsynaptic neurotoxin was beginning to spread throughout her body. The cobra’s venom blocked the signal transmitted from the nerves congregated around the diaphragm. Adrianna was already struggling to breathe and it was obvious to Carl that her teammate had no idea how to help her. “She’s got about thirty minutes,” he explained, calling on what limited knowledge of snakebites he had accumulated in his medical studies, “but she’s going to need an injection of antivenom soon.” He looked to the ground and watched as Solon dispelled the magical barrier that surrounded Dan—allowing Sergio to threaten him once more. While Gregaro’s cold had incapacitated the cold blooded creature Dan summoned, it did nothing to stop the lion now lunging for a frost-coated Raanan.

‘Let him get eaten!’ Carl shook his head; Raanan may have been annoying but he was hardly about to let him get mauled by the king of the jungle. With a thought, Carl summoned the luminous bands Raanan was all too familiar with to snare the massive feline in the air and spare the sophomore’s life.

Carl scanned the ground for Roland and his rhinoceros bodyguard but saw no sign of either. “Get Solon to ‘port you gets back to the school,” he told Wilt. “They should have something there to treat her. If not, Doctor Howell should know where to teleport to that will have something.”

Owen nodded his thanks before descending to the group’s other mage. Frozen grass kept the evoker pinned while Sergio and Gage kept Dan and his abjurer companion from moving. Once Solon had removed the Vindicators from existence, Carl surveyed the battlefield. “We should have gone with them,” he grumbled, noticing how quiet the party now was; it was likely that everyone inside had fled the minute they realized that a super-powered brawl was erupting outside. Police would be coming and Carl noted that neither he nor any of his classmates possessed the authority to deal with that fiasco.

He grimaced as he looked to Gregaro; the hit he had taken from the Rhino count be more serious than it looked. While he was not bleeding externally, it could very well have been a different story under the skin. Now, Gregaro simply laid on his side in the epicenter of the ice. “All right,” he said, looking to Raanan. “Think you can take care of the electric-arm guy?”

“I did once, didn’t I?”

‘Should have let the lion have him!’

Carl said nothing as he powered up. By emanating more and more light, he kept his body warm as he traversed the field of frost. Carl knelt beside Gregaro and draped the youth’s trench coat down over him. “Here you go,” he said as comfortingly as he could. “Let’s get you bundled up and warm again…” He trailed off as he noticed the chest was singed. “What happened to your coat?” he asked, pointing out the scorched area.

“I was in a room and heard yelling from next door…” Carl shook his head at the youth’s slurred speech: he had not been left alone with the bottle for long and yet he had gotten very drunk, very fast. Carl considered what he had read about the effects of alcohol: vodka had a higher proof; further, if it had been Gregaro’s first time drinking and if he had been drinking on an empty stomach, it would all account for his current condition.

Factor in the blow he had taken from the Rhino and it was a wonder he was still able to string together a complete sentence. “I went in and this kid in black was yelling at Kev—he called him Kev—and I told him to knock it off and he… He cut his hand!” Gregaro tried and failed to mime slicing open his palm. When he lurched forward, Carl caught him and again felt the immense cold contained inside Gregaro’s body slightly bleed through his trench coat. “He cut open his hand and wiped it on me. Next thing I knew, my coat was on fire.”

“So…” Raanan stared at the drunken teen strangely. “You threw him out the window?”


“And then ran down two flights of stairs to fight him?”

“I was gonna kick his ass!”

“And you’ve had how much to drink tonight?”

“Just a bottle of vodka but that’s not important! That kid in black is… He’s up to something! He told Kev he was useless! That he…” Gregaro shrugged. “He told him that he wasn’t flashy enough or something…”

“Smoking cloves and listening to My Chemical Romance do not a sinister plot make,” Raanan intoned. “You’re drunk, dude… Some coffee in you and then we’ll-”

“We have to find this Kev guy,” Carl said urgently. “Raanan, bind the other two. Every time one of them casts a spell, they do something with their hands.” Raanan reached into his pocket and pulled out a package of seeds. “Keep them from being able to use their hands.” Carl watched curiously as Raanan kicked at the ground with the heel of his foot. “Sergio, as soon as you’re clear, get rid of Simba here.” Once Raanan had a small hole dug, Carl watched the younger boy drop a few seeds into the hole and begin to grow a small tree.
Raanan motioned for his roommate and Sergio to bring the magi over and Carl watched in wonder as Raanan commanded the neophyte plant to curl around their wrists; loathe to admit as he was, there was no denying that Raanan could be useful when he needed to be. Only when the pair was bound did Sergio move to remove the presence of Dan’s summoned beasts.

Carl eyed the mages suspiciously. Given how easy it had been for the untrained students to take them out, he doubted if they were that battle hardened. If that were the case, Carl surmised that even he could manage to intimidate them. “All right,” he said as darkly as he could manage, “you’ve seen what we’re capable of and you know that you’ve got nothing.” He held his hand out about a foot from his face and made it began to give off a bright, warm light. “Who feels like talking?”

Right on cue, they started talking over each other. Once he silenced them, Carl gestured for Dan to speak. “It was Roland’s plan, man!” the conjurer exclaimed. “He came out of nowhere about three weeks ago—told us he was magic! We thought he was joking but he took us all to another dimension or something and started to teach us all how to cast spells!”

“Why!?!” Carl demanded. “You expect me to believe that he just showed up one day and offered you all this kind of power!?!”

“He told us he knew once type and needed us to show him others!” the abjurer exclaimed. “He said that his type of magic came naturally to him but he needed to be taught the other schools! Since he couldn’t learn from his old teacher or something, he taught us so he could learn ours!”

Carl thought back to what Solon had told them about magic earlier: everyone was attuned to one of the eight schools. Only someone descended from the Aurelius was capable of using any of the eight schools. Roland Birkmeyer must have been one of those people and he was looking for a way to become more powerful. Still, something did not click…

“Why did he say Kev was useless?” he asked.

“Kev got knowledge magic,” Dan explained. “Roland said he was useless because the effects of his magic couldn’t be seen.”

Carl mulled this over: Roland was teaching them because he wanted them to be seen casting? Why? A groan left Carl’s lips. “Sleight of hand,” he said as his ears registered sirens in the distance. “He trained them to act as a distraction while he goes after something else.”

“Carl?” Gage asked worriedly.

“I know,” he said. “I hear them… We need to get out of here…” Of the five left behind, only Carl was capable of flight. On top of that, he worried over what would happen if these young men were left behind. The police would know nothing about the magi’s abilities and cut them free; it would be no time at all before they were back to acting as Roland Birkmeyer’s minions.

Solon suddenly tumbled out of nothingness and looked at his classmates with a look of surprise—as if he could not believe they were all still here. “They sent me back for you,” he said.

At the sight of red lights flashing, Raanan began throwing the contents of his pockets as far as he could. “Let’s go!” he screamed as he hugged Solon; it seemed as though he had forgotten that only Adrianna’s teleport spell required physical contact with those wishing to be transported.

“What about them?” Carl asked, looking to the mages.

“They’re coming too,” Solon muttered as he proceeded to cast his spell. Police officers were hurrying around the side of the now-vacant frat-house towards them.

“Nobody move!” one of them cried as another commanded, “Hands on your heads!”

“Tropelet!” Solon proclaimed, peeling himself, his classmates and their opponents from the yard and leaving only a handful of befuddled policemen behind.
To Be Continued... wrote:Feelings.

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

New Vindicators, Chapter 1127

Post by Michuru81 » Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:03 pm

Chapter XXVII: Boston
“Enchantment, illusion, conjuration, evocation, abjuration…” Adrianna glared through the glass that separated the control booth from the main floor of the Wreck Room. There, the trio of mages that had thus far been captured sat with wrists bound together. “It’s almost like Roland’s trying to gather someone from each school of magic.”

“He is,” Carl offered. The others in the room—Doctor Howell, Owen and Solon—looked up at him in surprise. “I managed to get a little bit of info out of them before Solon came back to pick us up: seems this Roland kid was teaching them magic so that they could teach it to him. Does that make any sense?”

Adrianna nodded. “Roland’s power lies in necromancy but he emulated one of my conjuration spells before. The only way that’s possible is if he’s also descended from the Aurelius.” This revelation brought a surprise look from Solon that quickly turned into a pout; the idea of another member of the Aurelii bloodline running rampant just meant more competition for him in his quest to become Earth’s Master Mage. “Thing is, even though we can access any of the different forces, knowing how to is a challenge. Since I’m more attuned to conjuration, casting summoning spells is like second nature to me—just like death magic is to Roland. My cousin Atlanta?—her power is in evocation. I didn’t know how to duplicate the effects she makes until I was able to sit back and watch how she casted.

“Roland must have taught all of the magic to get one from each of the schools he was lacking…”

“Something still bothers me,” Solon said glumly. “How is it that he picks a handful of humans and manages to get one from each domain? As I understand it, when Uncle Steven elected to teach you and your friends arcana, two of the five of you came out attuned to conjuration. How is it that Roland didn’t have any repeats?”

“Or any with a talent for necromancy,” Adrianna added. “It’s pretty convenient that Roland didn’t end up with a single apprentice attuned to his own brand of magic.” She quickly counted them off on her finger. “Rissa ran into an enchanter and an illusionist and you brought back an evoker, conjurer and abjurer… He’s missing divination and transmutation, I guess.”

Owen shook his head. “Solon and I found the transmuter,” he explained. “He was doing his best Jesus impression and turning water into Miller Lite. Solon was able to magic me up a pair of handcuffs and a fake badge so that we could lead him out of the party without causing a disturbance. We, uh… left him handcuffed to a no-parking sign and came running after we heard the fight start.”

“We found the divinatory too,” Carl explained. “Gregaro heard him yelling at one of the other mages—some guy named Kevin or something? Anyway, the ones down there said that he came out attuned to knowledge magic? I guess Roland thought that was disappointing since it had no visible effects. I think that Roland has another plan for them: he learned how to cast from their schools of magic to make himself more powerful but then he cut them loose to serve as a distraction.”

“Okay,” Adrianna said slowly. “What’s he trying to distract us from?”

Carl shrugged. “I don’t know but I think it was meant for you. I mean, he had to know that a bunch of magic-users chaotically running rampant would catch your attention, right? I figure this has something to do with magic and making sure someone sensitive to arcana isn’t noticing what he’s really after.”

Adrianna considered the last conversation she had had with A.J. Tharivol...

“How is it that you’re willing to accept that all of this is possible but you draw the line at conquering the grave!?! Hell, the Nephilim we fought on the road to Apocatastasis? They died thousands of years ago! He found a way to resurrect them! He proved that there is no finality in death! Taegan and K.C. were my friends! What kind of friend would I be if I didn’t do everything in my power to do what I know—KNOW—can be done?”

“Roland’s magic is death magic and A.J.’s seeking a way to bring his friends back to life,” Adrianna said sadly. She buried her face in her hands and then slowly dragged her hands down so that her eyes were peeking out from above her fingertips. “That’s why they’re working together: they’re trying to bring Taegan Mallory and K.C. Thinrush back to life.”

“That makes no sense!” Owen exclaimed. “You’re telling me that Roland Birkmeyer is doing this to try and help the Rhino bring his dead friends back from the grave out of the kindness of his heart? That’s pretty funny ‘cause, I wasn’t aware Roland had a heart!

“I’m not saying that Roland’s evil—just that he’s not exactly selfless. The kid is all doom and gloom: it’s not like him to decide to do another guy a favor! He’s got to be working some other angle we don’t know about!”

“If I recall correctly,” Doctor Howell intoned, “Mister Birkmeyer parted ways with us during the outbreak we dealt with. Is it possible that Contagion infected him with something that was never cured and he believes he needs Taegan Mallory to remove such a malady?”

“He’s an emo, right?” Solon asked. “Maybe he just… wants to ask them what the afterlife was like?”

“I think we need to give Doctor White a call,” Adrianna finally admitted. “This is starting to feel like it’s over my head and… I don’t know—maybe he can see something we’re missing or he’ll know about some obscure thing regarding dead people…” The sorceress threw her arms up in surrender. “I think I left my cell back in the infirmary,” she grumbled, patting her pockets. “I’ll be right back.”

As she strode out of the room, Owen hurried to follow her. She easily heard his movement and turned as the doors slid shut behind him. “What?” she asked irritably once they were alone.

“I just…” Owen a sighed dejectedly. “Call the Aurelius but… after that, I think you should stay out of this.” She rolled her eyes and turned to walk away. “You were bitten by a cobra, Anna!”

“And given an antidote and had the injection site magically healed. I’m good,” she said as she slipped into the room Solon had brought her to. “Thanks for caring.”

Owen watched her snatch up the phone and turn to leave. He stood his ground and barred her path; it was a move that evoked a laugh from her. “You’re aware I can just teleport around you, right?” she asked, rolling her eyes before she continued to cycle through her contacts.

“Not holding your phone you’re not. You can’t make the right signs. Plus, I won’t let you wave your arms.”

The conjurer let out a groan. “What do you want, Owen?”

“I want you to sit this one out. Let me call Dave and the rest of us will handle this. We’ll get to the bottom of-” He was cut off as she waved a hand in front of his face.

“Hello? Magic? Me? Remember? This is sort of my area of expertise.”

“I don’t think it’s such a great idea.”

“Why are you so gung-ho about me staying-”

“Because the Rhino’s involved!”

Adrianna stopped and stared at Owen blankly.

“Look, I… I don’t know what you two have going or whatever but… you… You two kissed, right? And you took Christmas and his brothers on that little solo mission to try and find him a few months back and… and I saw how badly you were beating yourself up when David said we couldn’t go spring him! Anna, it was just like when they took Aurora and I thought…” He shook his head and fixed her with a determined look. “I just… Please, don’t go.”

“Owen… God, we… We’ve been over this: there’s never going to be anything between us.”

“Anna, I-”

“You can’t touch people without sucking the life right out of them, Owen! How are you ever going to have a normal-”

“You think I don’t know that!?! You think I don’t stay up all night long thinking about that very fact!?! You think I don’t go to bed with my arms wrapped around a pillow, wishing it was someone like you!?! That is all I think about, Anna! That’s it! Trust me, I don’t need you to remind me of what I can’t have: I beat myself up over it enough as it is!”

Shaking his head, Owen turned and walked away. She had what she wanted: Adrianna’s path was no longer barred. Still, instead of moving forward, all she could do was watch Owen’s back as he headed down the hall towards the surface elevator.

As if he sensed her eyes on his shoulders, Owen stopped. “You know something though?” he asked. “He doesn’t love you. It’s been over a year since he left, Anna. It’s been over a year since we took down Apocatastasis—since his friends died and he left you. He never cared enough about you to call or let you know he was all right.

“When you saw him again? When you found him working in that zoo, did you tell him how worried you had been? After that, did he find you to let you know he was okay? Did he ever bother to put your mind at ease when you thought Black Box had him?” Owen shook his head. “He doesn’t care about you in the slightest bit and here I am, standing right in front of you, telling you that I would do anything to make you happy… and you won’t have a thing to do with me because of my powers?”

He turned around half-way and fixed her with a tear-filled, baleful glare. “You have no idea how many horrible names I wanna call you right now… and how weird it feels that… I know I can’t. I can’t because…” His shoulders sagged in defeat. “I think I’m falling for you, okay? And a big part of that means not wanting to see you hurt… no matter what you’re doing to me.”

Adrianna folded her arms across her chest, stuck out her lower lip and turned her head in a pout. “I didn’t ask for this, Owen. I can’t help that I don’t feel anything-”

“No? Really? Be honest here, Anna: is it that you don’t want me because you can’t touch me or is it because you don’t feel anything for me? Which is it? Because I’m pretty sure you feel the same way I feel-”

“I don’t!” she snapped, rounding on him with a fury. “I don’t think about you that way, okay!?! God, Owen, even I could touch you I wouldn’t—not like that. I’ve only every thought of you as a friend and even that is slowly trickling away every time you open your mouth to-” She cut off when Owen turned and started to walk away.

At first, she opened her mouth to call out after him. She wanted to take back what she had just said but she wondered if it was too late. Then she considered what would happen if it were not: if she translated her heart’s words to him, what then? That would not change that Owen could not touch her—could not give her the sort of relationship she wanted.

In the end, all Adrianna could do was let him walk away and begin to dial the Aurelius.

As she listened to the phone ringing, the doors of the Wreck Room opened and Doctor Howell led Carl and Solon out and into the hall. “What?” she asked, reading the determination on their faces. She ended her call and stuffed her phone into her pocket with one hand; with the other, she hastily checked to make sure her cheeks were dry. “What’s going on?”

“They’re here,” Doctor Howell intoned darkly.

At the sight of a confused look on her face, Carl was quick to explain things to the sorceress: “Roland Birkmeyer and A.J. Tharivol are here,” he said. “The security cameras just picked them up in the Memorial Gardens.”
To Be Continued... wrote:"Darkness falls across the land
The midnight hour is close at hand
Creatures crawling in search of blood
To terrorize your neighborhood

The foulest stench is in the air
The funk of forty-thousand years
And grizzly ghouls from every tomb
Are closing in to seal your doom

And though you fight to stay alive
Your body starts to shiver
For no mere mortal can resist
The evil of the thriller..."