Np! I'll have something up for you with August as soon as I can, probably when I get home. I'm tryna get familiar with everyone ASAP!
August Hearst roamed the hallways of the Aurora with a bowed head, The Asgardian prince still carried the pride of a warrior prince, and the strength of a God, but the fact now was that he was alone...with his own thoughts, they washed over him like a river overflowing clouding his mind. His blonde hair hung messily over his gleaming like gold, held back barely by a hair tie, and braided down the side in his typical fashion. He breathed deep and glanced outside the ship staring into the cosmos that surrounded them, the Prince Of Thunder's eyes seemed to pierce through the sky and focus on one place...Asgard...his home. For thee long months Myth's had been his only connection to his home, his family.
No matter how much August may look like a human, or how he could act like one; he simply wasn't...This was a foreign and confusing place for him, he could drown in this air, suffocate in the humidity that rises in the sky. The humans move past in their lives, trapped in their own sad and weak futures. Children laugh, tantrum, cry or whine, unaware of the pain and suffering that awaits them. He sees their parents react: placating, frustrated, sometimes warm, acting as if everything is ok....as if their child couldn't be snuffed by one simple man with a gun.
His eyes fall to the ground once more, his hair gliding softly over his eyes. He wants to be back home, gliding dolphin-like across the Bifrost to his next battle, but he has a mission, though it has no effect on him he knew it was his duty to save a world greatly unlike his. Ruled by the Norse of another, yet plagued by the threat of Ragnarok, August knew he could never in good faith turn his back on these people, the Norns wouldn't allow it. The coolness of Antartica snaps August to the present making him look up, in front of him stood a woman, who reeked of uncertainty, Her emotions were not easily hidden on her innocent face. Her pain was evident in the crease of her lovely brow and the down-curve of her full lips. But her eyes, her eyes showed her soul. They were a deep pool, an ocean of hopeless uncertainty.
As August looked into her eyes he knew, all the beauty of the universe could not even hope to compete with this simple thing: passion. Passion turned her eyes into orbs of the brightest fire, and in them, he read clearly that she would fight to the very last tear for her life. She would not let this new world break her. Sure she could hurt, but she would never let this planet take her true self from her. The molten golden woman that walked in the Auroras hallways could have graced any billboard or magazine cover, but she was better than the two-dimensional photoshopped models. There was a shyness to her, hesitation in her body movement that told August all he needed to know, she was new, she was inexperienced. So the young Prince walked towards her, lifting his head and pushing his golden locks to the side, he was clad in a cloak and a jacket, a weird combination but the Prince believed he could pull it off.
"Greetings there, I am August, Prince of Asgard, Son Of Thor, it is a pleasure to meet you, are you the newest member of our team?"
A storm raged, stabbing the sky with a thousand lightning bolts that tore the very heavens asunder. And as the sky surrendered to the fury of thunderclaps, the Southern Ocean bowed to the battering winds of August's hurricanes. Yet, forged to wade through the solar storms of stars, Aurora hung unbent and unbroken while the land rocked to and fro. Apex roared in demand, August sneered in contempt, and Aaron Crusher cowered in fear. A man once proud and defiant, now trembled in surrender.
Gazing upon him, Achilles' sympathy was little. And his intention to return Crusher's powers? Even less so.
"Elite is like me"
Apex whispered, as though crept upon by a ghost from his past.
"Then let us go and retrieve her"
August insisted, drawing a nod from Achilles before the American God returned his eyes to the man he'd de-powered and imprisoned. Rising to his feet, the American God folded both arms behind his back, and stood with a general's reserve.
"Aaron", he began, voice calm but his tone stern, "Crusher, what have you. You're in a difficult and non-negotiable position. I've taken away your powers and your nerve. Meaning, you're useless - to the Ghosts. Too weak to do anything, and too cowardly to even think of doing anything".
"But more than that, you're a liability to them. Because you know too much. And just weak and scared enough to talk. They'll sooner kill you than save you. So", Achilles paused, unfolding his arms and narrowing his eyes, "When we take you with us to the Ghosts' HQ, think twice before you think about betraying us".
"Because it won't end well for you. Or them. Not that it ever was". Turning round to face both August and Apex, the American God nodded, "Let's start planning", and strode off to Aurora's Data Center.
Candis turned to face the voice that had broken her internal focus. His visage, at its most basic, was not unlike Achille’s own. Tall, athletic, humanoid. However the Venusian warrior’s ability to read energy forces revealed to her that his physical origin was entirely different from the American God’s. This discovery peaked her curiosity.
“You startled me,” she exclaimed with an embarrassed grin. “But do not feel guilty. I should have been more present.”
Her poised returning to her, Candis extended her hand. From what Achilles had shown her of human niceties, this appeared to be the proper thing to do when meeting a new acquaintance. On Venus, a proper introduction involved allowing telepathic communication to occur, however, she suspected this would seem invasive to someone outside her culture.
“My name is Candis’rel, Warrior of Venus, Daughter of Azren’el and Elterra. I am impressed by your titles,” she smiled. Something about this man, August, made her feel less alien. She felt she could be herself without fear of being misunderstood.
“Yes, I suppose I am. You must forgive me, for my thoughts are not entirely composed in this moment. Tell me, August, Prince of Asgard and Son of Thor, how did you come to board this ship? Did Achilles find you sleeping in space as well?” she asked with naïve optimism, hoping she was not entirely alone in her present circumstances. She had yet to learn, in this new world, it was often best to keep personal information a guarded luxury. On Venus, trust was freely exchanged without pretense.
The neighborhood was once full of aspiring dreamers, but nowadays the shops around her block were riddled with closing signs and clearance sales. These small businesses were being bought out by name brand franchises. How could they possibly compete?
Without much income, the town's legacies began looking elsewhere. Selling their homes to companies looking to introduce luxury apartments for the upper middle class elite. It was a concerning change to witness, but who would argue it? The town saw potential profit when the Zeraz family established their headquarters. Look what happened with Grimm and the possibilities it created.
"Hey, you look like you need another drink." As she sat at the bar, thinking thoughts that were best left unsaid, the sudden reminder of her company snapped the violet eyed stranger back into reality. Outside of this bar, she was a political pariah. A new age Hillary Clinton for the alt-right to fixate their conspiracy theories on. So, she needed a drink. Of course she needed a drink.
"You're damn right I do, sweetheart. I'll take the strongest shit you've got. That's as long as you take a shot with me." Even in her latest disguise, the mistress of mayhem couldn't conceal that devilish smirk of hers. With a couple of beers in her system, the prime goddess could feel a faint buzz brewing in her head and although her biology meant this feeling wouldn't last long, she'd make the most of this freeing joy while she could.
"Oh, um, okay. One shot coming up for the pretty girl. Special day?" He's flustered by the offering, but what reason did he need to swallow some liquor with a beauty like herself? She imagined the lack of business stunted his social skills, but that wouldn't be a problem much longer.
"Yes, actually. I've decided I'm moving into town." She might've been disconnected from her family, but there was a sense of familiarity in this town. It was something she could work with. Like a canvass waiting for paint.
"What's a pretty girl like you gonna do here? Town's in a bit of a transition phase. Not much to do if you ask me." Her violet eyes fluttered sparks of telekinetic energy as he approached with their drinks. She placed her emptied beer to the side as she grasped the base of the filled glass. He was taken aback briefly before his hand felt guided to the other glass.
"Well, I didn't ask you. Did I?"Clarice Michelle swallowed her hennessy like it was a cup of water while telepathically commanding her company to do the same.
"I've had too many people and their opinions clouding my judgement. I can't waste another day in this universe pretending to be someone I'm not!" Clarice Michelle pressed her hands on top of the counter, leaning forward as she used her telekinesis to pull her bartender closer. His heartbeat quickened as their noses brushed against one another.
"Who the hell are you, lady!??" Clarice Michelle tilted her head just a bit so her pursed lips could graze the earlobe of Elias Campbell.
"Now, now, sweetheart. Is that any way to talk to your queen?"
The Prince Of Thunder would gaze into her chestnut eyes with curiosity, the Prince's own eyes were dim like a stormcloud, yet beautiful, the silver hues were as molten silver, swirling in steady and radiating ripples, thundering like a readying storm. His blonde hair was unruly; thrown back into a messy pony tail at the base of his head. Hair from the slightly layered cut wasn’t included in the pony tail, but they perfectly framed his face. The blonde hair and vibrant eyes made his face even more handsome....and his mouth lifted into a friendly smile to Candis. August had the kind of face that stopped a mortal in their tracks. The Prince quickly got used to the sudden pause in a human's natural expression when they looked his way followed by overcompensating with a nonchalant gaze and a weak smile. Of course the blush that accompanied it was a dead give-away. It confused the God greatly, but again it was something he had grown accustomed too.
But this woman was different; she peered into something else, she looked deeper. August almost missed her apology.
“You startled me, But do not feel guilty. I should have been more present.”
The blonde God would lower his head in apology for a moment then raise it back up to look into her eyes once again. "It should be me who is apologizing. I hope I didn't interrupt your thinking. I was thinking a little too heavily myself." The golden haired warrior would watch as she extended her hand to him and he would look at her confused for a moment before he reached out and clasped her forearm in greeting. The woman's voice rang sweet like honey and August's eyes would crinkle as she introduced herself.
“My name is Candis’rel, Warrior of Venus, Daughter of Azren’el and Elterra. I am impressed by your titles,”
"A beautiful name for a beautiful woman. It is my pleasure Candis'rel, Warrior Of Venis, Daughter of Azren'el and Elterra. Your titles impress me also warrior, it is always a pleasure to be in the company of another combatant."
“Yes, I suppose I am. You must forgive me, for my thoughts are not entirely composed in this moment. Tell me, August, Prince of Asgard and Son of Thor, how did you come to board this ship? Did Achilles find you sleeping in space as well?”
The Asgardian Prince cocked his head sideways slightly and raised an eyebrow "If it suits you better you may just call me Prince August, or just August. And do not worry, you are forgiven. As for how I arrived here? The demigod known as Achilles approached me a short time ago, he provided me an offer and I generously accepted. The American God is someone I am quickly growing accustomed too."
August brushed his locks to the side and leaned on the wall next to Candis. "Have you been on Midgard long? I'm still learning the mortal way of life and it has been 3 months."
Mac's fingers drifted over the controls of her personal craft as she approached the airspace of the lauded Aurora. Stars twinkled in the sky as she ran through her processes, flipping buttons and preparing for the descent onto the deck of the modern marvel, and the purview of the highly esteemed Achilles.
The moment she breached the territorial airspace of the craft, the internal alarms of her own started dinging and a calm, mechanical voice came into her cockpit. "Your craft has now entered unauthorized airspace. Please identify immediately."
Mac tapped in the codes that Ellie had provided her with, courtesy of Achilles, and continued coasting in closer, Everything went according to plan, and her craft touched down with little fanfare. She exited the cockpit and as the soles of her leather boots hit the deck, she stretched to her full height of 5'2" and shook off the muscle fatigue.
The moonlight cast an eerie glow over the deck, and Mac blinked once, then twice, as she waited for her eyes to adjust. Ellie had undersold the full scope of this outfit. She should have actually looked at the specs that had been sent to her.
Mac tied hair that was currently silver-blonde into a ponytail atop her head, the tail trailing down her back, and shoved her hands into the pockets of the worn black leather moto jacket as she went over the preliminary data that had been fed to her by Ellie and Achilles himself.
She'd grown a little too rote with her missions lately, and what once had fed the hunger had started to sate her less and less. This was an opportunity for something new, and a little different. Something that let her linger in the shadows and take the brunt for others to stand in the light. Bastien was the only one who fully understood this need within her.
The wind whipped through her, raising goosebumps along her flesh as she strode quickly across the deck. Mac preferred the cold over the heat, but this was not her favored cold nip of autumn weather. She made her way quickly towards one of the entrances. aiming to make her way inside to the belly of the beast: Central Command.
Aurora was a wonder forged by the combined iron and minds of Thee Champion, and Achilles himself. By day, it found refuge around the icy peaks of Antarctica. And by night, it soared. A ship so massive it shook the very heavens with the low rumble of it's thrusters. Behind it's walls, the American God strode with the same purpose and sense of duty that reigned over his every waking moment. The star-spangled shield so ubiquitously kept on his person was elsewhere, and Achilles marched through the corridors en route to the Data Center.
The last of the Alpha Guard's members had been recruited, and she was among it's most elusive. Known only as Ren, she was cunning beyond imagining, and a trader of the most valuable currency of all; intelligence. Ellie Knightfall, a close friend of his father's had vouched for her, so as the steel grey doors slid open, the American God strode in convinced before being convinced of anything.
"Ren", he nodded, his blue eyes meeting her purple. "A pleasure". Gesturing to a chair at the end of a long round table, Achilles continued, cool but focused, respectful but stern, "Ellie made quite the case for you. So I guess it wouldn't be too bold of me to say I expect nothing less than 100% from you. You're among the best in the world of intelligence gathering and espionage".
"So, let's go over the members of the team to get you familiar. At the moment, we're six counting both you and I. We'll start with Apex and Duchess", he paused, a duo of holograms rising from the table, each one a three-dimensional model of the team members in question. "Apex is an emerald giant of a man. Clearly very very strong, and given his size, it'd be awkward if he wasn't", he shrugged, a small smile.
"He's a good man. Kind, reserved, and driven to undo the injustices of the world. He's been through a lot. Then there's Duchess", he paused, his eyes now shifting to the hologram that best captured the Venusian's flaming aesthetic. "Cosmic fire in humanoid form. She's from another world entirely. A powerful, sweet, empathetic, and well-trained warrior".
The Zeraz family might've started in Grimm City, but their legacy spread throughout the nation. Nearly three decades after immigrating from Portugal, the family has established their company, Zeraz Sciences, as one of the country's leading pharmaceutical companies. So much so, every state has a series of Humanity Now clinics for mutant contraceptives and healthcare up and running.
It was this branding of support for the oppressed minority that made the merger with the Animus Corporation surprising. What purpose did absorbing Thomas Newcastle's assets do for a family focused on physical and mental health for the everyday mutant?
It wasn't until the introduction of Brian Newcastle vision of Valor, that the decision started to make sense. American mutants were getting their medicine from Zeraz Sciences. American humans were receiving tech that enhanced their way of living. The potential for utopia, the potential of equality, in spite of the warring political parties was being made possible!
However, grim beginnings meant grim endings. Ada Guillaume's attacks were proving there was no safe place to live without fear. This new universe was no safe haven. Dark forces beyond the physical realm worked against this Earth so feverishly. It's why the universal gods tasked Clarice Michelle Pierce with finding the why behind it all. And when she discovered the existence of Y-Intercept, she fled. Healed by the faceless man hidden within the Obelisk....she returned to the new universe convinced he deserved to be abandoned.
Elias McIntyre's defeatist attitude was a symptom of the new universe that bothered the prime universe goddess. It's why she smacked him across the face before leaving his bar. She couldn't deal with the impotence any longer. She needed to escape.
Clarice Michelle knew finding the All-Seer realm where the universal gods lived was impossible. She understood creating her own pocket dimension wouldn't be an easy task, but the Queen could make a kingdom just about anywhere.
"I won't settle for substandard living conditions anymore." Her veil vanished and her signature red hair reappeared, violet eyes gleaming as the sun touched her skin. She embraced the sunlight as she levitated into the air. Her telekinetic powers keeping her afloat as she surveyed the horizon.
"I am the QUEEN of all universes." With one single motion of her hands, Clarice Michelle created a telekinetic dome around Jacksonville, Wyoming. It would be her first step in testing the limits of her reality powers. Although she imagined this course of action would draw the attention of news outlets and government agencies, Clarice Michelle wasn't the least bit concerned. In fact, she hoped the world would witness just how easily she could create a better life if everyone just bowed down before the queen.
"It's time I started acting like it?" In an act against religious faith, the prime goddess entered the minds of the hundreds of confused pedestrians. Men, women, non-binary and children alike. She could sense their fear and anxiety. They prayed to their gods for protection, but it was she who answered their calls.
"To me, my children." She wasn't sure if every soul would answers. Those without faith would be able to block out her voice. The others, however, would march through the streets of Jacksonville in hopes of finding the voice echoing through their minds. To them it would be their god. This ruse was trouble to maintain for Clarice Michelle. Her glowing violet eyes flickered as she pressed her fingertips against her temples. Once she landed on the ground, the message had already been sent. She'd have her audience to court soon enough.
Gods are not born. They're made. But by what? The fears and desires tugging at the hearts of men? Or the mythologies dreamed by minds desperate to understand things yet beyond their science? To those touched by the glow of godhood, the answer was simple.
Just as children searched for answers and solace in the eyes of adults, man sought the same in the eyes of their superiors. Children called theirs parents, and mankind called theirs gods. In the mountain peaks of Jackson, Wyoming, a dome of telekinetic splendor claimed the town as it's own, and lured those of weaker wills into a cosmic trance. And to the resident god of Jackson - Thee Champion - nothing went unnoticed. Yet, he did nothing. There was no glimpse of his scarlet cape flowing in the open sky, nor did his legendary might test the dome with a force that could collapse stars.
His daughters were safe. And he was retired. The people of Jackson, of the world, were no longer his responsibility. Instead, it had become his son's.
"The girls safe?", Achilles asked, his voice flowing into his earpiece and out a hologram that hovered about Thee Champion.
"Always", Thee Champion assured.
"Good. I'll be there in a bit. Depending on how bad it is, I might need someone from the team", Achilles dreaded.
"Sir... get the girls out of there. And you too. Teleport to Valhöll, you'll all be safe there", Achilles insisted.
"You be safe too, son",Thee Champion reminded.
"I promise.. I promise", Achilles swore, something swelling in his heart, a lump thickening in his throat.
Conversation between father and son had come to an end, and the American God rose to his height, star-spangled shield in hand and his eyes crackling with determination. With a gesture, he drew the attention of Aurora's V.I. (Virtual Intelligence), and growled a single command, "Get me Zoe. Get her up to speed on everything. We've got business to take care of in Jackson, Wyoming".
Mac tilted her head in Achilles' direction, the corners of her eyes crinkling slightly. Those who knew of her knew her as elusive. Many couldn't put a face to her name, and that was something she guarded closely. But those who knew her and knew her well were uniquely positioned to witness her surprisingly warm nature.
"As always," she said as she casually plopped into the over-sized leather chair he had gestured to. The tech laced within the room called to her, had her fingertips tingling, as she focused on the datapad in front of her, and the state of the art holographic projector in the middle of the cherry wood table.
"You know Ellie, she doesn't tend to feck around. And we've met enough times for you to know that I certainly don't. Ellie gave me the basic specs of the operation you were running here, and to say I was intrigued was an understatement. The name you've built for yourself said more than enough." Normally faint on praise, Renegade focused on the datapad, going through some initial specs. She'd met Achilles several times through the years, usually as Mac, but on two other occasions she had run across him indirectly while undercover. She still wasn't sure if he'd been able to pin her.
Her laser-sharp focus was on him while he took her through the dossiers of Apex and Duchess. Mac was already making metal notes. Strengths, vulnerabilities, weaknesses. A team was only as strong as its weakest link, and regardless of that, if somebody had to take a rogue member down... well, odds were high it would be her.
Listening to him speak, it was clear as day how it had come to be that he was the leader of this rag-tag bunch. His charisma was off-the-charts, his assuredness and confidence would be a soothing balm to teammates. He didn't falter. Alexis would be proud.
She flipped through the datapad in front of her, pulling up ancillary notes on each of the dossiers. Duchess was of particular interest, as Ellie was continuing to track incursions into this system from other realities. "Is Duchess from one of the known alternates, or is her reality a new one?"
The phone in her pocket vibrated and Mac shifted in her seat. "Sorry, one second." A text from Ellie, regarding Bastian's current mission. Ren wasn't on alert yet, but she'd been providing support as-needed, which usually amounted to stealing things or killing people at this point. It had been too long since she'd spent a night in Bastian's arms. "Sorry about that, you know how it goes."
"What else are we working with team-wise; we're at four of seven so far. And can you lay out specifically how you see my role in this?" Spy, assassin, a bit from column a and column b, was always where she ended up, but her specialties were vast, and the answer would give her more information on the kind of man Achilles was, and the outfit he was running.
"The name you've built for yourself"
It was strange. Anyone else would've registered Ren's words as polite, respectful or flattering. And yet, to the American God, they accomplish little else than make him feel like an explorer on foreign land. "Still feels odd. But thanks", he nodded, mouth pulled back into a short smile, his face catching the glow of the hologram between he and her. Thee Champion - his father - had conditioned his mind and soul to struggle with praise, to answer fascination of him with confusion. It kept Achilles honest, and his interest in fame and recognition - dazed and weak.
"Duchess, or Candis to those who know her a little bit better, is simultaneously the most mysterious yet open member of the team", Achilles answered, blue eyes sweeping to the Venusian warrior's hologram, "I'm not yet sure but considering she came from a Venus that's very different from ours is, I'd say there're a few good guesses we can make. Here, in our Solar System, Venus is uninhabitable. The atmosphere's thick enough that only 10% of the Sun's light reaches it's surface, which I've been told complicates things if you're looking for a planet that can support life", he joked, a calm smile preceding his next words.
"The atmosphere's mostly carbon dioxide with some sulfuric acid droplets. So you can't breathe, it rains acid, the atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of Earth's, and the runaway greenhouse effect of it's CO2 makes it the hottest planet in our Solar System. About 864 degrees Fahrenheit. But", Achilles paused, a glint of interest in his eye, "To Candis, our version of Venus is unrecognizable, laughably so. But, 2.9 billion years ago, Venus is believed to have been very different. Oceans, a hospitable atmosphere, and good temperatures before the greenhouse effect lost control".
"I like to think Candis' version of Venus is.. was similar to what ours was in the past. So, is she from the past? An alternate timeline where Venus' greenhouse effect didn't go crazy? Or a parallel universe where the variables are only slightly different? I can't yet say, but in due time we'll know. For now, we only know that she's new to our planet. If she's new to our universe as well? Hopefully we make her feel at home". Soon, the vibrating hum of Ren's phone drew his attention, and the brief flash of warmth in her eyes was telling. It was about Bastian, her soulmate, if such a thing existed.
"He'll be alright. He'll come back, he always comes back", he reassured, the confidence in his smile true and comforting. Pulling back to the matter at hand however, the American God continued, "August Hearst and Symbiote Spider are next", the holograms changing to those of the Norse god and Omega-level mutant. "August Hearst is a hammer-wielding Norse god like his father, Thor. And Symbiote Spider is an Omega-level mutant. A genius and spider rolled into one man. He can be awkward, embarrassing words and all, but he's well-meaning".
"August on the other hand acts like what he looks like. Daring, a lot of physical courage, principled. I think he'd give his life for what he believes in. But on to you", Achilles paused, waving the holograms away and holding Ren in his gaze. "I envision you as this team's head of intelligence gathering. Given the recent paranoia regarding superhuman surveillance, you're more valuable than ever".
"Keeping tabs on potential threats, monitoring sociopolitical spheres, going undercover in big gala events to mingle with powerful politicians and so on to extract any useful info on international affairs, and assassinating powerful people who commit more evil than the general public will ever know".
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