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#1601 Edited by Anthony_Stark (1162 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: (Apologies for the delay)

Things are a mess. In no small part due to you.

Anthony smiled slightly as he listened to Kelly's words, wondering what would have happened in Venezuela if his predecessor Anthony Stark had never manipulated Premonition into invading Venezuela. Maybe the world would be a lot different, better or worse, who truly knew.

No Caption Provided

As she finished the iron titan found himself gazing out towards the distance again, thoughtful. He hadn't truly anticipated how or why he was going to tell Kelly what he was going to say, only that he wanted to say it. It had been a secret hidden for far too long, and had made far too many people to suffer without it playing on even his sociopath-like mind.

He had almost programmed his mind to accept most of his acts as simple utilitarianism... But when millions were displaced or died in part or directly due to your actions, it was hard to swallow that notion. Perhaps this was a type of misguided penance for his sins and soul. Maybe it was just his way of expressing what had been pent up for far too long, who knew.

A flood of memories; hard hitting memories, overtook him as old words reverberated through his skull like a continuous whirlwind. Antonia Dain, a former ally had expressed her true feelings to their old plan.

He recalled her words, perfectly stored within his mind.

"This is 'playing your part perfectly?' You have the power to change things; you didn't have to do so much damage. I'd find myself wondering if you're even the same person." Never sitting, she leaned against the back of the chair, propping herself on her hands, digging aggressively into the seat. "But I guess it is too late for you, now. A second chance, an opportunity for redemption, and you threw it away for the long way around."

Once upon a time, Stark and the Noir Rose had come up with a very convulsed plan. It involved the greater good, but the nature of utilitarianism was unkind and unclean, and most certainly not for the faint hearted.

He looked towards Kelly as he began, "Once upon a time, I had an idea. It was in the midst of an unmitigated defeat at the hands of a group calling themselves the Arcani, you have certainly heard of them. I have a confession, Miss Coltaine. This is not my originating universe. Nor is it for a woman which you know as Antonia Dain." He paused, folding his arms as his suit creased slightly. "At this point in time, Anthony Stark is dead. The Stark which once walked upon this world was slain, ironically, by an Arcani affiliate."

To the Merchant of Death, it was almost poetic. Fleeing one universe because of the Arcani, and replacing himself in this one, in which he had been slain by a member of the Arcani. Reality truly was far more astonishing than fiction.

"Per chance, with slight luck, I managed to emerge from my own timeline at the perfect moment. Replacing the terminated Stark and presiding as him myself before the world knew of his death. You see," he continued, wondering what the presidential candidate would be thinking,"In my previous timeline a conflict broke out, between humanity and mutant kind. His eyes burned with a jaded rage, which then died down into a bleak flame moments after. "This was spurred by the Court of Arcani and in their blood-lust for humanity, it enveloped us all." Anthony creased his brow. This is the future from where I come from, and this is the future which I could not allow to happen ever again."

His blue eyes inexplicably flashed white for a moment as he looked at her. "Our plan upon arrival to this universe involved many things. One of which involved myself becoming President of the United States and performing an act so bad, it would inspire the world to look in upon itself and realize things had to change. I thought Gothic descending into something terrible would be a catalyst for this change." It probably sounded absurd, even to him it did. Although her candidacy served to legitimize the plan, sort of.

"I have always been a big believer in utilitarianism, this may have been the greatest act of "The Greater Good" the world had ever seen. And in part, I thought it had failed."

He chuckled slightly, "Until you and Jean Quentin stood for President."

Stark knew there was no going back, he had told Kelly almost everything, next came the easier truth of why her and not Jean. "Two candidates, ones which I truly believe can deliver a better tomorrow. I decided to support yourself due to your affiliation with Antonia, I simply trust her judgement."

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#1602 Posted by The Psyentist (22456 posts) - - Show Bio

@anthony_stark: AMAZING POST. *__* Love how you tied in Antonia talking to him previously.

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#1603 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

That snitch. Comin' back just to whoop his ass.

I do really like how his telling of events has some slight and some strong differences from how I'd explain things with Antonia.
But I'm sort of at an unfair vantage point. [But I love it. It makes him feel...sinister, if only in my own head.]

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#1604 Posted by Anthony_Stark (1162 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_psyentist: Yeah, took me like only a few Google searches to find that interaction between Antonia/Stark too. Be surprised how easy things are to find online xD

@arquitenens: That's the type of feel I was actually going for with him, so it made me happy to hear that. I deleted a paragraph (as it was getting too long) about how he viewed Antonia's opinion on the situation, maybe a mistake :P

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#1605 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@anthony_stark: No, I think it was a good case of murdering your darling, as Stephen King put it. It's a good tie to include Antonia in a sense, and of course I'll feel this way as her writer, but this here? As a whole? It's not about Antonia. Going in too deep about how he felt about her would've been superfluous; and while I personally would've loved to read it because we all love reading about ourselves and our characters and other people perceiving them, in a literary sense it's more than likely best that you did remove it. So good on you!

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#1606 Posted by Maestro_ (3740 posts) - - Show Bio

@arquitenens: Yeah, and thanks again. Not sure where I'll use Stark post this interaction, we'll see. One thing with Stark is I've (mostly) always wanted an excuse for why he did things. Unlike Kurt or to an extent Xenon, Stark has to have an excuse as to why he does anything at all. Even if it's his arrogant/egotistical plans, even those seem rather grand and well thought out, like heck, becoming President for such a dastardly yet secretly "helpful" reason. I love writing him sometimes xD Such an odd character for me.

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#1607 Edited by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@xenon_: I don't care what Armtrice said, Tony Stark is at leastnear the most interesting of a character as I've seen you write. And not because the other ones are crappy or uninteresting or anything; but you just do him very well. You seem very in-sync with him, and what you want out of him. Like Bruce Lee talking about mushin no shin and how the martial arts connecting body and mind, you want it and it's there. You want to convey a certain idea, evoke a certain feeling or whatever, and it's there—just like that! I can't even remember the last time [if ever] I've seen you swing and miss with him, even for a single post.

No lie, I sometimes struggle with my thoughts of Toni and that post made me briefly revisit them, if only for the thoughts of "one more time."

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#1608 Edited by Maestro_ (3740 posts) - - Show Bio

@arquitenens: I love Stark and I think what matters to him (perception) also is the same with me. I can't write a bad post with him or else I feel like all of his history and impact will be wasted. Like, he has done so much and such, I don't want to ruin all of that with a bad post. The only other character which I get into as well is Xenon. Or at least since I used him in my last run. But Stark, he just has some weird aura.

Antonia and Anthony probably had a very strange relationship/association back in their own universe (and perhaps this one) considering the very little they did interact. Also Toni told Santi Stark's secret, Stark told Kelly, we're even now :P

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#1609 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@xenon_: Well, you're doing a good job at it for all of my recent memories. It's a lot of pressure to bear [a thing I think I can understand, if only in my own way], but it's going well.

Way worse! He makes it sound like she was in on the whole "Gothic isn't part of us anymore" thing. If Kelly believes it, that's name-tarnishing! Stark was different. Everybody already thought ill of him.

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#1610 Edited by Maestro_ (3740 posts) - - Show Bio

@arquitenens: Hahaha, true. I actually LOL'd xD Stark doesn't mind using his name for these things. Anyways I have to go, laters!

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#1611 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@xenon_: Insert Tupac "peace" gif here. Too lazy to find it.

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#1612 Posted by deactivated-59c716930b8a6 (9227 posts) - - Show Bio

I was gonna walk up in, and then I saw @xenon_ and I don't want to get caught walking around these parts by the rpg bullies D:

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#1613 Posted by Lady_Liberty (10767 posts) - - Show Bio

@anthony_stark:

I raised an eyebrow. "That is an interesting story Stark. Let us suppose it is true for the sake of discussion." With Stark I took nothing on faith. Nothing.

"Let us suppose this is all a part of your master plan. If so, it doesn't speak for your ability to plan masterfully. Gothic has been a disaster but has not inspired the world to change. Which is completely predictable. After all, did Somalia inspire North Korea to change its ways? Does Detroit make the ruling family of Saudi Arabia think twice about the number of beheadings?"

A sigh and I shook my head. "No, this was never going to work. And what if Jean wins? Then you have a socialist in office." There were worse things. But not many. "And what on gods green earth makes you suppose Jean of all people has the strength to contain what Gothic has unleashed?"

"No Stark, even if this is true, then I do not see how one ill-fated plan to improve things by sacrificing Gothic is any better than the other. This is no different than the idea that you abandoned Gothic to protect America."

And what was the purpose of this meeting, I wonder? To convince me that he is actually a good guy? My earlier impression, that Stark has a deep seated need for the attention and admiration of others, returns to mind.

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#1615 Edited by Anthony_Stark (1162 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty:

Anthony hadn't expected nor wanted Kelly to understand his idea, but perhaps Kelly was correct and the act would not inspire change. But to Stark, her own candidacy served to legitimize what he had hoped to inspire. "Once upon a time I had hoped Antonia to be President, but she dropped the ball." Not seeking to continue the discussion Anthony began moving towards the exit, allowing the conversation and his admission to simmer in her mind and play on her thoughts. As he walked by her and placed his hand upon the door handle, he looked at her briefly. "The ball's in your court now, Miss Coltaine." Opening the door without saying another word, Stark left. There was still work to be done.

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#1616 Posted by The_Shogun (4803 posts) - - Show Bio
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#1617 Posted by Maverick_6 (10434 posts) - - Show Bio

@anthony_stark:

*Drops mic*

I love how that post was like a paragraph and yet everyone is so self conscious about post length.

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#1618 Posted by Pyrogram (46545 posts) - - Show Bio

@maverick_6: I was once too, until I realized length =/= quality or enjoyable post.

@the_shogun: Thanks. In Stark's own words,

No Caption Provided

I'm basically back here for good xD

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#1619 Posted by The_Shogun (4803 posts) - - Show Bio
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#1620 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

With this and events upcoming, this could be really good.

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#1621 Posted by Satar (2217 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_shogun: @lady_liberty: (Hope that was fine!)

Kelly Coltaine was a problem. One that if not contained and destroyed, could spiral out of control and grow into a greater enemy than even Maverick Incorporated. Of the year's presidential candidates, she was the primary target of the self-proclaimed World Eater; Satar. His mind insisted that she was a greater threat, more so than the pacifistic socialists, aging lions, and anti-meta politicians that ran against her. She seemed the most competent, the most driven to restore Gothic City's status as a metropolis of the United States.

Doing battle with Maverick and Kelly's government on two fronts while executing military raids against the League of Shadows, containing the superhero forces of the Western world, and expanding the Brahma Brotherhood-Konite Rebel Army into foreign territories would spread the terrorist faction's resources thin. It was a scenario that would bleed Satar and his forces dry. He needed to stop Kelly before she gained the power to stop him.

-Chicago-

The Black House Warlord
The Black House Warlord

The sun was nowhere to be found. A storm of clouds of grey had come together to obscure the sky and inspire snowfall. The air was cold, and frost seemed to cling to whatever it could. It was an ugly winter, one that contrasted heavily with the energy of the galvanized crowd that had gathered in anticipation of Kelly's speech. Her supporters erupted as she spoke, inspired about the work Kelly promised to do, and patriotic regarding the future she pointed towards. From a distance, in the comfort of an apartment, the Black House Warlord watched, his eyes of pale blue gazing upon the gathered crowd with an icy psychopathy, a heartless but quiet aggression. Every bit of him was muscled to the proportions of a beast.

He was stoic, always followed by an air of cold intensity that made him seem immovable, more than superhuman. It was his posture, it was unyielding and earnest. It was his size; enormous physical dimensions that came together with the poise of a ravaged ox to lend to the rumor that his neck was thicker than mot men's thighs, that his thick back and protruding chest both personified a mountain's terrain. Over his armored, militant garments, he wore a coat, a portion of his attire that had become as recognizable as his mask. In the Baabda Beast's company was a squad of Kamikaze Kings. Turning from the window, he strode towards a chair and retired to it, motioning for his cronies to move forward with the plan.

Armed with a sniper rifle, the first Kamikaze King strode towards the window and recalled Satar's words of encouragement, that Kelly would form a government that would call others terrorists after ruining their countries, that she would do everything in her power to stop the Brahma Brotherhood from creating the militaristic, Darwinist state that the Brahma Bull preached. For an ordinary sniper, the distance was enormous for an accurate shot. But with their numerical precision, their ability to conduct complex mathematical operations through simple instinct, the Kamikaze Kings knew the exact distance between them and Kelly, the exact angle and trajectory needed for a perfect shot, they were supernatural marksmen.

Resting the length of his rifle on the window frame for stability, the one Kamikaze King poked the rifle's mouth into the open air. He ensured that there would be no disturbance in his weapon's alignment, and that his was a position of comfort and steady firing. He kept his grip light, and the butt of his rifle rested in the pocket of his firing shoulder to reduce recoil. His breathing was steadied, his muscled controlled, and he pulled the trigger as his rifle, magnetically drawing a reservoir of ferrofluid into the firing chamber, expelled the ferrofluid at blitzing velocities. Not unlike a high-pressure water jet, the propelled ferrofluid could cut through some of the most durable material known to man. It's target? Kelly's head.

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#1622 Posted by The_Shogun (4803 posts) - - Show Bio

@satar: Nice! I really like it.

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#1623 Edited by Satar (2217 posts) - - Show Bio
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#1624 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

:-O

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#1625 Edited by Lady_Liberty (10767 posts) - - Show Bio

@satar:

By now I've given many stump speeches and found the rhythm. They are nearly identical, to such a degree that one bleeds into the next in my memory. Music hits, I walk to the podium to cheers, then I start throwing red meat (it is the primary, after all) and ride the waves. I deliver a line, crowd roars with approval, I hit the next line, same thing.

I was smiling, waiting for the latest roar to subside and preparing my next line when a flicker of movement in the corner of my eye catches my attention.

The world frooze- all except for the line of silver-white fire streaming toward my skull. Jesus its fast. My left hand rose to intercept it; crawling through the air at a snails pace to me, a blistering, whip quick snap of motion to the outside world. At the same time I ducked, attempting to block and evade at the same time- whatever that was it was moving fast enough to really, really hurt.

My outstretched hand intercepted it. I saw two fingers tumble away in a slow motion spray of crimson droplets and tissue incinerated into ash. The stream drove into my arm like a drill, shredding super durable tissue and shattering hyperdense bones. I felt pain as individual bursts of nerve signals. They came in a rhythm, like individual screams of agony punctuated by merciful silence.

Something skimmed very top of my head. I could feel the force in my chest and a wrenching in my neck as the grazing blow hurled me backward.

The front row had only begin to blink in surprise, their eyes closing in slow motion.

This was bad. Extremely bad. I had to locate my attacker. Fast. Calculations spiraled through my mind, interrupted by spikes of sheer agony as I fell in slow motion, blood arching gently from the gruesome ruins of my left arm.

There! The angle of the beam provided me with the location of my attacker. A slight twist of my head and I see the tip of a rifle sticking out a window. Holy hell. That was a long shot. Fortunately I had the benefit of superpowers or it would be impossible for me to return fire.

I focused my eyes on the window and then I unleashed a beam of pure kinetic force. Sapphire blue, a beam as wide as my skull and with the power to punch through a mountain. I held nothing back. The sonic boom of violently displaced air reverberates through my head and the plasma bloom of annihilated hydrogen particles fills my vision as the beam shatters the air itself.

I could only hope it connects. My shoulders hit the stage behind me and the world snaps back into motion, blood and agony. The crowd screams, security charges from all directions and the universe descends into chaos.

Moderator
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#1626 Posted by Jackalantern (130 posts) - - Show Bio

Among the watchers, Jack saw the strange attack. He couldn't change, not here. He ran outside. Still to many people. An alley, yes, nobody here. He ran deep in so nobody saw him and shifted into the shadow Pheonix. He went back to watch lady liberty. See what she did. While he hid and waited. If she didn't catch the person perhaps he could. But if she did catch him he would just drift back into the crowd.

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#1627 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: Okay, but make it through this and you'll be the best thing since Theodore Roosevelt.

Nice!

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#1628 Posted by Satar (2217 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: (That attack was pretty cool, LOL)

His marksman, the Kamikaze King, was successful.. partially. And Satar knew. His eyes, icy and predatory, studied his cronies and observed no positive change in their posture. Instead, the sniper remained, positioned at the window while his colleagues flanked him. But the Baabda Beast was patient, and held no illusions that Kelly was as easy a target to slay in one shot. It was why she was dangerous. The problems of her potentially being elected president were great, but her personal power was another hurdle entirely. The legendary Lady Liberty posed a problem for the Brahma Bull. He could not allow her to be as problematic to his plans. He was not the Brahma Bull. He was more cunning. More patient. More dangerous.

"ثانية/thany (Again)", the Baabda Beast ordered, his mountainous frame seated, his voice echoing with bass and guttural Arabic. Though as the Kamikaze King reloaded the sniper, reassumed his position and readied his second shot, the window's frame vibrated, then melted, and like his skull, was reduced to ionized dust. The surrounding Kamikaze Kings fell, injured, their flesh scorched by the heat of a blitzing kinetic beam... that blasted into Satar's chest, burning through his armored vest, and scorching his coat beyond recognition. He felt the air knocked out of his lungs, the apartment lumber and tremble from the power of a shock-wave that ruptured his men's eardrums, pulverized their internal organs, and smashed him through a wall, and into another building with a resounding thud.

"Most of us have to live with our mistakes. But I've given you the privilege to die for yours"

The scar tissue on his chest, from his battles against Gothic's heroes, was torn apart, a large red patch marring his chest. Internal bleeding. His chest would swell soon. That beam was powerful. His men were dead, and it's failure to penetrate his flesh was a success in internally brutalizing him. He struggled to breathe, the sensation of bleed threatening to leak into his lungs accelerating his heart rate. The pain had yet to swarm through him, but oh it would. The rubble all about him spoke volumes of Kelly's power. She was impressive, but he was unstoppable. He certainly believed so. Steadily, his body's freakish adaptive genetic component came alive and his breathing improved, his heart rate returning to normal. Rising to his feet, he felt his features wince, a sharp, hot rise in pain gripping his chest as it heaved.

Shirtless, his armored vest and coat destroyed, the Gothic Warlord walked. Then he ran. Charging forward like a freight train, his muscle fibers twitching with seismic strength, Satar leaped and toppled the building before him, intent on dropping it onto Kelly's gathered supporters, and if possible, on Kelly herself. If he was successful, good. If not? He'd instead make use of the opening provided by the falling building. The quake and kicked up dust coupled with the frantic scene in general, it would serve as some form of distraction. Exercising his explosive speed, the World Eater would traverse the broken terrain and pop into Kelly's space. He'd be quick, unrealistically quick for a man of his size. He'd dive under with the intention of seizing her leg before rolling under her, inverting himself to position her foot for a heel hook.

If he succeeded, he'd pounce and lock her leg by hooking his ankles together before hooking her heel and begin torquing. He'd hug her leg to his body, his right arm hooking her heel, his upper body rotating back towards her to generate even more torque. Satar was a vicious grappler. Incredibly aggressive and the grappling equivalent of a knockout artist, one with a focus on crippling leg-locks. He coupled this aggression with his monstrous strength, and should he trap the New Goddess' leg, he'd twist her foot and ankle joint, he'd wrench her knee out of alignment and would threaten not simply to violently tear multiple joints, but cruelly, he hoped to literally tear her leg out.

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#1629 Posted by Jackalantern (130 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: @satar: He couldn't bother with this threat. So he decided to move as many people as he could out of the way. Remembering only barely in time to protect them as he moved them out of the way.

"Let her get the glory, it'll boost her position right?" He said to himself trying to get people out.

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#1630 Posted by Lady_Liberty (10767 posts) - - Show Bio

@satar:

The power of shock, surprise and confusion should not be underestimated. Cast into turmoil by the surprise attack and sudden appearance of Satar, a man feared and hated throughout the world, the security forces are delayed by heartbeats. But heartbeats are everything in battle. Everything.

Nor was I immune to the power of a sudden and violent attack. Seriously wounded and in intense pain my reactions were dulled, my attention focused on my own wounds rather than the battle when Satar struck his decisive blow.

The leglock is sunk in before I think to react. Shock and surprise played their part but truthfully I would avoid grappling with Satar if given the chance; he was both larger and stronger, both powerful advantages in wrestling. To fight a foe such as Satar one must dance around them, using range and angles. Grappling is a losing game.

Tendons popped in my knee. The pain was nearly unimaginable as the joint bends, then breaks backwards with a sickening sound like a wet branch cracking.

The ground under me was slick with the blood from my ruined left arm and my hand and upper arm are more splintered bone and gore than recognizable appendages. It was impossible to wrestle with a grappler like Satar with only one arm, especially when rapidly losing blood and at such an initial disadvantage.

I only had one chance left. I took it.

Locking eyes with Satar I gathered all the power I can summon behind my eyes. A thought focused that power into a beam about two inches around. And I unleash it all. Every speck of power, every bit of the might of a nGod, all might and furry into a sapphire beam that shatters the air around us and bathes me in the plasma of ionized air-- targeting his back, aiming to penetrate through the thick muscles and gristle of his superhuman body into his heart, exploding the organ like an over-ripe fruit struck with a sledge hammer.

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#1631 Posted by Gale_Xanders (3189 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty:

(Whoa holy crap I had no idea this was going on or I'd have Xae there helping you out.)

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#1632 Posted by The_Shogun (4803 posts) - - Show Bio

@gale_xanders: [ No worries :-) Its kinda a thing just between LL and Satar for now anyway. ]

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#1633 Posted by Supreme_Shaytan (2413 posts) - - Show Bio

Locking eyes with Satar I gathered all the power I can summon behind my eyes. A thought focused that power into a beam about two inches around. And I unleash it all. Every speck of power, every bit of the might of a nGod, all might and furry into a sapphire beam that shatters the air around us and bathes me in the plasma of ionized air-- targeting his back, aiming to penetrate through the thick muscles and gristle of his superhuman body into his heart, exploding the organ like an over-ripe fruit struck with a sledge hammer.

Beastmode
Beastmode

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#1634 Edited by The_Catalyst (433 posts) - - Show Bio

(Leave for a week and all the presidential candidates start dying. Typical CV.)

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#1635 Posted by Gale_Xanders (3189 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_shogun:

(Oh ok. Hope you don't die or Gale won't have anyone to vote for, lol. Also I really like the character)

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#1636 Posted by The_Shogun (4803 posts) - - Show Bio
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#1637 Posted by Satar (2217 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_shogun: It's amazing how creatively you use energy beams in battle!

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#1638 Posted by The_Shogun (4803 posts) - - Show Bio
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#1639 Posted by Satar (2217 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: (That was fun :))

He kept his grip tight, and he wrenched and wrenched and wrenched. Like a parasite glued to it's host, he held her leg, hugging it as close to his body as possible, his mind knowing only aggression, unconcerned with the blood and dust that now smeared against him. He winced, Satar. The pain from his chest welcoming a sharp rise, one that swarmed through him every time he pressed her leg against his body, against that swollen patch of flesh on a chest that was bleeding dry from the inside. His body adapted, slowly, but still he struggled. While the crowd of Kelly's supporters ran, frantic and unconcerned for their fellow men, many of whom had perished, Satar's right hand, hooking the New Goddess' heel, tapped into the power of his glove.

And from it's inborn mechanics, the glove conjured powerful vibrations, vibrations from which friction was born, friction that sought to heat Kelly's heel to extremely high temperatures, hot enough to weaken the molecular bonds of her heel, and hot enough to scorch patches of the Baabda Beast's own flesh as a consequence. Again he relied on his glove, reinforcing it with a powerful alternating current, one that resonated at extremely high frequencies. And with this oscillation, he sought to further weaken the molecular bonds of the New Goddess' hooked heel. Why? So that his cruel cocktail of aggressive technique and brutish strength would go beyond twisting her foot and ankle joint, but tearing her foot off completely. The shock and trauma, the blood loss, and above all, the prospect of crippling the greatest threat to the Brahma Brotherhood, was one that motivated him.

But then, then he felt it. The flesh on his mountainous back, it was burning.. hot, extremely hot, he felt his spine heat up, and his skin begin to peel, the blood leaking from the wound boiling. The scent of burnt air surrounded them, their environment becoming more and more oxygen deprived as the Baabda Beast winced, then grunted, his eyes flaring with a fury that told of his efforts not to relinquish the heel hook as he wrenched and wrenched, hungry for his foe's limb, intent on tearing it off and collecting her leg as a trophy. Then he felt not his blood, but his flesh boil. His flesh gurgled, melting into a primordial soup, dripping on the broken pavement. It was a soup of blood, flesh, and muscle tissue. Then he felt his vision blur, his chest tighten, then burn. He felt himself grow weaker, his heart was failing, it was humming and threatening to erupt, blood struggled to flow through his body and transport oxygen to his muscles.

And because the New Goddess' previous attack had stripped him of his armored vest and the arsenal of cruelty it carried, he was without the chemical weapons, grenades and firearms he often used to control the flow of battle. Whether he succeeded in tearing her leg off, he knew, if he remained for much longer, he would die. He believed he could defeat her, he believed he could defeat anyone and any gathering of individuals. But against Kelly, without his toys, without his 'Gamma Effect' power, he'd need more than a small squad of Kamikaze Kings. He'd need to devise the perfect gameplan to nullify her strengths and implement his own against her weaknesses so that he may slay her tomorrow. But not today. Today she nearly killed him. His vision blurring, the World Eater's eyes, still icy and cold, empty and cruel, met Kelly's, held her gaze with aggression and austerity, and spoke to her in English.

"You, woman, you dance with the devil. A dance with the devil will last you forever", he growled, a cold confidence echoing alongside a guttural Lebanese accent, a disturbing certainty and will following the bass of his voice. He spoke it like a promise. And he believed it. And seconds before she'd have taken his life, he reached into his pocket, found the power ring stolen from Connor O'Hara and with it's abilities, fled the scene in an emerald streak before succumbing to his wounds elsewhere.

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#1640 Posted by Gale_Xanders (3189 posts) - - Show Bio
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#1641 Edited by Lady_Liberty (10767 posts) - - Show Bio

@satar:

Satar vanishes in flash of green. I felt cold and knew it was blood loss. For a time I lay on the podium, listening to the voices that surrounded me. Security yelling for calm and an orderly exit. The shouting and screaming of a crowd transformed into panicked mob by Satar's masterful act of social and political disruption. A handful of voices cut through the din of confusion and I saw them hovering over me, moving with purpose and precision. Emergency medical personal. On hand at every rally.

They cut off my left sleeve and I would hear them asking me questions but I couldn't make sense of their words. Head trauma, I thought, in the moments before the world faded to black.

**************************************************************************************************************************************************

Hours later Noah stood before a phalanx of microphones and cameras and announced to the world that Kelly Coltaine's presidential campaign was suspended indefinitely due to injuries suffered in Satar's terrorist attack. He asked their many religious supporters for their prayers and thanked their somewhat less numerous (but equally influential) financial donors.

Volunteer staff was sent home. The final paychecks were printed for the inner circle. Goodbyes were said. There would be other campaigns and the professionals were already on their phones, seeking to turn the experience into a talk show appearance, a book deal and most importantly, a job on another campaign.

Blogs and opinion columns buzzed. Had Satar thwarted the course of democracy? Had one terrorist altered the history of the world? The resounding conclusion was yes. Satar had won a great victory, and it would be in the hands of the surviving candidates to stop him.. if such a monster could be stopped at all.

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#1642 Posted by Gale_Xanders (3189 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: @satar

Gale Xanders threw her TV remote through the screen with an animalistic snarl. She didn't mind the money, she had considered that gone already, what she minded was losing the only candidate she considered worth a damn. "I'm going to rip his face off and shove it down his throat." Heroes, a lot of them, didn't like killing people or even swore off of it...but not Gale Xanders. Xae was a soldier, a warrior who's experience made the wars of the modern day look like skirmishes, a female warrior that had fought against generals that made Satar look impulsive and unthinking. She would kill because it was instinct, because she was angry...and because she thought not killing someone like Satar was idiotic, wishful human thinking at best.

Gale Xanders picked up the phone and spoke into it. "Get my jet ready." She said simply and hung up the phone. Xae was capable of flight herself but it was something she chose to keep hidden from the world as much as possible. A half hour later and Xae was on her jet headed for Chicago. She leaned back in her chair, sipping one of the Liafador wines she and Kat had picked out a few months back. As calm as she looked, she was a caged predator and the rage in her eyes was obvious to anyone who could see them. That's exactly what I was telling her I would help protect her against and I wasn't able to do it. What's the bloody point of making a promise if you're not capable of maintaining it? You can't be in two places at once.

Given what I've read up on on her abilities, he's bound to be wounded...the question is where he went. Beasts always return to their lairs when wounded...they know the layout and the terrain and can more easily defend themselves. The only way you can kill him is to isolate him...and not allow him to flee the scene. I know from our fight before that he stole a green lantern ring, that's probably how he's been able to escape as of late. I also know his body adjusts to wounds over time, the same weapon will likely not work twice.

Xae picked up the phone built into her chair's arm rest. "Let's make a quick stop over in Gothic City. I have something to retrieve from my hotel room vault." Xae smiled a little. I'd like to see him adapt to being in a million microscopic pieces.

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#1643 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty: I almost wanna attribute it to the Hungarian Rhapsody I've got going, but part of me wanted to cry.

Then I just wanted to hurt him.

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#1644 Posted by Beremud (622 posts) - - Show Bio

@arquitenens: Just tell me how much you're willing to spend.

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#1645 Posted by Arquitenens (11968 posts) - - Show Bio

@beremud: Funny you should mention that...

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#1646 Posted by Supreme_Shaytan (2413 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty:

No Caption Provided

Gleaming over-sized teeth comedically captivated the anticipating live audience, before HBO's newest talk show host, "Bob Frapples" pranced on stage with his trademark shtick and monologue. The 'progressive' liberal, on fire as of late thanks to a venomous take on political satire, was also a well known supporter of Kelly Coltaine. His guests had often been comprised of volunteer members of her famed but short lived campaign, regurgitating radicalized renditions of the day the presidential hopeful was literally broken.

With his arms frantically cutting through the air expressing an exaggerated sense of fabricated emotion, he spun his bit, entertained the audience, and interviewed his guests. And at the end of it all Bob Frapples retreated back to his dressing room completely unaware of the nightmare to come. "What the?" he gasped as the door quickly closed upon his entry. Terror filled eyes fell upon Nikademus, the Sleeper. Black wool collar flipped up, black felt pinch fedora pulled low, and every bit of his 6'2" towering frame looming over the awestruck host. Aggressively invading his personal space with uncomfortable silence and an unmistakable implication of immediate violence.

"Lady Liberty......you advocate her? Champion...her...correct?" he sarcastically smirked with passive emasculation. Tapping his ringed finger on Bob's forehead. "Time tae put that devotion tae proper use."

Sometime Later: Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Surveillance cameras began to systemically spin, as to avoid capturing the sauntering savant of the supernatural's face. Upon his arrival the entire wing had been mysteriously put to sleep, no one was left awake to bare witness....

"Hello Kelly"drafting a mimed illustration of the holy cross along the hero's forehead. "An dinnae think he's listening lass." pulling a nearby chair to his position with the flick of a telekinetic wrist, clasping his hands together alongside the diminished unknown demi-god's bed. "Satar...may have pit ye here, but ah can set ye free."

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#1647 Posted by Lady_Liberty (10767 posts) - - Show Bio

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#1648 Posted by Lady_Liberty (10767 posts) - - Show Bio

@nikademus:

Time had become a blur of medication, surgery and dreamless sleep. No one knew exactly how much of any drug to give me. So they gave me too much, or too little.

On the 29th of December and the 8th of January I woke up during surgery.

On the 14th I had a seizure from morphine overdose.

And there were too many tubes down my nose.

On the 23rd I had a visitor. If I closed my bad eye I could see him clearly. Tall. Very thin. A beard and tattoos. Thick accent, but I can't place it. Though I know I should be able to. Some things have been.. missing.. since my last concussion.

"Glllpugpft."

That didn't come out right. I clear my throat, take a sip of water with my good arm and try again.

"Good afternoon. Have we met?" I can't help but frown. God is always listening. He doesn't always respond in a way we can see immediately. But he's always listening.

"If you can get me out of this hospital bed.." Hope is a beautiful thing. I feel it bloom and glow. But I try to not think about it too hard; if he can't, or won't.. the shattering of hope is twice as painful.

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#1649 Posted by Mutant1230 (6392 posts) - - Show Bio

Suddenly, lights begin to act strangely by flickering, liquids start moving in strange ways, the ground begins to shake. Finally a huge bolt of electricity appears as man is seen running out of it. He is fast, faster than anything people have seen before.

He finally manages to avoid everything in his way and slow down in the middle of the street. Wearing some kind of Futuristic armor, he talks to a robot on his wrist and says.

"How can this be. I destroyed him, I did it myself! How is the does the monster still come to be!?"

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#1650 Posted by Supreme_Shaytan (2413 posts) - - Show Bio

@lady_liberty:

"No, sadly we have never met but I believe we share a common foe." glancing up and down the bed, almost as if examining the unseen unset of atrophy. "However introductions can wait, I'm sure you're more then ready to begin your life anew" he wickedly grinned. Closing the door to Kelly's room behind the malnourished looking Bob Frapples. "Dont forget the blinds Bob. We wouldn't want to be interrupted during this delicate time."

Bringing Bob close, the Sleeper continued. Placing his hand on Liberty's forehead he inhaled deeply, quickly witnessing a possible prophetic vision....before regaining composure "Rest now. Bob and I will do the rest...."he ominously cued.