He's around, not sure which alt he's using though
Unexpectedly Kurt was blast backwards once more, flying through the open window... And seemingly falling through.
In reality the archer had grasped onto a ledge, and began to shimmy to the other window on his left, hoping to escape POW before the man realized Kurt did not currently possess his powers. If he managed to make it to the other window, he would smash through and run through the building, hoping security would either pass him and give him a weapon, or slow POW down. Either way; Kurt needed to get to his office, therein lay his weapons.
POW knew full well that wasn't enough to kill Kurt either, he had studied him enough to know better. But before he could peak down at his supposed demise, security came rushing into the board room with pistols fixed on the crook. "Hands up and weapons down, NOW!" One of them shouted, switching off their safeties.
The villain for hire slowly turned around to stare down his opposition, gauntlets powering up. "Um, no." POW said calmly before raising his right fist and sent a kinetic wave their way. The barrage of bullets fired from the men were all deflected and pushed away from the blast, which continued to hit them full force. Every single guard was brutally sent flying backwards, shattered bones and blown out eardrums for their troubles, before crashing through the glass into another boardroom.
POW heard another window breaking outside, making him poke his head out to see Kurt had gotten back into the building. "Ugh." He sighed in annoyance, obliterating the wall that stood between POW and the room the Archer had fled into. But by the time POW stepped through the forced entrance, his target was already sprinting through the office.
"The more you run, the more people get caught in the crossfire, Pendragon!" He shouted a fair warning before cranking up the power, and raising both of his gauntlets in front of him. POW sent a blast down the hallway, matching the width of it. It ripped apart walls, flooring and anything else that got in it's way. The intense kinetic blue light growing brighter and brighter the closer it got to Kurt.
“Yes, I'd like to register a company name for 'Adamn Osborn'.”, clicking emanated from the rented apartment as The Athenian Man simultaneously to a phone call browesed through some pages. A short pause followed on the phoneline before the woman on the other end inquired to fill the form. “Oscorp Industries. Yes, that's with an S not a Z-- Hold on.”, he begged while putting the phone on his pec and focusing outside the apartment. And explosion in the financial district. Rossum squinted with awry suspicion. “Let me get back to you later..”
"The more you run, the more people get caught in the crossfire, Pendragon!"
Shortly after hanging up The Bat made his way towards the explosion point with miraculous speed and subtlety contradictory to the dark shades of his gear. “That's what I wanted to hear.”, The Shangri-La Successor suddenly said from behind the honeycomb patterned person, until that moment unsure of the nature of the threat at hand. His voice synthesized and supernatural, his stance low and of perfect weight spread and his attack? Attempting to harness the moment of surprise to deliver a straight open palm strike to the perp's probably looking jaw.
Furthermore, the same hand that dealt the attack would swiftly return and attempt to grab and pull back on POW's shoulder while the other sought to present itself against his elbow and push. Finally Rossum's forward leg would simultaneously shoot out embed it's heel inside one of POW's knees to force the muscles to contract. The effect? Rossum would assume control over his foe, steal his balance while directing the attacking hand away from him and further compromising the target's equilibrium by forcing reflexes to work against him and make him lean and collapse backwards.
Were he successful in this attempt The Son of Gothic would seek to swiftly harness the new position of his foe and coil his arm around POW's falling head like a snake, subtly choking and more importantly suspending his opponent in an almost inescapable headlock that would quite literally subjugate the opponent. If not? Then Rossum would simply distribute some smoke pellets and relocate himself into one of the neighboring offices.
Wanna know the good thing about LA and NYC? There's always another hero around the corner.
The energy rippled through the air as it carried Kurt along, propelling him through the passageway and literally smashing him through a wall and onto the other side. He coughed and wheezed, blood pouring from his nose and feeling disorientated. It was suicide to fight POW with no weapons, armor, or powers. Thankfully a former Gothic hero came to his aide, a funny twist considering his own Gothic past. Kurt could have gone to his weapons... But he knew POW! Better than anyone else, and knew that the chances were that the Son of Gothic would be unable to defeat the professional hitman in this close proximity alone. It was like fighting somehow who could shoot out a pulse of telekinesis from an automatic weapon... That also happened to destroy walls.
There was one way to get around POW's armor, penetration.
Picking up an improvised weapon, a steel pair of scissors having been blown onto the ground earlier, Kurt charged at POW as he was distracted with the other hero and sought to dig the scissors into the man's lower thigh, before slashing back up and trying to stab him in the ribcage. This battle would be won through attrition, now it was 2v1.
POW grinned under his mask, watching his blast strike Kurt and wounding him. With a crack of his neck, the crook started stomping towards the downed Archer. Until suddenly another player had joined the game, and made himself well known. A vicious punch connected with POW's jaw, causing him to be stunned. The mysterious vigilante continued with his grapple, tightening on his neck with impressive strength.
While locked, Kurt of course took the distraction to strike, and struck true. POW let out a grunt of pain as the scissors dug into his knelt thigh, but that's as far as POW was going to allow Kurt to go with his assault.
"Get the hell off of me!" POW chocked, his gauntlets and suit starting to vibrate. He once again proved why it was a terrible idea to try and get close to the kinetic villain. His suit and gauntlets unleashed yet another bubble of violent kinetic energy, hopefully throwing both of his assailants a good distance away.
As smoke started to fill the air, courtesy of the Bat's pellets, POW used the time to pull the scissors out of his thigh. He didn't have time for someone who wasn't part of the contract, and the authorities were probably gathering outside of the building.
POW raised his gauntlets towards the ceiling above Kurt, firing a blast to send it crumbling downwards towards the Archer. He was taking any chance to incapacitate him for a live capture. As for distracting the caped stranger, POW chose to use the pawns on the chessboard. The professional unleashed a beam right in front a cornered group of Equalizer personnel. It severely crippled the integrity of the ground beneath them, crumbling and ready to collapse any second now. If someone weren't to get them out of the corner, the fall and rubble would no doubt kill them.
The Master of Shadows meditated on himself, while his car drove on auto-pilot.
I wonder if I should be a hero at all. I may have trained hard and have the goods, but ,maybe, I'm not good enough, not experienced enough, Kyle contemplated, Maybe, I'm just not ready.
"Sorry to interrupt your thoughts , sir," the mechanical A.I. named Nolan chirped up, "But I have urgent news."
"What is it, Nolan?"
"It seems to be a battle with the villain known as POW is fighting the Bat and Kurt, and I'm sure you already know about them."
"Yes, activate Protocol: Shed, and, Nolan, time to make this car presentable, if you get my meaning."
Suddenly, the car started to transform from its elegant, intricate state to the badsass, beastly, monstrosity that was now on the streets.
Meanwhile in the car, Kyle was changing into his suit with the help of several mechanical arms.
"Which suit do you want, sir?" Nolan inquired.
"The prototype suit, I don't want anyone to know there's a new hero on the block. Yet."
I'm saving my other suits for later. I'm not sure whether to commit to my Knightshadow persona. This suit will make me seem more as some random ninja.
"Your nearly at your destination, sir," Nolan states.
Kyle, now in his 'uniform', was ready to deal some pain.
"Okay, keep the car in auto-pilot, I'll notify you if there is a problem."
I just hope I just make it there in time.
Activating the thrusters in the back to propel his car faster, trying to reach the heroes in time.
@_creed_: @pyrogram: @rossum: Guys, I won't be able to post anymore tonight, and if you dudes don't want me to be in the battle and interfere, okay. Then you guys can just continue without me. You guys can just go ahead and have fun without me if you guys want, entirely up to you guys, cheers!! ;).
Well that was easy enou--, The Bat couldn't even finish the fleeting thought of success before a silent rev underneath the suit turned into a kinetic rodeo. Rossum was sent, no, blasted across the hallway in an air rippling display. His left arm, the one that maintained the chokehold became numb for a moment and he didn't even dare think the consequences this stunt would summon.
Mind exploring imminent approach to the dynamic situation at hand, his thoughts darted from offense to defense immediately upon standing up due to the structural weakness generated by the kinetic menace. Shit., his teeth silently grinded before he sprung into a sprint towards the endangered staff members. Eventually the floor beneath them gave away but Rossum was still a fair distance away.
To hopefully solve the problem, The Azure Falcon of Shangri-La seamlessly kicked up a wide office desk before spining in mid air and sending the now vertical furniture towards the hole to act as an impromptu support for the collapsing ceiling while Rossum slid into the hole, dug his fingers into the floor and simultaneously shot out his grapple that weaved itself around the falling mass of people. This feat dislocated his elbow but the few managed to be swung into relative safety.
The Bat disappeared in the lower floors shortly before the desk splintered.
"Not exactly," John said, stopping abruptly as he rest the end of the sceptre upon the ground. "But you on the other hand." He smirked, wondering if he'd just altered the timeline somehow.. The timeline did feel a little fuzzy. John then winked, and began to walk away, having no need to talk to strangers.
Talvaran felt somewhat incredulous as he stared after the man. Perhaps it was a bit childish of him, but he felt marginally annoyed seeing the stranger simply walk off after stealing his contract. And he wasn't even a mercenary, apparently! Dear me, what am I getting all worked up about? If anything, it's made my job easier.
"-am a mercenary," he finished the man's remark, following him at a careful pace. "And you did just off my target. I suppose you won't mind if I take credit for that little..." He gestured towards the obliterated remains of Brooke's vehicle. Regardless of the stranger's answer, he would be collecting the bounty if he could.
The scourge of LA. A merciless mercenary in a skull mask. Talvaran had struck fear into the underworld in a way few before him could boast. Fear that drove mob bosses and gang leaders to reach out to Ivana Strigidae, who was rumored to have a score to settle with their masked killer.
Together with Arrachtach she studied the scenes of his crimes against criminality. Arrachtach assembled a psych profile and modus operandi while Ivana committed his scent to memory and meditated on the pattern of wounds he left behind. A strike, like so. Two footprints in a pool of dried blood that matched the lost Crane style of the Lingyin temple. It was perfect. The angle of three rib fractures on a defeated bodyguard.
It created a pattern and that pattern was his eclectic collection of styles. Obsessed, Ivana committed each movement to memory and meditated on them until she could watch the fights play out in her minds eye.
Arrachtach monitored the communications of their so called 'allies' in the mob bosses until he discovered the location of one of their meetings. Convinced that Talvaran would not miss an opportunity to strike down a half dozen of them in one stroke Arrachtach also leaked the location of the meeting, to be certain Talvaran would have the opportunity before him if he so desired it.
It was there in the vast mansion of one such gang boss that Ivana waited. Having teleported directly into a crawl space within the rafters to avoid any chance of detection she waited to see if Talvaran would strike.
Having teleported directly into a crawl space within the rafters to avoid any chance of detection she waited to see if Talvaran would strike.
And so he did.
He was swift and soundless. A white blur whipped around the corner of the hallway that lead to the main hall, where the gangsters were holding their meeting. Not a single alarm had been set off, nor had any of the mob bosses been alerted by the guards posted outside and around the mansion (most of them now lay crumpled on marble flooring, either with their necks broken or soon to die caved in chests).
Half a dozen bladed projectiles soared through the air, hurled with such speed that at first glance, it might appear that the mobsters were spontaneously dropping like flies. Panic gripped the survivor as he watched the others fall at his feet, color draining from his face as he saw the bat shaped projectiles embedded in their throats. Petrified, he hardly noticed the shadow bearing upon him, turning only as he heard the swish of a cape. His final sight? The terrible visage of a skull...
The gangster collapsed as, in a single fluid motion, the mercenary cut out his throat. His chest heaved, a sickening gurgle escaping him as a small pool of blood streamed from the slash. A moment later, the light had all but left his eyes.
After her long flight home, the Las Catrinas leader walked through one of the many headquarters of Tierra Mia that were hidden throughout the city of Angels. As her shoes clicked along the tile flooring of the building she let out a relief sigh of finally being home. What was a couple of weeks in Mexico City felt like months, and while she did always enjoy spending time with the Zamora's, nothing beat home. This was her home for the last ten years after that... horrible accident that killed her family. It was Efrain, Dos Caras, that saved her and took her under his wing. He cared for her, provided for her, she never wanted for anything. Tierra Mia, was her family, and she looked up to Efrain Cortez as if he was her father.
"Senora, it's good to have you home." One of the Tierra Mia greeted Sarah as she gave a slight nod of the head.
"Gracias Vincent, it's good to be home. Where are the girls?" Her eyes shift around a bit, she told the other Las Catrina's she would be coming back today, it was unusual for none of them to be here when she got home.
"Oh, Dos Caras had them on a mission, they should be returning home right now. But... he told me as soon as you got home, to have you meet with him right away. He's in the back, waiting for you."
"Hm... ok then, I guess I'm off to speak with him." She was going to go talk to Efrain either way to tell him of her success, but if he was wanting her to meet with him right away... then something was going on. As she approached his door she paused for a moment before knocking on the wooden frame.
"Pasa." A deeper rigid voice spoke from the other side of the door as Sarah twisted the doorknob and gave it a gentle push. In the room was Dos Caras himself, sitting behind his redwood desk, typing away on his laptop. But as soon as she entered the room, his focus quickly shift to her as the disfigurement portion of his face, smiled at the sight of her as she stood across from him for a moment. "Ah, mija, please, sit." he motioned to the seat in front of his desk. Without thinking the young Catrina smiled back and sat down in the leather seat. "It's good to have you home. I assume the issues that Los Zamora's had is taken care of?" He turned his body away from his laptop, completely focusing on Sarah.
With a cheeky grin she nod her head. "Of course mi Rey. Los Zamora's are very happy with the services we provided. Oh and Marta specifically told me to tell you hello, and Elisa said to stay out of touble. Also..." she shift forward a bit in her seat as she reached for something in her back pocket, pulling the white envelope as she carefully placed it upon the desk before Dos Caras. "The payment in full, all accounted for."
His scarred hand reached for the envelope as he didn't even bother to count the money himself, which was out of the ordinary. Something was wrong. Sarah could... feel that something was wrong. It was one of her many special abilities, as annoying as they can be at times, they were more helpful when hunting down prey. "Efrain... what's going on? Vincent told me you wanted to meet with me as soon as I got home. Is everything ok?"
@the_light_: Cassandra's hand reflexively dropped for her holster as she turned, and she raised a curious brow at the floating...whatever it was that seemed to know her. Long-term memory or no, protective instincts kept her wary in spite of the innocuous tone and unorthodox appearance of the approacher. She stood passive but ready. "Excuse me?"
The Ghost's secondary half spun somewhat excitedly at the more-or-less confirmation. "Yes, hi! I'm a Ghost. Er, your Ghost, to be specific. I was sent by... well... Okay, let me start over. I'm here to offer you two things. A job, of sorts, and powers. I'm an agent of something called the Light, and we're here in this system to try to help, stop bad stuff wherever it shows up. We need a face here, someone people know and trust, I guess. And someone we can trust. I got sent to you. All it really entails is you get equipped with the best gear and some powers, though I can't promise a specific set of them. You'd help with public relations if need be, and you'd maybe take on larger scale threats that what you're used to. You'd also be part of a very, very large group of similar people, and they'd have your back in said situations. I'd also kinda hang around with you and help out. Explain things, analyze things, make witty comments... Like a sidekick, but better."
@the_light_: "Uhh...huuh..." There was something slightly humorous in the inane story, the way she'd heard it; but just the same, given her present situation the bizarre tale concerned her. "My...'ghost,'" she echoed, her voice carrying a sarcastic tang. The Light? Sounds like some religious cult. Somewhat jokingly she entertained the idea that she could've died during whatever happened on the east coast, and there was something spiritual about her current experience. "All hail the Omnissiah, eh? Escuchame...guy, whatever you are...I'm not saying you're loco - you've got to be somewhat aware if you can accurately guess I'm not used to this, but I don't even really know what 'this' is. Aside from a quick information dump. You'd best start over again, at the very beginning."
@soterichor: The Ghost dropped slightly, inasmuch as something like it could drop, before straightening. "Omnisssiah... I'm unfamiliar with this term. You also seem to be changing languages. Is there something wrong with your speech center?"
"As for the whole story... That would take ages, but I can try to explain better. There are bad things out there, and we work together to stop them. Sometimes people don't trust us, so we need someone who they know to reassure them we mean no harm. If you do decide to join up, you'll be equipped well, partnered with me, and given some kind of power set. It generally includes enhanced physical capabilities, but can range from shooting lightning from your extremities to channeling fire through an axe. But you strike me as the type to work more with weapons. Is that explanatory enough? If you do accept, there'll soon be a place where you can go and meet someone who can explain better than me. You might be aware, actually... something's going on in another area of this planet... Russian, I believe. The Darkness, the thing we fight. It's here, which is why we're here."
@the_light_: Cassandra shrugged. "Maybe. I've got more than one up there though, so not a bad glitch to have." But despite her external levity, she'd yet to find comfort with this apparent prospective companion. His deal seemed a bit backwards, and he was only adding confusion to the frustrating ordeal of waking up without any real memory of her life. However she'd found it within her to ease her grip on the pistol.
"All due respect, sir, I don't even know who 'we' are. 'The Light,' yes, but I'd like speak to someone who can clarify before agreeing to any terms and conditions. Especially considering the lopsided advantage you have over me."
The Ghost nodded somberly.
"I-I understand. I'll try to find someone who can explain better." With that, it disappeared in a small flash.
A few minutes later it reappeared, a humanoid in tow. They were garbed in body armor, with a tattered grey cloak over it and a pulled-back hood. Slung across the back was a rifle. Her face was obscured by a gas-mask-like helmet, which she removed. "Hey. The Ghost told me you needed a more in-depth explanation. I can do demonstrations if you need." She smiled wryly. "We should probably move, though. Unless you can convince the local law enforcement that I'm not a threat. Which would be untrue. Can I invite you to my ship?"
@the_light_: And just like that it was back. The flare in Cassandra's protective instincts, that is. She didn't return her grip but something in the back of her mind reaffirmed her earlier caution, and whatever modicum of familiarity the "ghost" brought was offset by the new arrival. She regarded the woman suspiciously and sighed. "Against my better judgement...consider yourself lucky I've got a cop's curiosity and not much to lose. Let's move," she said with a shrug.
The red Ghost tentatively floated closer to the Dark Nightingale, whilst the Giardian extended a palm, their ghost appearing above it. It was yellow, with black tips on the edges. Both ghosts disappeared, and after a second the people did as well.
The ship wasn't particularly large, with the two appearing in a small room that led to a pilot's chair and a ramp. Some personal accouterments could be found as well, a small banner with a black eye outlined in yellow, and a few weapons lining the walls. "Okay. What do you need to know?"
@the_light_: "Oh gee, where do I start?" Cassandra snarked, turning to gaze here and there at her surroundings. "From the top, I guess.you know me...how, exactly? You don't strike me as old high school buddies and you're coming outta the gate with a pretty heavy request...which you should probably also explain in more detail - the whole 'face of 'the Light,' 'dark forces' bit. If you don't mind," she finished sarcastically, shrugging.
The Guardian, removing her mask and pulling back a hood to reveal a length of red hair, rested her hand on her face. "Ghost gave you the standard vague explanation that left you confused but intrigued enough not to run away screaming? Yeah, most of us get that. Okay... we know you because the thing that powers us, and the Ghosts, is mostly omniscient, and it sends locations of prospective Guardians to Ghosts to find. The Light is basically a magic power source, and it, well, powers Guardians, like me, who defend it from Darkness. When I say it it's with a capital D, by the way. Not the vague 'darkness' that you'd expect. It's an actual thing, it can be found in four basic forms, which we call Vessels. Day-to-day, our job is to fight the Vessels, protect the innocent, and defend the City. The City hasn't been established here yet, but the Heart should be making its way here soon so build one. I can take you there once it's finished, or you could say yes now and I could just get you outfitted. It'd be like your old job, just with higher stakes." The Guardian smiled wryly and began removing her armor, sitting down in a small armchair.
@the_light_: "Okay, first off"—Cassandra began a slow pacing around the chair—"'mostly omniscient?' For some reason now I'm feeling mostly violated. That what you guys go for when you make this approach?" she asked rhetorically, crossing her arms over her chest. "You all wouldn't mind...y'know, turning it off? Second, what kind of compensation're we talkin here? I assume you're all not doing this for free. Quid pro quo, it's the nature of the universe."
The Guardian winced. "Ooh. Poor choice of words on my part. He didn't, like, read your mind, just found you. Sorry-- hey! I just realized, I never introduced myself! I'm Bris." She extended a now-ungloved hand to shake. "We're provided living spaces, food, and he rest of the basic stuff for just being Guardians, and we get paid in Glimmer, though it's officially called Programmable Matter. After we get situated with a City we'll be approaching your United Nations to get an exchange set up, but for now you'd be able to buy basically anything in the City, or in almost any Galactic civilization. You'd get a ship as well. I can't explain the exact salary because it varies depending on how much you actually get done, as well as spoils of war and the whole 'foreign currency' thing."
@the_light_: Cassandra half chuckled. "Oh no, not the wording. Still disconcerting." But she didn't dwell on it. The opportunity to decline outright seemed open from the start and unless she planned to take it right away, it seemed redundant to drive the "this is weird" point any further. "I'd introduce myself but it looks like I'm already famous." She took the hand with a firm grip.
The actual answer was both less and more than expected, and Cassandra mulled it over to herself a moment. They were offering several notable benefits, but not much in the way of clarity. Specialised knowledge."Alright, here. Give me some time to think on it. This was all very sudden, I'm still piecing it together, but I'm gathering a lot of big changes and one possibly invasive procedure, uncertain. I'd like a bit of time to figure out if it's right for me."
I hardly know who me is as it is now.
@the_light_: It didn't take long for Cassandra to consider and reply. "Where we met is fine, thanks," she said, taking the communicator. Less conspicuous and less than being followed by a mechanical "ghost" - for me and everyone else. Even if she'd probably spend most of the foreseeable future alone, as usual - now thinking about the unusual offer.
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