@legacy_: No, I'm gonna keep the positions just for those who helped her take over. Spoils system and whatnot.
"Captured huh" Guards snapped to attention as the Shogun of Venezuela strode past. Scarred black armor covered her limbs and torso and a crimson cloth wrapped around her eyes. She was accompanied by her blue furred ally, Arrachtach. His stained white lab coat clattered with pockets full of half completed gadgetry and smelled of grease and oil.
"Indeed. It was during the battle however none of the guards are certain what to do with him."
"Huh. Well, seems like a resourceful guy. Lets see what he has to say."
The rounded the final corner in the underground dungeon, Ivana keeping pace with Arrachtach using her somatic reading to track his footsteps and match his pace though blind.
"Hey. Prisoner guy." She rapped on the bars with guantleted fingers. "What's your story?"
@strigidae_23: But yet we showed up as promised and I shot someone and throw explosives at another! You are just looking at the negative lol
It would be most unfortunate to have such expectations, it would be a shame to have such a short lived empire. Potential wasted over a few tons of metal. You already lost your sight. Do not lose your life. Death waits in the dark for all, commoner or Shogun.
@strigidae_23: I sense a strange and tension ridden interaction in the future lol
(Beast, can't be mad at the lower response. lol)
He hides only because I have not commanded your demise. Do not confuse blindness and darkness, Shogun. Venezuela belongs to you... Death belongs to me.
During the final moments of one of the finest and darkest hours in the history of Venezuela Azra had been struck in the back by a unique projectile. Admitedly it failed to do it's job Azra's primary use of her to abilities was in offensive pushes and defensive techniques such as shielding. It had served as enough of a distraction however to allow the submarine to land a shot with one of it's many rockets. Her shielding fell and as she tried to give chase the iconic bridge was swept away in a furious detonation. Azra was found at the bottom of a ravine with an arm burried beneath rubble crushed, and a series of other fractures bruises and cuts coated her figure. If not for her own set of armor she likely would have been dead.
A few days later she awoke with her arm in a sling but the rest of her in fine health. For those who wanted aid recovery was easy especially for an Elite. Before the final efforts could be made by a doctor with the mutant ability to absorb wounds from others and recover himself through a healing factor the crimson elite dismissed him. A wound was as much a hinderance as a badge of armor and there were plenty worse off then her.
Using her status of the old VZ Azra sought to confront the new shogun. Her speech readied, memorized and to be presented in the most flat and militarized tone she could muster. "I was all for the take over just more focused on the safety of our people. Safety I know now can not exist so long as dominion is questionable. Any profits I've aquired from the other day or my past I want to go to those who lost loved ones. All I desire as the spoils of war is permission to take a craft to DC and if possible wipe it off the map. And access to anything we uncover of Lebeau." Clearly wishing to use her abilities as a walking bomb to signal to the world as a whole that any racism or aggression to mutant kind could be met with far worse retaliation.
(Back from chilling with friends for New Years and trying to get back into swing with my alts)
Finally a mutant haven existed, a proper one. During the battle for Ivana's claim of the Venezuelan throne, the Portuguese Panther's mind and body was nearly taken apart by a psychic blast that could have shaken the world with it's might. Brought to the brink of death, remnants, psychic shards remained and hung in Rafael's mind like the atmosphere did over the Earth. It was fortunate however, that they caused him no pain, but most unfortunate that they acted as a sort of mental block and prevented him from accessing his aerokinesis. Left only with his blistering speed and hyper-herculean physical might, Rafael while still a force of nature in his power, felt that a part of him, integral to his very identity had been destroyed.
More-so, he remained uncertain of either Charlemagne or Lucian's death. He had a feeling, something deep in the pit of his gut that told him that both LeBeaus were somewhere, hidden and recovering. He had no evidence, but he didn't any. He simply knew. Or he thought he did at least. The loss of his aerokinesis, permanent or not however, did not spoil his disposition, not when the goal of bettering tomorrow for mutant-kind had experienced a giant leap in the right direction. Were he required to sacrifice more of himself for the cause, he would do so in a heartbeat. Perhaps it had more to do with his own firsthand experience a someone discriminated since birth for lacking traditional Panthera features, and the sympathy he had for the ostracized, but now he could never see him abandoning the cause.
Ivana was the Shogun. To him she was more than a monarch and a leader. She was more than a person. To him she represented an ideal. And the only beacon of hope that their kind had. He would do what he could to make sure she realizes what he believed was her destiny, and anything she'd need of him. Rising from the soft cut grass beneath and ending his meditative attempts at lifting his mental blocks, Rafael headed for the nation's palace, he needed to speak with the Shogun. At this moment, the ideal she represented, who she was, it was everything to Rafael.
The twenty first century Shogun meditated at the peek of the fortified spire which made up the palace-fortress from which Xenon, and now Ivana, ruled. Her legs crossed under her, hands resting upon her knees, palms up. Cool air rushed around, and under her for Ivana did not touch the ground. Awash in mystical energies and esoteric powers she levitated thirty six inches above the stone floor.
His footsteps echoed through empty hallways for Ivana had sent her guards away. Assassins could come if they wished; Ivana feared them not. A red cloth was wrapped around her head, concealing her blinded eyes but she identified Rafael by the distinctive sensation of a somatic system that commanded a superhuman body. Ivana recognized it immediately for there was non other like it.
"Rafael." She spoke as he entered the room, her crimson robes fluttering in the slight breeze, brushing against the stone below her as she hovered.
Black armor and red robes wrapped around the Shogun's muscular, tattooed body. A crimson cloth was tied about her eyes. From her left hip hung her blade, a tungsten katana sheathed in black.
She stood upon a balcony at the edge of a royal spire, wind whipping and cracking around her. Her hands were clasped behind her back and her sightless gaze stared down at the night lights of the futuristic city that stretched out below them.
"You are a free mutant in a free country." Ivana replied without turning; there was no point, she could not see Azra either way. "But.. it is better for a dozen mutants to strike as one, than for a dozen to strike separately."
"I will lead us after the American President. But not yet. First we have the matter of a thief. A betrayer, a traitor to his own kind. Clutch, and the Wildcardz."
"He has robbed us in our hour of greatest vulnerability. Before Washington and Clara I ask that you join me in hunting the vulture to his nest."
"And kick down their house of cards."
Pausing only three feet from the notorious Shogun, Rafael's dark, mystifying hazel gaze fell upon Ivana's levitating frame and a sensation of brief envy overtook him. He had just lost his ability to fly, to summon the intangible power of air and bend it to his will, yet here before him the 23rd Strigidae hovered. Though while he felt as though he was staring at a reminder of what he so recently lost, he could not help but also welcome feelings of pride. He was not a man of many words, not usually at least, but now as he gazed upon the Shogun, he knew that this, she was what greatness looked like in flesh. "Ivana", he responded. "You seem to be adapting well without your eyesight", he began. "I've many things to say to you".
"I confronted the LeBeaus during your successful takeover of this country. The LeBeau family is the greatest threat to the mutant community so I feel that it is my obligation to tell you, the Shogun, of their current situation. Charlemagne I am certain survived our encounter, albeit injured. His son, Lucian however, I cannot say. I may have succeeded in killing him. Or not", he paused. "I wanted your permission to assemble a small task-force to help me hunt down any remaining LeBeaus", he requested. "And also to tell you this". His expression grew earnest in his devotion to the mutant cause. "What you've become now, you're not an activist fighting for mutant freedom and prosperity. You've become something more. By succeeding, obtaining all of this", he paused, "You've become the ideal. You embody it".
"In helping you obtain all of this, I've lost my aerokinesis", he revealed, yet his voice remained calm as he held back any indication of self-displeasure. "I would do so again in a heartbeat. I've been a king before but I came here to tell you that I'm not asking to be made a king again. I'm here to tell you that I am asking to be made your knight. Whatever you need of me, for this cause and otherwise, I'm sworn to you. This", the Black Jaguar paused, "Is only the beginning. Eventually we must target the United States, specifically, President Pierce. And I believe I have a sound strategy for it".
"I'll assist in whatever you wish it's my intent to pursue our races foes till they or I can do so no longer." She was not with discipline of the Arcani or the best actual Elite. Favored more for commitment then skill and with grand position as where else was more perfect for a mobile atomic bomb. "However if I may be so bold we should make such endeavor swift. Theft is not a crime that rivals mass murder or a threat of genocide." Lebeau and the president seemed far more pressing to the crimson elitist then two timing thieves.
"A mission with Envy awhile back introduced me to them. Kayle favors guns. Black is often their escape rout. One of them can manipulate his mass his name eludes me, he wasn't in the invasion. Tenjin and Clutch I believe you met. They're snakes but don't doubt their venom." Sadly Envy didn't have the resources to allow a more further investigation.
Ivana remained silent as he spoke. The reminder of the loss of her eyesight stung for it was a bitter loss. Her martial ambition had exacted its price before but this was a price unlike any other she had paid. Eyes, for a country.
She bore it, simply because she had no choice. The psychic damage ran too deep for even Venezuela's technology. All she could do was devote herself to learning the skills of living blind, and that is what she did.
In a way she found the experience of blindness to be meditative. Without the constant onslaught of visual stimuli the twenty first century samurai found herself immersed in her internal state and reaching for and discovering martial truths that had long eluded her. There were no distractions anymore, just twenty four hours of focus.
"I am sorry for the loss of your aerokinesis." And she was. His powers were valuable to the mutant cause but aside from that she felt a certain sense of connection to Rafael. They had been through much, and lost much for the same cause.
"If you would be a knight then you are a knight. First I have need of you in punishing the Wildcardz for their theft, but I would hear your plan for striking at President Pierce."
"Interesting." The wind picked up, whirling and whipping the robes of the Blind Queen about her. "Very well. Black will be your target when we strike; its critical to hamper their mobility as much as possible. Even keeping him occupied will work."
Having sent Orochi messangers for her two most recent allies Ivana awaited their arrival in her throne room. Legs crossed, hands resting upon her knees, palms up, she meditated while levitating roughly two feet above the carved stone of her throne.
Her sheathed blade lay in her lap and crimson robes wrapped around black armor covered in the scars of battle. Black hair hung half way down her back in a pony tail and tattoos framed her undercut. Her eyes were concealed behind a red cloth, tied at the back of her skull.
The throne room was empty, a vast, cavernous expanse of stone and steel where the only sound was the echo of Ivana's measured breath.
Ivana remained silent as he spoke. The reminder of the loss of her eyesight stung for it was a bitter loss. Her martial ambition had exacted its price before but this was a price unlike any other she had paid. Eyes, for a country.
Oh my Jesus, she's like Roy Mustang seeing the gate! The bitter irony!
"As am I for your eyesight", he paused, reciprocating her sympathy. His sentiments were genuine. Though the loss of his aerokinesis and the loss of Ivana's eyesight were small prices to pay for realization the greatness of mutant-kind. Compared to the destiny of their race, their own afflictions, at least to the Black Jaguar, though he was certain Ivana's feelings were identical, felt infinitely insignificant. "I'll visit the Wildcardz soon then". The loss of his aerokinesis did not deter him from confronting an entire team, it never would. Rafael stood as a god among men. He would stand as an equal of even the deities of old. Gifted with a physique cut from diamond and Greek god good looks, the Panther King was what the Greek Pantheon should aspire to be.
Had there been a legend that told his story it would describe as more beautiful than Adonis, faster than Hermes, stronger than Heracles, more intelligent than Athena, possessed greater swagger than Apollo, and was most importantly, more ruthless than Ares. And he knew this. He recognized his attributes and was confident that even without his aerokinesis, in a battle against the Wildcardz there was little to nothing that could convince him he would emerge victorious. It was simply the way he carried himself. It was the flair of his swagger and presence. "President Pierce is no strategist, no tactician in the field of war. You however, are. And I am sure that you know, unlike everyone else who has made attempts on America, that attacking the White House or destroying the Statue of Liberty is not the way to go about it".
"What that would accomplish would only be angering the world's most powerful military. I advise that we disarm them first. To disarm the world's strongest military force, we must target it's resources", Rafael paused, calmly crossing both arms before his chest, an expression of cold confidence that Aphrodite found sexy and Ares found intimidating overtook his Adonic features. "As powerful as the United States' military is, it still follows an unnecessarily complex and vulnerable system that can be disrupted. Jet fighters need fuel. Missiles. Computers. The means to repair all of those things requires fuel. And fuel needs imported petroleum. A lot of which comes from Africa. We target the world's largest oil refineries and exploit the fact that we need only successfully destroy a few of them to damage America's supply of petroleum".
"It will leave their planes grounded due to lack of fuel. Replacement parts and military personnel would then be occupied controlling riots in the streets because of a deteriorating economy. They will be in no condition to combat the army of mutants you command".
@strigidae_23: Nobody will ever forget Kratesis -__- At least not until this last wave of vets die out. And even then, whispers of her forum activity will spread through the shadows of the Vine and plague the dreams of every writer here alongside the CV bugs. Also, to this day that account holds the coolest character name ever made.
Envy strode through Venezuela in a rather moderate and leisurely pace, taking in everything that the mutant homeland had to offer. He had only spent a very short time in it's borders, but back then it was a battle ground filled with enemies and killing. The tone in the air changed presently for obvious reasons now that the country had a new leader.
He walked and noticed that no one perceived him as a threat. He didn't have to be guarded to an uncomfortable degree like he normally would have been in a Homo-Sapien settlement. It felt both refreshing and strange at the same time to be so relaxed. He brushed off the thought and remembered why he was back in the country.
The new head of the government and face for mutant revolution had requested his presence for reasons unknown. He had imagined it to be his reward of small amounts of Vibranium, but he wasn't one to push the issue of compensation. Quite the opposite actually, he was hoping it would be another assignment for his mutant extremist group or some sort of task. He was growing uneasy by retreating from the front lines. The war was chess and the earth was it's board. He was simply a pawn waiting for the next move as demeaning as that may sound, but nonetheless, he knew sacrifices would be made and he was willing to make that payment.
Lost in his thoughts, Envy had realized that the throne room where the 23rd Strigidae awaited him, was directly in front of his view. He paused looking over the intimidating door before firmly knocking on it. He didn't know what to refer to her as since her change in power. Queen? Ruler? Messiah? he doubted that she would be one to be so pompous for bestowing such a title to herself. After all, she was a soldier. A highly trained, ruthless and battle tested soldier at that.
"Ivana?"He said confidently to the closed door. "Envy, at your request."
@strigidae_23: I have a question regarding your vibranium (black variant isn't it?). Does it have the same properties as the comic version and canon wise venezuela has the premier artisans of the metal correct?. I only ask as my idea was to have Cass buy some for a couple weapon upgrades, one being a barrell for a pistol which if it has same principles as comic canon could technically be self silencing/recoil reducing to a degree.
@cassius_knightfall: Yeah, the vibranium found in Venezuela is the exact same thing as the Marvel version. And sure, buy as much as you want :-)
@Everyone: I really doubt I'll be able to reply to anyone tonight but I didn't forget about y'all! I'll reply ASAP.
Hearing Envy's knock Ivana pressed a button on the arm of her throne. The doors to the Venezuelan throne room opened with the soft whir of hydraulics.
"Ah." She smiled. "Envy. Welcome." The Shogun of the Sword was pleased at his arrival. He was young, enthusiastic about the cause and fearless in combat. She felt he was the face of the next generation of mutant warriors.
"As promised I have prepared your reward. Vibranium awaits you in the crafting halls below. I have instructed our artisans to give you as much as you need and to craft whatever you need from vibranium."
Her generosity was partly due to gratitude at his assistance during the battle for control of Venezuela however pure pragmatism also played a role in her largess. Envy was a steadfast warrior for the mutant cause and she would see him armed and equipped as well as she could. Every enemy he slew would be another enemy that would not raise their hand against the rise of the mutant race.
"However that is not all." Her Russian accent faded into the background during the period of calm and mental focus that her recent meditations had brought her. "The Wildcardz choose to rob us during our most vulnerable time. Soon we will strike back and send a message to the world. Will you join us in battle?"
The Shogun listened to his plan in silence. When he finished explaining she paused, and contemplated his plan.
"I like the idea. However shale production in the US has grown to such a degree that less than half of all petroleum in their domestic refineries is from external sources. I am not sure if they would be crippled or enriched by a decline in world wide production."
"However I am certain we would be enriched. Vibranium has tremendous potential as a renewable energy source. Damage to the worlds petroleum production would drive up demand for new energy sources and vibranium's ability to absorb and store energy make it the energy source of the future."
"To be frank I also question our ability to project force at enough of the worlds oil production. We are impregnable here in our home but do we have enough bases and aircraft carriers around the world?"
"All of that said every plan faces difficulties. There is no plan which is easy, especially when attacking a country with America's GDP. We don't need to crush them forever, simply create a temporary moment of vulnerability in which we can strike their corrupt President. And even if we fail we will still drive up the demand, and thus price, of vibranium."
She smiled, cold and cruel. "I like it."
Issuing a tame nod in response to Ivana's words, Rafael's eyelids shut for a moment, that Venezuela didn't possess the ability to project enough force at the world's oil production, the power to do strike from above and lay waste to the oil refineries being discussed, it unnerved him, at least internally. His irritation boiled underneath a cool, beautiful surface. Irritation at himself. "I could do it", he muttered under his breath, mild indignation lacing his voice. "At least before I lost my aerokinesis I could have", he clarified. It was in this moment that he realized that the loss of his aerokinesis, perhaps the thing that most defined him most, would require a long and difficult adjustment period. Returning his attention to things of importance, Rafael touched on the topic at hand.
"Even with all of our mutants and vibranium, we cannot crush America forever. They're simply too powerful, for now. We can only weaken them. They aren't under the leadership of a war tactician. President Pierce is barely even a politician", he derided rather coolly. "Her approval ratings are not very high. And her public image is mixed. Once we create a temporary moment of vulnerability, it shouldn't be too difficult to strike her down and maybe even cause her own public to turn on her". As if to match her smile, Rafael's mouth curled at the edges, a smile of certainty that matched the supreme confidence and swagger of control that an apex predator, a jaguar exuded. "Vibranium will do just fine. We have an abundance of it. And I'm also making efforts to transfer all of my wealth to this government. Billions of dollars. And my assets as well. Venezuela needs it more than I do".
"There is.. also another matter", he paused, his visage growing somewhat austere. "My people, they've heard whispers of a supposed takeover of France in the works. By who, I don't know. I've never heard of the guy. But I'd rather prevent this takeover now. I don't want to find out in the future that we may have allowed someone who is an anti-mutant warmonger or human supremacist to rise to power". Ivana was his superior as far as her position, both in politics and in the eyes of mutant-kind, but she was also the greatest warrior he'd ever come across. "Do you have someone you trust enough to hold Venezuela in a state of stability? Because I want you to come with me to help prevent this incident in France. You're the best warrior I've ever met", he admitted, before indulging in a rare moment of humor, a cool smirk following, "Besides, nobody else would be able to keep up with me".
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