Avatar image for ada_guillaume
#1 Posted by Ada_Guillaume (172 posts) - - Show Bio

The Mansion

The slow infiltration was not unlike any infiltration the world hadn't already known. Small groups of them came to this quaint South African town as "Missionaries" promising to bring clean water and food to the poorer African Nations. Soon more even more missionaries arrived

They then set up fundraisers, and other novelty events outside the city to play on the sympathy of the townsfolk before anyone of importance could notice, weapons begin pouring through customs; and just like that The Red Cardinals Rouge Faction, usurped the city.

The book of blades continued to be a guiding light throughout this entire process. 3 of its 6 messages were currently the building blocks of the Faction take over.

1.The Death of God -- Ziccarra and Zeon's deaths presented an opportunity for change, within 12 hours the Liafador Family was supposed to choose a new Matriarch/Patriarch, they hadn't which meant they either abandoned their own teachings, or they didn't know whothe next in line was supposed to be.

2. Poverty- They believed there should be no hunger, Humans were the masters of their own planet, so why did they impose such strict taxes on its own life?

3. Lastly, the Mass Media in the initial surge, It was the first place attacked, Radio Stations, News Stations even podcast by the more popular host were shut down. Instead, faction technicians reworked the broadcast signals so that the people of Graaff-Reinet only heard Cardinal Hymns.

No Caption Provided

The Architect of this invasion, Ada Guillaume. In earlier years she served as a High School Counselor aiding troubled youth. She was then forced to resign when she rejected registration during the Registration Act and has since been moonlighting as Psychiatrist using her voice to manipulate people into joining the Red Cardinals.

She'd never met the woman known as "The Red Cardinal Goddess" but she bore an obsession with the way the former Cardinal Queen commanded the Cardinals, so much that it bloomed into full-on Imitation.

Ziccarra had the Liafador Legacy, but she? She was the original author of the Book of Blades.

Always the picture of elegance, Ada strolled around the Mayor's office appearing regal and flawless; from her sculpting brow to her stunning updo. Her intoxicating Green eyes fixed on the man as he was reduced to his knees before The Cardinal Admin his eyes misty with fore coming tears.

"I almost wish I could feel sorry for you Monsieur. But, I cannot. You live this life of lavish while you have people here, in your city, On the streets." Though seemingly emotionless she did work up the nerve to send her palm wafting across his curly blonde locks.

"And yes, We are taking your children. Because they are the future of society. They do not need to follow your version of leadership. It's weak. And I for one shall not allow the strong to die in wars any longer."

Ada wasn't a killer, not in the literal sense anyway. Any method of intimidation or actual homicide was conducted by the Cardinals. Her hands remained clean, and because of her own mental fortitude--so did her conscience.

No Caption Provided

From the left side of her face, his smoke smacked her face bringing slight irritation.

"General Riberia, Chance Liafador is the new Liafador Family Matriarch. I would love it if she just joined our cause but I don't think that will be the case. She will have to be made to abdicate her rights--painfully if need be"

The General nodded. He served during the Spanish Revolution and evaded Isis Liafador for months, he'd love any chance to extract revenge on the Liafadors.

"General, lift our blockade of communications. I want everyone to know what's happening here."

His face went still in the middle of her sentence. "Why"

"Because I said so General. Let me know the moment my company gets here" She said toward the door. "What do you want me to do with him?"

"I have no need for him"

Camp Hayden (Labor Camp)

The Bulk of the children ages 4-10 were taken by the Cardinals to another location on the far side of town, Camp Falcon. These were the most impressionable and would be easier to condition mentally. The Teenagers? the were brought to Camp Hayden, a Cardinal Work site which only served to rebuild a Cardinal Fortress. He knew Ada was doing something he wasn't privy too, but what? Why have these children build a fortress, if she were just going to invite someone in to knock it down?

Avatar image for dominus_
#2 Edited by Dominus_ (118 posts) - - Show Bio

First A.I.D. Facility, Grimm City

His father's presidency was a meticulous play on the American dream. After asserting his prominence within cities desperately in need of proper economic structures, Thomas earned his position in the White House through the gratitude and support of an underrepresented class of Americans.

Soon enough, however, he proved he was no better than all the president's men. It took only six months before The Grimm City Gazette exposed back-channel dealings with the criminal element and the crooked nature of the Newcastle administration's policies and operations.

One dealing with particular interest for the American everyman was The Force and the hidden illegitimate son of America's most infamous leader. For Brian, however, the story of his own ascent to fame, power, and status was anything but unamerican. In fact, it was more like his just due.

"What are you doing, Brian?" A somber posture painted feelings of sorrow and remorse. Whether it was fallout from his talk with Detective Whitaker, his breakup with Stella Hamasaki or memories of Detective Womack's death was uncertain.

To Marissa, she knew Brian's steady emerald eyes and stonefaced appearance could shift into a slapstick smirk with a daydream gaze if he wanted something done. So, putting him under pressure with direct questioning was the only solution when talking to someone like Brian Newcastle.

"I've been studying shipments, Mari." Shortened responses and relaxed breathes. His therapist was teaching him techniques to communicate with co-workers more efficiently because another panic attack after seeing an alive Danny Womack was starting to become troublesome for the corporation and his own mental health. Nevertheless, he persisted.

"My father has an offshore bank account in South Africa connected to Emerald City." He calmly inhales and he exhales. He can't quite understand what's happening, but before continuing his research the Newcastle legacy clasps his hands together and cracks his knuckles in unison.

"There's a safehouse called Paradise Island. It's been receiving regular weapon shipments and a number of money transactions until now. I think that's how we can account for Animus tech in Emerald City, but I need to know what's changed and why. And most importantly...who's doing this?"

Paradise Island Safehouse

"This universe is so annoying." An array of monitors that decorated the wall of her living room quarters presented Miss Pierce with a picture of the outside world. Children and teenagers were impressionable youth and they were being abducted from their mothers just to be indoctrinated into whatever social movement these cult freaks claimed themselves to be.

Miss Pierce didn't agree with what was happening, but it wasn't her problem. The only reason she was even on this side of the world was to stockpile on the cash and weapons she learned about through her fight with this earth's Clarice Michelle.

Rather than involve herself, Miss Pierce decided to spend her week listening to classic Destiny's Child albums while she planned out her designs for prime earth castaways.

"Don't know why I bother being here." Truth be told, she hated this earth with an undying passion. However, leaving wasn't as easy as she would let on. So much so, that partnering with Impero was an opportunity she had to pass up in fear of ruining her own plans.

Despite Miss Pierce's motivations for being on this Earth, the thought of not intervening with this power grab disturbed her most carnal desires for conflict and mischief. For now, however, Miss Pierce knew no one was looking for her here so she'd play nice and act against those baser instincts by drinking a glass of bourbon and dancing to her favorite music.

Avatar image for lethal_weapon_x
#3 Edited by Lethal_Weapon_X (86 posts) - - Show Bio

Camp Falcon

No Caption Provided

The plan to this point hadn't made a lick of sense, but then again It wasn't her place to question her renters. She'd been brought in to strictly oversee the indoctrination of the youth, whilst Riberia worked on getting Ada's broadcast towers operational, an aspect that he surprisingly succeeded in.

Despite not being much of a talker X was here for one purpose, a purpose that only she and Ada knew; for now, she used her presence to mold the child soldiers, first relaxing their mental state before injecting hallucinogens into their bloodstream. Next, they were seated inside an auditorium where they listened to soothing melodies. What this actually did was reprogram the neurotransmitters rending the child army under X's control.

This system was nearly full proof, the only flaw was that one non-conformant child could ruin the entire batch. The Cardinal's lurked closely ensuring they 'eliminate' any child displaying some form of individuality.

Ada, of course, claimed to have fixed this flaw, but it hadn't become apparent to X yet. Slightly nodding her head in one of the Cardinal's direction; he turned off the music and commanded the children to their feet. With a swift hand motion, they filed orderly out of the auditorium to a courtyard where they have issued weapons, the younger, and weaker children were issued personal firearms; whereas the older stronger children were issued submachine guns.

"X, I've just removed the communications blockade. The news reporters will begin operations as usual get your children into position."

Riberia reported, though he expected the Silent Mercenary to respond she did not.

She wasn't too fond of the Cardinals or General Riberia, despite it being her operation, she'd only seen Ada once. It was apparent to the Silent Merc that one of them, herself or Riberia would be the 'fall guy' Ada's recluse ways made it nearly impossible for anyone but the now murdered mayor to pinpoint her here.

But that wasn't what she was programmed to do. She did whatever her employer told her to do, and right now that was moving the children into attack positions.

Avatar image for warrior_angel
#4 Edited by Warrior_Angel (139 posts) - - Show Bio

@lethal_weapon_x: @dominus_: @ada_guillaume:

No Caption Provided

Norah Hawke was on a mission of importance in this country, a humanitarian mission. Karah was brought along and they so happened to be on their way to the very village that has just gotten taken over...or at least threatens to be taken over. Norah commands the vehicle stop about a mile from town, sensing a situation developing. Karah looks up at her Mommy, Norah looking down at her adopted daughter, telling her what is going on.

Norah appoves, nodding her head, "Consider this your test, but if it's obvious you can't win or any innocents get hurt, I want you to get out of there. And don't be afraid to call me if you need me. I'll send the Blue Ghost to come and pick you up if necessary."

She nods, smiling, "Okay, Mommy." THen she steps out of the vehicle, yells the magic word, "Shazam!" And lighting out of the clear blue sky shoots downward, hitting Karah and transforming a ten year old child into an adult Amazon.

No Caption Provided

The vehicle drives away from the village, but Warrior Angel flies towards him and ready for action. She is surprised to see children with guns at the ready. If they attack, they blocks and parries the bullets with her bracers, arms moving faster than the eye can see.

Avatar image for ali_sani_bashir
#5 Posted by Ali_Sani_Bashir (2509 posts) - - Show Bio
No Caption Provided

He had not slept at all during the duration of the flight. Wedged between a window seat and the over-sized insurance broker from Utah who had not stopped drinking since the plane had departed the Scottish cityscape, the former; all be it newly freed, Warden of the False Bay had never the less found the flight mentally cleansing. Every sight, every scent was soaked in and spiritually digested through the unchained perspective of a freed man.

But where does a disgraced warrior-king go? His people had been savagely murdered, betrayed by the Mad Strix and his cabal of supernatural evil. The Kwazulu Alcazar had been adopted and nobly protected by the Matriarchal Sabella Liafador , her family and people supplementing the loss of the Bashir lineage, carrying on the traditions and honor of guardian regents of the Bay after Ali himself had indirectly brought about the downfall of his own legacy, and the death of those he had been sworn to protect.

Or so it had been, at least, before his incarceration behind the esoteric walls of the Montessi DaBrickashaw. Ali was completely unaware that the legendary Liafador had perished. Unaware that her death had sparked the fires of revolution within her own confederacy of Cardinals. The former Warden of the False Bay had never been privy to Ziccarra's past, he only knew her; briefly, as a spiritually fortified paragon seeking to rebuild her fractured family through a historic arc of redemption.

But after the plane had landed and Ali sat in the airport's version of a bar, partially paying attention to the tv behind the lightly colored bottles and tapestry, the Cardinal communications blockade was lifted and for the first time the public was allowed a small glimpse into their child military labor indoctrinations taking place in Graaff-Reinet South Africa. Ali's gaze sharpened with contemplative focus. Every instinct told him to stay out of it, go home and seek out his son. Yet as his fist tightly clinched and he bit his lip, something within him simply couldn't let it go....

Hours Later: Outside perimeter at Camp Hayden

No Caption Provided

It was insane to think he could, would, accomplish anything against such a formidable and established pera-military force on a good day, with his suit. So what had convinced Ali that he should attempt it without it, without any of the resources he once enjoyed, was a secret held by only him. One could surmise however that such an atrocity, one all too familiar to the Dark Continent, was all the motivation he needed. Strategically concealing himself among the trees and outlining foliage he waited for a passing patrolmen, and that made his move. Snatching him from behind by the collar, pulling him back into reverse Anaconda like choke, Ali demanded answers. "Where are you keepin dee childddren? I will not ask you a second time."

Avatar image for clara_mass
#6 Edited by Clara Mass (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

Paradise Island Safe house

Once upon a time, a girl was punished for being born different. She was the family's disgrace. Ousted from her home and treated like an abomination because of the light she had inside.

Afraid of being shunned, she covered that light and like a mist she became mysterious, ominous and uncertain. A foreboding presence whenever she stepped inside a room. She stood tall in her convictions and refused to let anyone hurt her heart again.

Between the hurting of losing love and the healing of remembering how far she's come, there's a stage of numbness. It's the darkest and the scariest of all. She's been a queen and a mother. She's even found her self-worth along the way. Yet, here she is now...once again a woman without a home.

Miss Pierce didn't enjoy her time on this earth. It's many conflicts flirted with her most destructive behaviors. They demanded her involvement despite her need for harmony. The Demigoddess of Chaos salivated at the thought of hurting the harmful, but she feared disturbing the universal frequency.

Miss Pierce is reminded of the risk she took by fighting her alleged counterpart. "Nothing feels right on this earth..." Reality revisions on this earth is why she's here. It's the only earth in the multiverse with an identical twin with minuscule differences.

On this earth, however, prime earth counterparts walk about endangering the universal frequency with their involvements. Maya, Ziccarra, Impero and the names go on. Miss Pierce had to stop them from shifting universal constants, fixed events that occurred in every single universe, because changes would unravel the very fabric of the multiverse. It's the only reason she's here, but in doing so she's closed the door to ever returning home.

She wasn't happy with her predicament. It's why she's found herself propped on a kitchen counter with a bottle of bourbon in one hand and a glass of ice in the other. "Everything feels too different here," she voiced a cause for concern. Miss Pierce had to wonder if she arrived on this Earth too late. Was this crusade made in vain or was there something grander at play? She couldn't put her finger on it just yet, but she figured something was off the minute communications went down. Viral feed of the happenings outside her safe house short circuited.

"I have to know why,"

Late Night w/ Nonfiction91

He's caught off guard by the question, he can't help but let out an ugly laugh, but Nathan recovers from the blunder just fine. "I have to know why I'm here. I'm not even trying to sound fake deep, but it's the truth. Between mutants, humans and everything in between. We've got a pretty insane world we're living in. It's why I took the job at the First A.I.D. facility in Grimm." Known for his social activism in Gothic City and now Grimm, Nathan Alavi has proven to be a leader within a generation of super powered youth.

"I got caught up trying to work with some Knightfalls and Strix," he wasn't fond of his failed partnerships, but they were learning lessons for the young business mogul with a degree in biology. "And now I'm working with Brian Newcastle's biotech division. So, I guess we can tell I don't judge a book by their cover." It was a half hearted joke that poked fun at the Animus Corps' majority stockholder. Nathan meant no harm, no foul. He just enjoyed making light of the world around him.

"I can't complain though. My family's had tough press before. The Alavi family name isn't treasured around the world, but that's why I work my hardest to prove how different--" The TV screen fades to black. Inside his dressing room, Nathan begrudgingly looks at his reflection with a sense of regret lingering in the air. A breath of fresh air whenever he stepped in front of a camera, Nathan was proud of the way he conducted himself in front of audiences everywhere, but he didn't like being a prop for the Animus Corporation. He's been working with them for months and hasn't been given the opportunity to test or introduce the products he's been working on with @shawn_savage to the world. During a moment of boredom, Nathan finds distraction in checking his phone and swiping left and right on dating apps as a means of passing time.

DING! A text message on his A-X Phone from Brian Newcastle informs the social activism leader about the communications blockcade in a South African city ending. Before he can even wrap his head around the abduction and indoctrination of young children, Nathan's mind thinks a thought that leaves a wide smile on his face. With a sense of urgency he types in Shawn's number, "Listen man, do you see what's happening? I got an idea and it's gonna put us on the goddamn map."

Avatar image for feral_nova
#7 Posted by Feral Nova (58345 posts) - - Show Bio

@ada_guillaume: @warrior_angel:

No Caption Provided

“Why are you even out there?” A voice chimed into the Fire Goddesses ear. It was none other than Heather Johnson, Zoe's Aunt and former Feral Nova before her.

Zoe was flying (with all her flaming glory) to where the camp was located, where everything was being broadcasted from. It wasn't hard to find, in fact, it was as if they wanted to be found. As if they wanted heroes to come after them. “Because, this all caused by the cardinals and who do the cardinals work for?”

“The Liafadors, but-”

The Liafadors, an entire family that rose to power, fell from power only to rise up again. They were like the Phoenix, no matter how many times they were knocked down, they always came back. They were also the family that totally messed up Zoe's life on more than one occasion. But the reason Zoe was out here, flying over Africa, wasn't about her hate for Ziccarra Liafador or even Zeon Liafador, this was about putting a stop to the possibilities of another Magala or Emerald City disaster. If a Liafador was connected to something, in some way, it usually meant something bad was about to go down. “Exactly! Look, I know Catalina and I don't think she would approve of this but her family doesn’t have the best track record. Someone has to look into this and stop it.”

“Zoe, we discussed this, you were going to stick with L.O.V.E or stay in Los Angeles. No in between, you’re not ready to go off and do something like this on your own. Why didn't you get a hold of Maya-”

“I’m fine. After an announcement like that, I highly doubt I’m going to be the only one responding. And I'm sure Maya is busy right now.”

“You do know this is some sort of trap right? Why would someone announce something like that if they didn't already have a plan in place?”

“Look, I'm wearing this earpiece because you asked me to, but if you're not going to help-”

“Because I'm your Aunt and I don't want to see you killed... again.”

“You're the former Feral Nova, what would you be doing right now?”

“Asking for help.”

Before Zoe could open her mouth to respond, her eyes shift downward to see children, carrying firearms and aiming at a raven haired woman, tall and built like a warrior. Neither Side was fighting, not yet, but it was only a moment of time before a fight would begin. Flying downward she landed behind the unknown warrior, dust kicking up from the ground as she did so. Slowly walking up she held her hands up as her fire died down. She could hear the clicking of the rifles they wielded, their aim that was once solely focused on the first woman, now half of them shifted over to Nova.

"Zoe, don't forget, these arn't normal kids, these are soldiers."

"

The Fire Goddess didn't respond to the former hero, not wanting to alert anyone. “I’m Feral Nova, not here to fight you, either of you.” Her eyes shifted for a moment to the raven haired woman before adjusting back to the kids still holding tightly onto their arsenal. “I just wanna talk to your leader and just have a little chat about what’s happening. There’s no reason for any of us to get hurt.”

Moderator
Avatar image for clara_mass
#8 Edited by Clara Mass (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

Camp Hayden

Although the security camera system at the Paradise Island safe-house short circuited, Miss Pierce was still able to retrieve information about her outside surroundings due to the local news channels running once again. Footage detailing the whereabouts of the abducted and indoctrinated children sounded too good to be true. Surely the country itself would rescue the youth? Heroes would no doubt bring about their flavors of justice onto these outlandish oppressors.

"She reminds me of Angeni," she scoffed at thought of Helena Troy. And rolled her eyes without much concern whilst @warrior_angel deflected bullets in the distance. For Miss Pierce, she felt the occasion presented an opportunity of sorts. An opportunity that didn't involve getting her hands dirty with these cult of cardinals and their militant training. Instead, she watched from the woodsy backdrop outside Camp Hayden, taking note of the godlike energies that surrounded this warrior before moving closer to her destination.

It wasn't uncommon for the master manipulator to find conflict and force its hand to benefit whatever cause she might have. This time, however, Miss Pierce entered the fray far more cautious than her usual outlandish displays of power. So, for once the mistress of mayhem feared what empowered her most. The mere thought of causing a butterfly effect that might harm the universal frequency sent a chill down her spine, but she had to involve herself. She had to understand the importance of the Liafadors.

“I’m @feral_nova, not here to fight you, either of you. The violet eyes of Miss Pierce widened in shock upon hearing the name Feral Nova. An outright hero from her realm and a fighter she had the displeasure of meeting on the field. “I just wanna talk to your leader and just have a little chat about what’s happening. There’s no reason for any of us to get hurt.” The former Olympian was too curious to move. Was this Feral Nova like the one from home? She had to know this instant or determine if she'd be of use in the conflict to come. In a concentrated effort to find a tether to this reality, Miss Pierce telepathically approaches the mind of Feral Nova.

"Let me help you be the hero you've always been," her intentions have shades of good intentions as she attempts to access the inner workings of Feral Nova's mind. Miss Pierce works to penetrate the surface layer of this hero's basic telepathic defenses in hopes of feeding Zoe the importance of heroic bravado. With enough motivation, the mysterious prime earth Clara believed Feral Nova would flame on and burst into the camp. With enough chaotic energy, Miss Pierce would be able to create a massive net of telepathy to control everyone within the Camp Hayden perimeter. An effort that'd effectively end the conflict, determine Feral Nova's worth and bring forth the curator of this entire event.

"AHH!!" Miss Pierce's telepathic invasion was brief, because a whiplash of Zoe's most horrific memories crackled like thunder in between Miss Pierce's thoughts the very second she broke through the surface.

"Emerald City. Emerald City. Emerald City," Miss Pierce momentarily grasped her throat as tears ran down her reddened cheeks. A multitude of memories and guilt rattled inside her brain like a static wave. "This...is...bigger than I-I thought, but she'll do." She gasped for air before wiping the sweat and tears off her face. She's shocked if not troubled by the immense amount of sorrow this Feral Nova has overcome.

Although she wouldn't be able to control her, there was a place for Zoe in Miss Pierce's mission if she played her cards right. With that said, Clara had to avoid bringing the heroes and militants her way. She didn't have the preparation nor the willpower to bring herself to scrap with one of the multiverse's greatest legends. So, Miss Pierce had two options. She'd first attempt to prove use to these heroes by attempting to probe the minds of the indoctrinated children. If the control @ada_guillaume had over them proved too strong for Miss Pierce than an assortment of bullets would spray toward Warrior Angel and Feral Nova. If that didn't than Miss Pierce hoped her actions would prove she had good intentions. In the event, however, that the two heroes considered Miss Pierce a villain she'd attempt to teleport away before anyone could harm her.

Avatar image for amin_karrit
#9 Posted by Amin_Karrit (862 posts) - - Show Bio

@ada_guillaume: @warrior_angel: @ali_sani_bashir: @feral_nova: @clara_mass:

Dutch Reformed Church, Graaf-Reinet, South Africa

Sunlight peeked into the empty church through it's tall arching windows. Dust seemed to glitter in the air, hanging side by side with a suspense too subtle for the senses of most. Calmly, Amin Karrit sat himself, a dark Ermenegildo Zegna suit clinging to his powerful frame, the wooden bench creaking from his weight as he folded one leg over the other. Resting one hand atop the other, Amin tilted his head up, and his cold eyes gazed upon the cross of Christ hanging high before him. "No religion can convince me that I am immoral for expressing my contempt for the limp and indifferent person", Amin echoed, his face steely, and his voice floating with an icy matter-of-fact accent of Lebanese origin.

No Caption Provided

"I did not come to this country to wipe the noses of it's people, but to confront the enemies of my confidant who is here to do as she will do", he shrugged, his pale blue eyes never breaking their glare from the cross above him. "For the people who have a weak will... it does not concern me". And for Amin and his twin brother, Satar, little save for their own personal power had ever concerned them. Separated at birth, raised differently, but united later in life, the two brothers had carved their own path in the world. Satar had become the world's most fearsome terrorist, the scourge of global geopolitical order. But Amin? He was more subtle. He was the Blue Gangster in his native Lebanon, named for his proclivity for navy blue suits. It was there that he was raised by the Karrit Family, an Arab-Albanian family of would-be mafiosos - pretenders who copied the way Hollywood thought gangsters ought to act.

They were a joke. One that Amin had transformed into a family of true sociopolitical power, a family that now spearheaded an era of violent capitalism and control. With them, Amin had his people strategically placed throughout the Beirut underground political elite. Much of the city's police brass was in his pocket - he was feared. None of which the Blue Gangster had accomplished his own. His hand in politics, his networks of influence, would not have been possible without Ada Guillaume. They had met years before, and she had lent him her expertise on the mind and the laws of manipulation, expertise that Amin's empire could not have risen without. He admired her, and his desire for power matched hers for revolution. They had corresponded, planned, and Amin had put his political and criminal pursuit on pause to stand by her in the moment she would most need him.

He has thrown heroes off cliffs for her, leaving mangled bodies for police investigators to scratch their heads over. And he has fractured the skulls of those who dared investigate her. "Everything is God's will", Amin mocked, his gaze finally breaking from the cross hanging before him. Standing to his feet, the Blue Gangster strode down the isle, his back to the church's Lord, his commanding gravitas drowning out the frown from the heavens. Stepping out the church, his dress shoes clicking and clacking on the concrete pavement, Amin watched the cars on the road slow to a screeching halt. And from them, emerged agents and killers from La Société, a Paris-based terrorist faction run by him and funded by Satar.

They were armed, wondering why Ada had chosen Graaf-Reinet and not greater South African cities like Durban, Cape Town, or Johannesburg, but bound to the Blue Gangster's will. Gazing into the distance, as if knowing exactly where Ada lounged, Amin tugged on the cuffs of his suit, adjusting them as a Société agent brought a dialing phone to his hear. "Do you have need of me?", he asked, his voice floating over the call-line for only Ada to hear.

Avatar image for urban_ronin
#10 Edited by Urban_Ronin (10111 posts) - - Show Bio

Graaff-Reinet

'was prospering'
'was prospering'

The enemy had been busy. They had been smart in their slow and calculating infiltration of the Eastern Cape town of Graaf-Reinet, South Africa. Though to give them too much credit, would be to do a disservice to the controversial South African province itself. 4th oldest settlement in the region. Infamous home to the 'Cradock Four.' Anti-Apartheid activities who were brutally tortured and murdered by the country's security force (police) at the height of the countries disturbing Apartheid. Death, corruption and controversy were fundamental elements grafted in the country's very DNA, paving the way for the Cardinal confederate, Ada Guillaume(s), systematic takeover.

'The Black Dahlia'
'The Black Dahlia'

She had cunningly read the signs preceding a possible Liafador civil war. The death of the Cardinal Queen had had a ripple effect across the Great Game, which had in turn fueled the ambitions of a great many players. And with Ada's angelic voice of sub-conscious persuasion, her political rise to influential power had been a carefully crafted ascension, as to avoid unnecessary suspicion. A Queen camouflaged as a Pawn, a viper parading as a rose, she was; 'the Black Dahlia.' But she was not the only one motivated by the Liafador's current misfortune. Nor was Ada the only one well versed in the art of sociopolitical espionage. Well versed in the Cardinal traditions.

As wife of Thee Champion, the Cardinal Matriarch had experienced and built a great many things. Together they created one of the World's great love stories, one of its greatest families. Love, security and life fulfilled. However that was not her true nature -or so Quintus believed anyway- for before the love and self-sacrificing nobility, Ziccarra Liafador had built one of the World's greatest Illuminati's of assassins. She was instrumental in a Venezuelan invasion that would forever alter the course of modern history. And she had built her first family alongside an assassin unlike anyother before, or after. An assassin who had inherited his own cabal, his own Illuminati, and was driven by the pressures of fulfilling his destiny of becoming the Raysh Al'Shaytan of the League. Of becoming the Father of Assassins.

Ziccarra, pivotal in this evolution, had gifted her then husband with a ceremonial covenant. A hand selected entourage of Red Cardinals who would loyally serve as the Father of Assassin's personal brigade. The Shadow Cardinals would eventually go own to serve in every League interpretation there after. They were even once led by the Cardinal Queen's first daughter Isadora. And one day, they would be led by the next Liafador/Knightfall Legacy.

One day, but for now they were still under the dogmatic control of the Shaytan. And the Shaytan had already implemented his own series of unfolding events in the wake of his former lover's death. Personally overseeing the trials of his and Ziccarra's granddaughter while simultaneously attempting to lay siege and ultimately claim the family's historical Pit for himself. This left very little in the way of available resources. A war on two fronts was out of the question at this stage of the game. So Quintus had dispatched his right hand and Grand Nahiq of the Shadow Cardinals, the Urban Ronin, to investigate.

No Caption Provided

Easily embedded within one of the regions peoples liberations army, the Ronin now had gained a direct path to his target. Having lifted the communications block, Camp Falcon would become an inevitable point of conflict, as both military and media sought to descend upon the compound. Ada's brazen tactics were suspicious yet the confident assassin held no trepidation for it would be his honor, his duty to die for his Shaytan. The peoples liberation was a small but nationalistic guerrilla force, canon fodder as far as the Grand Nahiq was concerned, as were the children inside the camp. His objective was whomever was behind the curtain and didnt entail taking the children's lives into consideration.

There would be no way to sneak into the camp. Only moments earlier there had been radio chatter pertaining to another intrusion taking place somewhere else in the region, someplace called Camp Hayden. The Black Dahlia's lifting of the radio blockade had immediately ushered in the arrival of the legendary Feral Nova, all Cardinal forces and camps would now be on high alert. With any luck an opportunity would soon present itself organically. If not, the Urban Ronin would be forced to improvise.

Avatar image for arquitenens
#11 Posted by Arquitenens (12008 posts) - - Show Bio

The VTOL stealth transport streaked overhead, well above cloud cover through the majority of its travels. Aboard was a fairly small crew: one adult male, the pilot, and two females, essentially autonomous cargo. Briefly acquainted once prior, Lazuli understood that Abigail only ever made use of her services when a matter was particularly personal. Or desperate, or infuriating. Or all three. She also understood, through means her employer would’ve frowned upon, that the shift from blonde hair meant she was attempting to remain inconspicuous—in hiding from someone, or something. Once nearing the target site the aircraft began a gradual descent, calculated by a computer and executed by Franklin.

Lazuli loaded up her rifle, checked her equipment, and posted at the cargo bay doors. "This must be pretty significant to drive you out of your little sanctuary. But I don't understand. What's the point of assembling a 'global force for good' if you're not even going to use them?"

Abigail's head rolled, tiredly, around so she could fix the woman beside her with a glare. She didn't say anything for several long seconds. Then, quietly, with the voice of a woman who has lost all tolerance for being patient with the world but is too worn out to yell, she said "I’m doing what’s necessary. Here we want inconspicuous, so here, the fianna are not. This is not a war and many of these are not soldiers. This is far too delicate to charge en masse and I won’t have more dead children on my conscience."

Both fell silent. It’d been a long time since she’d thought of them. Her first command role, and the innocents who died because she acquiesced to Quintus Knightfall’s reasoning and allowed children to fight. Once upon a time she thought her heart would stop at the sight. And that if she lived, she would remember it – each individual, every day, with the same piercing guilt. But the images were no longer fresh in her mind – she couldn’t remember the faces. Mostly vague impressions of the larger scene and even that was like staring through a foggy window. The truth, she thought, was that she didn’t remember the children, the scene of their bodies and what a monster she could be. She was simply remembering the memory. Now, she felt that her grief had dimmed with time, and that brought with it a new kind of guilt all its own.

"Try not to get yourself killed."

Lazuli remained quiet only for the sake of not pressing a thing she knew nothing about, but which was obviously a painfully sensitive spot in her present employer’s past.

“Well, try not to get yourself killed, Ms. Aensland. Your assignments are always interesting, and you’re only the second highest-paying client Ananke has had.” She chuckled – unbeknownst to the archer – at swirling ironies. The first was Satar.

The VTOL fell to a hover well outside of the town and they went boots to the ground tramping toward the danger zone for several miles before either laid eyes on it. Abigail nodded, Lazuli responded in turn, and they darted in two separate ways to enter the town.

With the compound in sight, Abigail circled the area several times from what she assumed was a safe distance. Hiding amongst the flora and fauna, her movements were scarce and slight to minimise the potential for anyone spotting her ahead of time. Have to act quickly once the game is up. We’re on a timer the instant the first man goes down. She’d spent years studying security patterns and protocols, beginning with her time fighting VRS in Venezuela, observing the strictest, most well-disciplined teams as well as those whose operators were lax and easily duped. As a rule, she always assumed the former until proven otherwise. Most likely there were fairly set patrols, allowing for some deviation if there was a suspected issue, and a stream of constant communication. Periodic check-ins. Hourly? Every thirty minutes? More, less…? There was no way of knowing without observing. Just as she had no way of knowing that several others had already entered the premises and begun similarly intended work ahead of herself.

No Caption Provided

It was her first “active assignment” in over a year and her heart pounded in her chest as though she was fresh off of the plane from London once again. Abigail leaned against a tree, closed her eyes and bowed her head in a short prayer.

When she opened them, he was there. Staring at her with his sharp emerald eyes. His pale features betrayed no emotion. No judgement, favourable or otherwise, could she discern in him no matter how she searched. The spirit of Diarmuid had been a near-constant companion ever since appearing suddenly one night in her mother’s bedroom. Even when she couldn’t see him she knew he was never really far. He’d even taken possession of her body on several occasions; yet somehow the spectre managed to hide his presence from anyone else, including her mother and other experienced magi.

“Leave me be this time,” she said in her mind, knowing he’d “hear” it; though as the words came out they sounded more like a plea than a command or even an attempt at negotiation.

“I will. For as long as I can,”he responded, his accented English a distant relative. ”Handle it and I just might be able to. But if I catch you slipping—watch it!”

Abigail held still for a time, slowly angling her head in the direction the spirit had been looking while mouthing a silent plea to no one (“He doesn’t see me”). Once he’d finished scanning the horizon she acted, falling flat and rolling prone, clasping the nanite bow. She counted down in her head. Three...two…one.

The bows limbs snapped to life in virtual silence. Arquitenens rose. Nock. Draw. Before release she whispered an incantation into the arrow, imbuing it with a small bit of esoteric power. On contact the energy spread over his body and he slumped to the ground. Unconscious, but alive.

Search the body. Then press on.

On her own, Lazuli explored the town itself. Shopping, talking, but mostly watching and listening. Memorizing faces, accents, gaits, the way those who lived there carried themselves. Her own infiltration, she determined, had far better odds of success than Aensland or any other would-be saviours (or whatever they thought themselves) springing whatever trap the town’s occupiers had set up.

She approximated an amalgamation of the features of several persons, combined and gave herself the form of a child native to the town, appearing roughly nine years old. If they were the ones being abducted, it was only a matter of time before she was in. All she needed then was to wander nearer and nearer the camp where they were held.

Avatar image for ada_guillaume
#12 Posted by Ada_Guillaume (172 posts) - - Show Bio

Camp Falcon

"I will not disappoint you"

Ada stood admiral style gawking out the window overlooking Camp Falcon, not even the sporadic sound of machine gun fire could shatter her concentration.

Soon, it'd all come to a head, the purpose for occupying this small quiet town. It was one of the things that made the Liafador Family so influential, unlike The Knightfalls and Huntington's; that has a deep-rooted history in her own town of Paris, The Liafadors rose from small beginnings and rose to Sociopolitical power in both Southern America and Europe. How though? the modern world eventually shunned what became of the Iberian family, but Ada knew better. The very framework of the family followed a specific blueprint, not a decree as any of the Matriarch's would have you believe--this blueprint pre-dated them. That, that's what she was here for.

The Graceful Assassin was not the only one interested in Liafador Assets, unbeknownst to her, Quintus Knightfall returned from the solace of the shadows to stake his claim to the infamous Liafador Pit.

Finally, her gaze was broken by the sound of Riberia on her walkie-talkie, In her mind, his fate was already sealed. His friendship could not be trusted, he represents the archaic Cardinal principles, The Liafador Legacy. For the Book of Blades to become law; all shadows of the old regime had to be extinguished--and they would with his death.

"Dhalia, we've lost contact with a scout at post 2, secondly Feral Nova and some sort of Goddess have made contact at Camp Hayden how should I proceed?." His question drew a curious brow and an even more sardonic response.

"Forgive me Riberia, perhaps it is I who bears the title of General. If you want, perhaps we should switch places?" She teased before ending her connection with him.

"X, prepare the children for battle. Remember, we don't want anyone dead, not just yet. Also, I am awaiting the arrival of a woman named Clarice Michelle, you'll notice her. See her straight to me" She barked over the walk-talkie before turning her attention back to the open skies.

Tribute.
Tribute.

"I told you we don't need her help. I'm more than capable of doing this myself" Ada called out, her words directed towards no one; but they were in fact received.

"Clarice will sense my presence and come as you have commanded. She's a stickler for those type of things." Y said having intercepted the mind of one of Ada's servants.

"What I don't understand is why you've blessed me?" Ada said finally turning to see the Cocaine Goddess in her disguised manner.

"Tribute. The Plane of Existence has been weakened, maybe beyond repair. Our world is being invaded, and I intend to finally do something about it. None of this makes sense to you because it is above your level of understanding. The master's of the universe all have their Champions. I now have mine"

With that, Y relinquished control of the guard. Ada watched as his body crashed onto the floor; as he soon began violently convulsing. Eventually, he passed, save for a few spasms, life in his body cease. "I will not disappoint you" She whispered, before turning back to the blank spot in the sky.

As a scholar, Ada knew of Y intercept's horrors. The Jade Dragon Queen, she'd lived and died centuries before Ada was born. She'd heard of the curse of Y, and things of that nature; so she was flustered when the "Universal God" came to her as an idea...rather a plague. That idea called for the creation of the Book of Blades--and with it a new Red Cardinal doctrine.

Just as Y's words continue to churn in her mind, the landline rang, Ada moved from the window to the phone expectantly, she didn't need her telepathic powers to know who the caller was; there was only one person that could reach her thru this chaos.

"Monsieur Amin, even in times of strife it tis still a blessing to hear your voice," She said deferring his question momentarily. "I will need a chopper when this is all said and done. But If your efforts could be focused on keeping the defenders occupied at the present time. I'd really appreciate it. When you're finished, I'd very much like it if you joined me at the center of town. It will be there, that I reveal the source of all this...madness." As she spoke with Amin, her eyes caught her attendant's arrival bearing her old Cardinal Grunt uniform. "I will see you soon," She said, hanging up the phone.

Amin was her political confidant, they spent hours addressing the political climate of the globe; and even more hours on how Ada could actually usurp Cardinal Order. Now it was happening, she told him everything, everything but the how. He'd have to see that for himself. "X, I'm beginning my move. Engage as you see fit" She commanded.

---------------------------------------------------

Camp Hayden

No Caption Provided

He'd come to terms with it, Ada had chosen X, which meant his role in this game was to die. He'd been a member of the Red Cardinals far too long to not notice when a blade has been thrown at your back.

The Book of Blades, it was truly a powerful doctrine; all it took was nonsensical words to spew from the mouth of a woman for it to take hold. Much like the Liafador legacy, abandoning his duties would be cause for death--he was sure of it. Exactly who was controlling the children remain a mystery, X with her ability to persuade, or Ada with her ability to mentally intrude.

"I will die a man without honor. For my treason against the Liafador Family, and to my Cardinals; I will never know peace in death. But perhaps...perhaps this will make it right.

Inside the Liafaodor Hierarchy, Chance was currently the Family Matriarch, but she was weak unproven and hadn't passed the Pit. It dawned to the General of Red Cardinals that the base family didn't yet know what was taking place here. Riberia championed a letter, and in it, he detailed what he knew Ada was up to. "Take this to the False Bay. You will not leave until this falls into the hands of a Liafador. He commanded placing the note on the back of his feathered pigeon which was uncharacteristically red.

"Now...we fight" Though Camp Hayden housed mainly teenagers, Riberia had a small group of child soldiers at his disposal, but his main force was basically the battle ready Red Cardinals. "Cardinals..." he whispered.

Like specters in Hollywood films, the manifest from thin air. The Red Cardinals or Rouge Faction as they were now calling themselves swarmed Camp Hayden surrounding both Feral Nova and Warrior Angel.

"Activate the tower." On his command, the same indoctrination melody begins to play overhead, the moment the music went live the Cardinals began their assault on @feral_nova and @warrior_angel, hoping that a prolonged exposure to the melody would subsequently allow their minds to be controlled.

He, however, was not present at the center of Camp Hayden, knowing Ada was now moving over on Falcon prompt him to look into the earlier disturbance. High above, another one of his winged friends, this one more of an automaton than the real thing. This surveillance Cardinal was provided him a thermal scape of the area.

Leaping from his command post, Ribera immediately called his tactical vehicle and set out in the coordinates of @ali_sani_bashir. The grid coordinates were hot, which meant someone was in the area. "I want a squad of Cardinals in that area. Detain the intruder until I arrive."

He needed to survive, by distancing himself from the main battle, the Cardinal General believed he could find an excuse to escape his plotted execution at the hands of Ada.

Avatar image for ali_sani_bashir
#13 Edited by Ali_Sani_Bashir (2509 posts) - - Show Bio

@ada_guillaume:

Before the subdued operator could gargle out a response, the Bashir Bishop's ear's subtle shifted. His eyes swam to his peripheral just in time to catch; and acrobatically react, to the unsheathed blade of a Red Cardinal assassin as he sought to deliver a surgical strike. The expert delivery of the attack had been aimed to injure rather then decapitate, and there, inbetween the microseconds, was where the Vibranium Maharajah exploited the Cardinal's orders not to kill. Ducking and leaning every bit of his exercised frame into the lunging assassin, Ali wrapped his arms around his attackers legs and leveraged the captured momentum, fueling his explosive lift, turn, and takedown/suplex as he drove the Cardinal into the ground. Immediately scrambling to garner top control and raining down a series of elbows until the assassin stopped moving.

"Dammit." he angrily thought. Disappointed in the sloppy nature of his offensive execution, his skills still suffering the effects of his prolonged incarceration. Muscle memory and reflexes would return, in time, and with enough practice. But where there was one Cardinal, there were more, many more. And if his location had already been compromised.....

Again Ali suddenly reacted to the surprise attack of another Cardinal. Narrowly ducking out of the way of a spinning thrust kick, only to back into the flying knee of another. The force of which had sent him somersaulting forward, where without hesitation he shoulder charged and tackled yet another assassin. Quickly the arriving Cardinals descended upon the former Warden, kicking and beating his body until he rolled over and off from their compatriot.

No Caption Provided

Bloody and battered, he was never the less still alive. For now, anyway. But it was clear that the Rogue Faction had wanted him alive, most likely for questioning. The moment the found out he was not part of a larger coalition of invaders he would be executed. However, he thought, at least this way he could gain excess into the Camp itself....the gamble was worth it. So Ali did not struggle or attempt to escape. Instead he would surrender. Surrender and wait.

Avatar image for warrior_angel
#14 Edited by Warrior_Angel (139 posts) - - Show Bio

@feral_nova: @dominus_: @lethal_weapon_x: @clara_mass: @amin_karrit: @urban_ronin: @arquitenens: @ali_sani_bashir: @ada_guillaume:

Briefly, Warrior Angel's eyes spot Clara, wondering if she is here to help or hinder (OOC: Sorry, didn't know how else to respond to you since Ada did not, that I could see anyway).

No Caption Provided

As the bullets stop coming at Warrior Angel, she notices Feral Nova coming up from behind, then reassuring her that she is not here to fight the Amazon. She smiles at the fellow hero, "Nice to meet you, Feral Nova. I am Warrior Angel." Sadly, it is not long after she says those words that Angel finds her, and her new companion, surrounded by Red Cardinals.

Angel speaks to her Nova ally, "I hate to say it, but I don't think they are in a listening mood." No sooner than the words leave her mouth does a rather haunting melody begin playing. While it pulls at Angel's mind, it's very subtle. However, the Amazon has no time to dwell on this as she suddenly finds herself under attack by the Red Cardinals.

Warrior Angel begins to block and parry kicks and punches, responding in kind with her own brand of martial arts. A style that has since been forgotten but is alive again in the Amazon. She moves with a poise an elegance of a warrior that has honed her skill all of her life. As she fights, attempting to overcome the enemy, one move is chained into another, almost like it's only one long continuous move that seems never ending.

Avatar image for amin_karrit
#15 Posted by Amin_Karrit (862 posts) - - Show Bio

@warrior_angel: @feral_nova: @clara_mass: @arquitenens: @ali_sani_bashir: @ada_guillaume:

No Caption Provided

"I will be with you soon, Ada", were Amin's last words to the Black Dahlia. Sliding into the backseat of a classic chauffeured Mercedes-Benz W108, the Blue Gangster rolled his neck, folded his leg, and enjoyed the ride. Lounging in fine leather seats, Amin heard the jazzy melody of Karen Souza's"Paris" float to his ears - a song as beautiful as the city Ada was from. Peering past the tinted windows, his cold eyes glanced as La Sociétédrove in formation around him, their cars as unassuming as his, blending in with those that roamed the quiet streets of Graaff-Reinet. Tourists shopped at the Windmill Junction, a charming country store, while others lounged in the open air terrace of the Coldstream Restaurant.

Ah but soon, they fled in fright as their phones beeped with news of the city's mayor bending at the knees before Ada, before the woman whose ambitions would never be tamed. And from the backseat of his car, Amin watched them flee, his eyes empty of any compassion for their fear. Averting his gaze, the Blue Gangster peered ahead, his eyes looking past the windshield as the smooth and concrete pavement gave way to a bumpy dirt road. They were in rural Graaff-Reinet now, where the city ended and the poor townships began. "Stop", his strong voice echoed, and his chauffeur complied, slowing the car to a halt as other Société agents did theirs. Stepping out his car, Amin was a sight to behold. Wide-chested, broad-shouldered and towering at 6'6", he cast an intimidating presence, one magnified by his dominant posture and icy gravitas.

"Half of you, go on foot, armed. Test the waters the heroes want to swim in - and drown them", he ordered, waving them into action before glancing back at those who remained. "The rest of you", he paused, his face and eyes always marshaling the quiet intensity of a commander and strongman, "With me. We will go closer to the other camp". Retiring to his Mercedes as his men retired to their vehicles, Amin turned around and headed for Camp Falcon. "Tell the ones in the mountains I want two choppers ready. One for extraction, later, and one for attack, now", he commanded, his chauffeur, a Société agent complying and forwarding the Man of Steel's demand. But as they left, his other agents remained, trekking into the difficult terrain that surrounded Camp Hayden. Gifted by Amin's brother, theirs were weapons designed to mangle metahumans.

But their orders were to test the waters. To stay true to the Blue Gangster's strategic vision. Enemy resistance was in and around Camp Hayden, it was where the heroes who'd come to disrupt Ada's plans lurked. And it was part of Amin's forces, his agents' overall strategy to appear to want the enemy's center of gravity forced into the camp, as though they sought to isolate each hero from the other. So as they marched deeper into the heart of conflict, closer to the camp, the Société agents broke into formation, with some staying behind to secure escape routes, while others readied themselves for combat - and fired. Unloading a downpour of high caliber bullets and military-grade explosives on all heroes and enemies save for the Vibranium Maharajah, Amin's forces attacked with a ferocity meant to deceive their foes into believing that this was the totality of their firepower.

All in a bid to cut off their mobility, to force them into frantically re-positioning themselves away from the offensive hailstorm - and away from Camp Hayden to a more open terrain where an attack chopper could obliterate them from above. They were not to use their exotic weaponry yet. Elsewhere, Amin and the other half of his forces sought to rendezvous with Ada.

Avatar image for feral_nova
#16 Edited by Feral Nova (58345 posts) - - Show Bio

@clara_mass: @ada_guillaume: @warrior_angel:

"Nice to meet you, Feral Nova. I am Warrior Angel." The fellow hero spoke, introducing herself.

But before she could reply, she could feel it, she couldn’t fully describe it, she felt lightheaded, and then a pain, a pressure like pain reaching into her mind. Before Jacob vanished from Earth, again, he used his abilities as a Guardian to place mental walls around her mind. This was to help with her PTSD. All the nightmares, anxiety, paranoia, it didn’t simply vanish, but Jacob helped lessen her symptoms so she could go about her day without having any episodes. But this also helped with anyone attempting to mentally manipulate the hero. It was able to keep her safe from mild mind manipulations. Right now, she was feeling it. Someone, close by was reaching into her mind, but not trying to manipulate her, or not yet.

Who are you?
Who are you?

Her sky blue eyes quickly darted in the direction of the unknown brunette haired woman, able to sense where she was through her body heat. “Who are you?”Was what she would have said, if the sudden wave of Crimson Cardinals didn’t suddenly appear out of nowhere! They surrounded herself and the Warrior Angel. “Red Cardinals.” Zoe spoke, softly, she knew it, she knew this was Liafador related, somehow, but more importantly, this was directly linked with Ziccarra. Nova’s countless interactions with the family allowed her to develop a sort of understanding of the Liafadors. Certain members of the family had their own factions of warriors called Cardinals. There were White Cardinals, Ivory Cardinals, Shadow Cardinals and Red Cardinals. Ziccarra, had the Red Cardinals.

"It's the Red Cardinals!" Zoe yelled out, not to her current alley but to the former Feral Nova that was listening on the other end.

"Zoe you need to get out of there."

In unison they began to attack the two heroes. Zoe, with her experience from battling Ziccarra herself on more than one occasion, was able to anticipate the Cardinals attacks. Not moving as fluidly as the raven haired hero beside her, but enough to keep the Cardinals at bay. “Be careful, their blades might be laced with poison!” She shouted out to Warrior Angel as some of the Cardinals drew daggers and/or swords, remembering one of her encounters with the Cardinal Goddess, she was poisoned by her blade.

No Caption Provided

"We need to get a hold of Cat, she needs to know what's going on!" Zoe yelled out again as she suddenly received a punch to the gut, followed by an elbow right in between her shoulder blades from behind as they all attacked one after the other.

"What do you want me to tweet her or something? We don't have any contact information."

"Yes! Twitter! Tweet Maya." Zoe grunted as her fist made contact with one of the Cardinal's jaw. "Tell her that someone is using the Red Cardinals!"

"Zoe that's ridiculous!"

"DO IT!"

Taking a step to the side, to avoid causing harm to Warrior Angel, the Fire Goddess body erupted in a golden flame, forcing the Cardinals back as she threw her arms forward, unleashing a stream of fire at the immediate warriors around her, forcing them to back off or get consumed by the fire. “Who are you working for?!” Zoe demanded an answer.

No Caption Provided

But there was something else, among all the chaos, in the background, there was a melody playing. One that felt like nails on a chalk board in the mind of Zoe as it attacked the mental blocks placed by Jacob. She let out a cry of pain as she dropped to her knees, her flames that were once dancing in unison around her began to move around more erratically. What would have been a smooth indoctrination of Zoe, turned into a torture device for the hero against the mental blocks that surrounded her mind. “Gah!” The hero cried out, her hands clasped around her head. “Stop it, stop it, STOP IT!” She forcefully threw out her right hand as it threw out a random fireball, not aiming at anything specific, just throwing it out in the direction of the sound, hoping it would disrupt the music, but instead, set fire to one of the buildings that were in her line of fire.

Moderator
Avatar image for lethal_weapon_x
#17 Posted by Lethal_Weapon_X (86 posts) - - Show Bio

Camp Falcon

No Caption Provided

Ada's march toward the center of the town prompts the silent mercenary to begin her initial engagement with the Resistance Forces moving toward the town. From afar she could hear the ensuing battle on Camp Hayden, Riberia and his Cardinal's began their initial assault on those seeking an end to their occupation. Bellowing out above the townscape was blackened smoke infused with flames, obviously, Feral Nova's doing. She'd been a victim of mind-controlling before, and it appeared that X's voice in melody form was attempting to do it again.

To this point, the enemy could be likened to the moth attracted by warmth. They'd fallen directly into Ada's strategy, and with Amin Karrit providing reinforcements, they'd soon be trapped in an offensive onslaught composed of Children, Cardinals and other foreign mercenaries.

Despite the rather large number of forces at their command, the strongest elements of Ada's protection came closer and closer to the empty space in the city. To a rational person, this probably made very little sense--X was one of them. However, she gathered there was a missing piece to this puzzle. Perhaps with the media blockade down, she'd frame these heroes for attacking a town? Maybe fabricate images of them killing children? All possible courses of actions, but none of them really knew for sure what Dhalia had planned.

Jumping from rooftop to rooftop X tailed behind a convoy, her intent was to avoid the initial engagements; sneak behind enemy lines and prevent them from a retreat.

On the ground, a skirmish between the Resistance Army and Ada's Rouge Faction commence, the firing upon children was a source of apparent hesitation; as the child soldiers immediately gained the underhand utilizing their youth to render their opponents temporarily paralyzed. Despite actively opposing the people's resistance force, X remained largely unaware of the presence of @urban_ronin intermingled within the ranks of the opposition.

In other areas of the mother continent, child soldiers became a norm; it was normal to see a child toting an AK-47 under the pretenses that they were protecting their homeland. Here? In South Africa? they'd built up decades worth of provisions to prevent such situations. Situations that many of them were not prepared to deal with.

X's heightened senses caught the site of two Red Cardinal's abandoning the fight, moving toward the center of the town. She could only deduce that this was Ada, making her move toward the final objective. Launching from the rooftop with a standing double tuck, she entered the battlefield using hand gestures amongst her Cardinal captains to move the children into battle positions.

The goal was simple, engage defenders whilst providing cover to Ada, entertain the defenders long enough for them to be wiped out by Amin Karrit.

No Caption Provided

Overhead they flock, a crimson sea of Red Cardinals moved across the rooftops in nearly every direction to provided extra security.

"We've set up a perimeter around the center of the town. The children have engaged the Resistance Force on the north and south sides of the camp. The Cardinal Reinforcements clot the veins of the Camp Falcon, so much so that the presence of a young girl @arquitenens wandering about alone.

"You get back in the warehouse!" One of the Cardinals screamed pointing toward the clock tower. He never took into account that this child shouldn't have been away from the rest, the programming was too powerful, but he'd sacrificed his awareness for his safety.

Inside this clock tower were more children, about 20 or so, though programmed like all the rest they wore tactical vest lined with explosives. Ada would've never approved of such a barbaric tactic, but X did and her plan for them had yet to be revealed.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Camp Hayden (Outskirts)

No Caption Provided

From his location, Riberia could see the mushroom cloud of debris and flames, he wanted to smirk, only because he knows how fragile her psyche was, and what she would do if it remained under siege for a prolonged period of time. However, he was not allotted the leisure to enjoy the fruits of a plan, because detained before he was the Warden of the False Bay, rather the former Warden. Crouching in front of the detained Warden, Riberia unmasks himself, propping one hand on his knee and the other massaging his pepper-colored mustache. "Ali Bashir" He said in a singsong manner.

"Out of all of the people I expected to show face, yours was not one of them." He continued before looking around dumbfounded. "And without a pennies worth of your framed vibranium. They did often say that the smartest men make the dumbest mistakes--mistakes that cost them"

The shadows of Riberia's Cardinal eclipse them before, the sounds of conflict resounding not too far off made everything inaudible. Riberia knew nothing in regards to why this man was no longer the Warden of the False Bay, he just knew it happened, and with that, he knew he could bargain. "NOW!" He screamed tackling the Vibranium Maharajah out of the way, as his very own assault Cardinal rain down gunfire upon Ali's captors.

When it was finished, the disgraced Cardinal General checked the bodies of his former brethren before turning back to Ali. "We don't have much time." Picking up a weapon, Riberia kept it trained on Ali whilst disrobing into the basic Cardinal Grunt undergarments.

"Ada Guillaume, She's the one running this operation. She was once a Cardinal Grunt that rose to power using a forbidden doctrine known as the Book of Blades. She is here, in the town looking for something important. Something that belongs to the Liafadors."

Quick glancing over his shoulders, he backed toward the vehicle he rolled up in, this was his retreat. He wasn't going to die here, not as a pawn to some, some grunt. "Rumor is, one she's done here. She's heading to the False Bay. Use that to navigate the city" He said pointing to his Cardinal Armor.

Riberia revved the engine on the jeep, pushed the pedal to the gas and sped out of the town.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Camp Falcon (Center of the town)

No Caption Provided

From all sides of the town, they fought. Much like she intended, the child soldiers and Cardinal Forces held the attention of the would-be saviors. Just long enough for her to reach here. The center of the town. Sure during her initial occupation of this small town, she could've come whenever she wanted, but that would've attracted too many eyes before she has a reasonable enough force to take it over.

"Brahma Bull attacked Solace City, leveling the entire city in his wake." She murmured speaking to her attendant standing exactly one pace behind her.

"Because of it, this place had to move. With it, all the schematics for creating the perfect society were lost. You see, Cherie, Only from chaos can order truly be restored." Her eyes cut from the empty space back over to Cherie trying her hardest to understand where the former educator was coming from.

"Do you believe that?" Ada asked squinting to gauge the level of truth in her attendant's face. "Y-Yes I do"

"Do not hesitate, Cherie, It could be misconceived as a sign of weakness." She said before turning her head back to the empty space. "For years the Liafador Family have been credited with its rather nasty wine, political stronghold on Spain, and it's beautiful family members; people often forget about this place"

Rarely did Ada ever use her powers, she believed she worked effectively without it, but without Clara Mass present; she now saw fit to. Extending her hands forward, Ada bent the energies concealing the empty space so that they no longer exist; and with that, a massive skyscraper appeared in the small town's skyline.

Liafador International
Liafador International

Both Ada and Cherie's eyes scaled the mammoth of a building, and for however brief it was...the fighting stopped. They saw it too. "Liafador International. What I seek is inside this building, Cherie. And very soon, this world will know order"

Avatar image for clara_mass
#18 Edited by Clara Mass (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

Camp Hayden

No Caption Provided

From her vantage point, Miss Pierce could feel the chaos commiserate in ways she'd never felt before. Flashes of complicated memories, from herself and her alternate self, about Noah Zeraz/Addams obscured her thoughts. She could see him approaching, his hands pressed against her shoulders as he steadied her equilibrium. For the moment, he stood between herself and the outcry of anguish from @feral_nova and @warrior_angel.

"You're not here for games, Clarice." His voice always sounded like silk. It was comforting and supportive. A testament to his unwavering convictions that persisted even from the great beyond. "The Cardinals are here and your question has been answered." Noah placed a finger beneath her chin and pulled her head up so their eyes could meet.

"The Liafadors are behind everything." In a display of intimacy, the bright eyed multiverse manifesto pressed his forehead against hers. "Don't let them get away with stealing what's yours." With that in mind, a concentrated telepathic blast outwardly expelled from the center of Miss Pierce's mind. It was an attempt to disrupt the cardinals, but more importantly it was meant to briefly protect the heroes she'd previously scouted.

"They'll help me win this fight," Miss Pierce murmured as she walked through the visage of Noah. Tears slid down from her glimmering violet eyes as he faded away like every other memento from home. "They just have to listen." A burning fire in the distance created a light smokescreen as she strutted across the field, her eyes fixated on the immense power emanating from Feral Nova.

Although she didn't present herself as the Clarice Michelle of this Earth, Miss Pierce hoped her efforts to protect the mind of Feral Nova would prove she wasn't looking to cause trouble...anymore. Instead, the Mistress of Mayhem approached her female constituents and created a cylindrical telekinetic dome around them that'd temporarily protect them from the music of manipulation as well as the dangers of death. Whatever battle they fought would temporarily end.

"I need you to listen to me," she appeared a bit exasperated after being telepathically backhanded by Feral Nova's protected mind. The use of her own telekinetic energy afterwards expunged even more power from Miss Pierce since she wasn't on Prime Earth anymore, but it was risk she'd taken with the intention of acquiring compliance from these warriors.

"I don't expect trust from either of you, but I think our mutual problem demands it." The brash brunette took deep breaths as she clasped her hands together to strengthen the walls that divided the trio of would be heroes from the strategic output of Red Cardinals.

"There's a greater power at work here and I can finally feel it. I know where it is. And it isn't here. It's in the center of this city." She could feel waves of energy beckon for presence, but for now she ignored its call.

"The Liafadors I've been studying them for years and they're the source of this entire problem. I need your help ending this..once and for all." She didn't have time to explain the way the Liafadors managed to alter fixed positions in history across multiple earths. Miss Pierce didn't have time to explain why she believed their elimination would mean the chance to meet the being who ordained them with such absolute power. What she hoped, however, was the opportunity to use these heroes for her interpretation of the greater good.

"I can protect your minds. If you allow me inside." It was a leap of faith to even ask for such an invitation without much of an association between the warrior's three.

"I can't stay here long. A greater power calls to me." Her words hinted to a larger tapestry at work, but she couldn't quite define the dilemma in simpler terms.

"I won't intrude. I just want to help." A slither of truth escaped that serpent tongue. Yes, she wanted to exact justice upon the universal being whom assisted the Liafadors. Yes, she wanted to maintain the universal frequency. However, letting Miss Pierce inside the minds of two combatively powerful individuals was dangerous. If they denied her request they'd surely fall to the melodies of manipulation. So, the decision was up to them.

"Take my hands if you want to live." She extended her arms outward to Feral Nova and Warrior Angel. If they grabbed her hands they'd be linked mentally and protected from unwarranted mental attacks. Once unified their eyes would illuminate the same emerald energies that surround Miss Pierce. They're connection would strengthen their telepathic barriers and allow them to telepathically communicate, but it'd also allow the Prime Earth goddess access to their minds. It was a risky choice, but one they'd have to make soon, because if they agreed the telekinetic barrier would burst open and leave them vulnerable to physical assaults.

In the event that these women denied her gesture of support, Miss Pierce would raise her arms up and force them down in an attempt to bring her telekinetic barrier crashing down upon potentially ungrateful heroes. The mere thought of being denied would aggravate the former Queen of Olympus immensely.

Regardless of their decision, Miss Pierce wouldn't have time to finish off the Cardinals. Instead, she teleported away from Camp Hayden leaving a mist of residual green energy in her absence. Whether she had allies or enemies in the conflict to come would determine how she'd go about completing her crusade. Until that moment, Clarice Michelle had to express her thoughts regarding to shift in this world's reality.

Camp Falcon (Center of the Town)

"Liafadors have done nothing, but incite madness. They're affiliates are no different," she scoffed with such a disturbed if not insulted countenance as she witnessed the length of Ada's powers. "I couldn't find you until now, b!tch." Despite the time constraints, Miss Pierce still managed to find time for her usual theatrics. Sadly, however, the universe demanded she get herself physically involved. A demand that made her heart anxious. That same notion of anxiety propelled the self-professed goddess of chaos to reveal her position behind @ada_guillaume's attendant and subsequently grabbed that aid by the roots of her hair.

"So, lets start talking! A goddess to a woman. What's inside, sweetheart?" The universal frequency spiked and she could hear the noise ringing in her ears. In a fit of anger, Miss Pierce tightened her grip on the attendant's head and attempted to smash the back of her head onto the cold hard ground. It was awfully uncharacteristic of Miss Pierce, but months of slumming in this universe had finally lead her to the doorstep of her desires. Finding out the importance of the Liafadors, their affects on the universal frequency and most of all...the greater power at work.

Avatar image for warrior_angel
#19 Edited by Warrior_Angel (139 posts) - - Show Bio

@amin_karrit: @feral_nova: @lethal_weapon_x: @clara_mass: @ada_guillaume:

More and more her willpower is being chipped away thanks to that music. She idly wonders why she is fighting these guys. Angel hears Feral Nova give a warning about poison. Good to know. But then the Nova hero falls to the ground as if in pain. Warrior Angel wonders why. The Red Cardinals seem to be trying to move Warrior Angel somewhere more open and that is when she spots the attack helicopter. That must be why. With a battle cry that cracks the air like a shot gun, she lifts her hands and blasts the Red Cardinals with invisible Chi energy from both her hands to give her more room. Right after Feral Nova tries blasting the source of the music, Warrior Angel uses superspeed to run to her side, summoning her shield and doing what she can to protect her fallen ally, "Feral Nova, what is wrong? Are you alright?"

Regardless if Feral Nova responds or not, that is when the Amazon notices Clara looking as if she is speaking to herself. Then the woman addresses them both, pleading with them even as she protects them from that mind controlling music. When that part happens, Warrior Angel feels a sense of ease come over her. Any thought of siding with the Cardinals or attacking Feral Nova is gone now. At least, for the time being...

Warrior Angel does not know this person, doesn't know her motivations or hidden agenda that she keeps to herself. All she knows is that this woman is offering to help. As the Amazon glances around, she sees that she is outnumbered, the exits are cut off and if she falls under the control of that music, she may attack Feral Nova or even side with the Red Cardinals! And besides, the ten year old child inside of Warrior Angel is more trusting than an adult.

Warrior Angel takes Clara's hand, seeing no other choice but to trust her. When she does, her eyes glow with with emerald energy as her mind is strengthened with barriers that will protect her against the mind controlling music. Unfortunately, little to her knowledge, she is now open completely to Clara's own mind when that telepathic link is formed. "Thanks for the help. My name is Warrior Angel."

But Clara did not hang around long when she teleports away. But at least now Warrior Angel has a fighting chance.

Avatar image for amin_karrit
#20 Edited by Amin_Karrit (862 posts) - - Show Bio

@ada_guillaume: @arquitenens: @ali_sani_bashir: @feral_nova: @lethal_weapon_x: @clara_mass: @warrior_angel:

Camp Hayden

From above, Amin's attack chopper fired a hailstorm of gunfire, threatening to raze any and every enemy roaming below, save for Ali the Warden of the False Bay. Instead, the chopper missed, it's rounds tearing the air and ground asunder but nothing more. Ah but the Blue Gangster's forces were clever, his La Société agents were quick in tweaking their approach, the knowledge that their foes could not be harmed by conventional gunfire burning deep in their minds. And so, as they lurked behind the trunks of trees and the hearts of bushes, they traded high caliber bullets and rocket launchers for weapons of super-terrorism. Moving seamlessly through the city's rural outskirts, the Société agents set their eyes on Nova, the Fire Goddess, and Warrior Angel.

Stepping around twigs and skirting just beyond the enemy line of sight, Amin's forces seized positions with good cover, firing stability, and a clear and crisp view of Nova and Warrior Angel. Regardless of their durability, the heroes' knees and hips were put under immense mechanical pressure whenever they were active, whenever they moved. Armed with battle rifles that borrowed from the 3rd World's railgun technology, Amin's La Société agents took aim at the knees and hips of Feral Nova and Warrior Angel - and fired. Their weapons, magazine-fed firearms, used magnetic fields to hyper-accelerates metal projectiles to outrageous velocities. Superheated by their velocities and elongated into metal spikes along their flight path, the projectiles tore through the air, intent on completely shredding through the heroes' knees and hips at 76.2 miles per second at 430 RPM.

Camp Falcon (Center of Town)

Soon the dirt roads of the rural townships gave way to smooth concrete as Amin made his return to the heart of Graaff-Reinet. From the backseat of his Mercedes-Benz W108, the Man of Steel cracked his knuckles, his hardened gaze betraying no emotion as he rolled his neck. Sooner or later, someone, a hero or otherwise - would attack Ada. And while the Société agents in his company felt their hearts clamor with adrenaline in their chest... Amin was cold, as though ice water coursed through his veins instead of blood. Gazing out his window, Amin's eyes fell upon one sight and one sight only, the one skyscraper climbing into the clouds of Graaff-Reinet; Liafador International.

No Caption Provided

'Ada is moving quickly', he thought, feeling his car and men slow to a steady halt. His door opened, and the Man of Steel stepped out his car a bear in a suit. 6'6" and muscled like an ox, Amin - much like Liafador International in this town - towered over everyone. Striding forward, his eyes catching sight of Ada, her attendant, and Clarice Pierce, Amin held a hand in the air. 'Stop', it told his men as he marched his way to Ada's side, taciturn as the silhouettes of armed men and classic cars hung behind him. With little more than a glance the Black Dahlia's way, Amin reached forward, intent on plucking Clarice by the head, "Does this girl have value?", he'd asked. Yes? He'd relinquish his hold. Ah but should Ada say no... his hand'd threaten to crush Clarice's skull with a monstrous squeeze that'd reduce her skull to bone ash, blood, and butchered brain.

Withdrawing his hand after diplomacy, murder, or failure, the Blue Gangster'd glance Ada's way, "Has everything gone according to plan?".

Avatar image for feral_nova
#21 Edited by Feral Nova (58345 posts) - - Show Bio

@lethal_weapon_x: @clara_mass: @warrior_angel: @amin_karrit:

As the flames left her hands, she could hear her newest ally trying to communicate to her over the chaos that surrounded the both of them. "The music!" Zoe cried out, her hands pressed against her skull as her body was still aflame. Her breathing became more erratic with every passing second.

"Zoe!" her aunt cried out from the earpiece."Snap out of it!"

"Gnnnnh!" She could feel the pressure in her head accumulate, only to suddenly stop with all of the Cardinals being flung on their back at the same time. She gasped for her, her eyes opening in disbelief of the sudden relief as they shifted upward at a woman who she recognized as Clara, the same women she remembered during the tournament she was involved in, she actually tried to help her in her fight against Ziccarra Liafador. She began explaining the situation. The person responsible for this wasn't here. She also confirmed what she already knew, that the Liafadors were somehow involved. Trust wasn't something that the Fire Goddess gave freely. But this woman had already shown a dislike to Ziccarra Liafador in the past and her knowledge of what was going on, was going along the lines of Zoe's own theories. Looking at her hand she hesitated for a moment. She knew she couldn't do this on her own, especially with the Liafadors involved, and having someone who knew more about them than herself would help as well.

No Caption Provided

"This isn't a good idea."

"Its the only lead we got so far. Plus... she's helped me before against Ziccarra. I think I can trust her... at least for now."

Zoe stepped out a second after Warrior Angel. But as soon as her hand placed her hand in Clara's hand gunfire was heard and Zoe felt a horrendous shooting pain in her right knee as she suddenly fell forward towards Clara. Instead of pulling away from the Prime World Goddess, to stay in the currently location, she forcefully leaned against the woman, causing the two to suddenly vanish in a cloud of emerald smoke. They suddenly they appeared... somewhere, accidentally leaving Warrior Angel on her own. The Fire Goddess was a bit disoriented from the teleport, but most of all, in pain. She dropped backwards onto the ground, her knee busted open and bleeding on the floor. Her hands pressed against her wound as she gasped in pain, using her fire abilities to cauterize her own wound even though there was a visible hole. She was shot and the bullet went straight through her knee. She didn't have the pleasure of staying still however as her eyes fixated on a man who was coming at Clara. She knew her speed force abilities would eventually heal her knee, but not as quickly as she would hope and enough to actually psychically get Clara out of the line of danger, so instead, she moved to plan B.

No Caption Provided

The hero reached out with her right hand, her glove covered in her own blood as she used her power to manipulate heat, more specifically, Clara's body heat. Using the natural heat radiating off of the Goddess body, she balled her hand into a fist, 'grasping' a hold on her as she pulled her arm back, jerking her away from the Goliath sized man while her left hand pushed forward a ball of fire towards him. "S-stay away form her!" The hero cried out as she used her powers to float up from the ground, careful not to put any weight on her knee as it visibly hung loosely. Her eyes gave a golden glow, as flames spiked out from her body, her attention trying to remain focus on the man who threatened her newest ally.

Moderator
Avatar image for ada_guillaume
#22 Edited by Ada_Guillaume (172 posts) - - Show Bio

Camp Falcon

No Caption Provided

By now it was apparent that the inhabitants of the Liafador company were aware their defenses were down. Many of its hidden employee's poke their heads out of the windows only to see Ada and Cherie staring back idly.

"Shall we?" She started, taking a step toward the building before the frantic squeal from her apprentice halts her progress for now.

"Ah, you must be Madame Pierce," Ada said before making eye contact, she was able to make an educated guess based on the energy surrounding the woman--just like Y said it was. "I must admit. That's an interesting choice, opposing me, especially when I have the entire town under control."

"But I suppose it's because you believe yourself to be superior, in any case, darling you too have waltzed right into my trap. The Liafador Family has taken refuge at the False Bay a location not too far from here; however, I'm sure that Maya Liafador has made that area inaccessible with her powers...that Clarice is why I want you."

Despite Clarice's vice grip on Cherie, Ada saw no reason to make haste. In fact, she stood with her finger propped on her chin actively thinking of an alternative. "Now Clarice" She started, but the movement behind Clarice again snagged her attention.

Ada's shoulders relax a bit, her eyes gradually shift past Clarice resting on the arrival of Amin Karrit, and his own security force. "Oh Amin" She chuckled, covering her toothy grin with her hands. "You certainly have mastered the art of making an entrance. Everything has gone accordingly, until just now."

We press forward
We press forward

"Clarice. I am not the enemy. I simply want to bring order to a chaotic world, much like you do. But I'm afraid, I do not have the time to make you see my point. Either you join me, or my very good friend here will detach your head from your shoulders. In any case, I will not be stopped."

"Darling, I'm heading in," She said before pressing forward towards the Main Entrance. In the lobby, Ada was met with security guards, but a soft and subtle whisper disarmed them. "Go get your boss. I wish to have a conference with him."

It didn't take long, As Ada awaited for the L.I Guards to retrieve the acting CEO, she instructed Amin's guards to protect the lower levels of the skyscraper, whilst giving the command to "X" to bring her forces even closer to the skyscraper.

In 10 minutes time, the guards returned dragging a peppered haired man by his tie, surrounded by a plethora of figures that worked with him.

"Oh no, there's no need to be barbaric. Please, Monsieur Charles, have a seat." Ada directed forcing him and his party to sit on the farthest side of the table. Briefly, her mind shifts back to Amin wondering what became of his situation with Clarice Pierce, and then to General Riberia, she hadn't heard anything over the comms--had he finally met his demise?

"Monsieur Charles, as of today Liafador International is no more. I'm commandeering all of your assets, technology, and architectural blueprints. But you know exactly why I'm here...don't you"

Charles was Ziccarra's advisor, a senior executive of the Red Cardinals, and at one time he was Ada's superior.

No Caption Provided

"Ada Guillaume, Dhalia" He grunted, sitting back in his seat, finally piecing it all together. "I knew the Book of Blades was powerful stuff, but I now realize it was the person behind it. But yeah, I know what you're here for."

He said clipping the end of his cigar. "But I can't give it to you. Especially not someone who would militarize children." He continued lighting his cigar.

"Really, but you can allow your "Goddess" to massacre whole tribes of people, and be ok with it?" Ada retort, speaking of Ziccarra's initial campaign into Tibet--where she founded the Red Cardinals.

"You're perfectly fine with what she and her family have done to Spain? This is the type of evil, I wish to stop. Charles. You know I've never physically killed anyone ever." Ada started before rising to her feet.

"But I will make an exception, you're a Cardinal Admin, which means you've already accepted the possibility of death. But your wife, your children, and grandchildren--they are not. Don't punish your family, to protect another."

Ada squat at the end of the table directly above Charles, though he was a combatant, he'd never be able to take Ada; not with her ability to manipulate so easily.

"What do you want with it?" The tenacity in which he spoke waned, he was caving; It was his duty to protect Ziccarra, but she was now dead. He could not offer his family to save hers.

"Tis simple, The Liafador Family wanted to create "The Perfect" Liafador, I want an army of them. Now I will ask you one more time Charles. Where is the Liafador Gene Replication Equation"

Unclipping what looked like a bracelet Charles slid Ada a thumb drive before putting his head down in disgrace. "Because you are a man of honor, I expected you to do the right thing. Which is why I've already arranged for one of my cardinals to visit your grandchild at school. Should this work Charles. You won't have to worry about a thing."

Avatar image for warrior_angel
#23 Edited by Warrior_Angel (139 posts) - - Show Bio

@ada_guillaume: @feral_nova:@lethal_weapon_x: @clara_mass: @amin_karrit:

Warrior Angel is shocked to see that Feral Nova is injured, "Feral Nova!" Using superspeed, she puts her body in front of the nova hero, blocking the bullets that are coming her way with her shield and right bracer in order to protect her ally from further hits. She glances back in time to see Feral Nova vanish with Clara as she teleports away, leaving Angel to fight on her own.

A bullet hits Warrior Angel in the right knee and she screams in pain as she falls to the ground on her other knee. Another bullet grazes her leg before the Amazon begins blocking the barrage of gunfire with her shield and bracer again. STUPID! STUPID! STUPID! She should NOT have taken her eyes off the enemy!

Things are getting a little too hot and her mother did say to retreat if things went in this direction. But with the exits effectively blocked and the sky covered by that attack helicopter, Warrior Angel knows that if she is to escape, she might just have to start killing people and cause massive damage to this place. She doesn't want that. Thus, if she tries any of the normal ways to escape, she might get incapacitated and captured by the enemy. But...there is one area the enemy does not have covered. The ground.

No Caption Provided

Firearms all suffer from the same problem. Ammo shortage. By the time it takes the Red Cardinals to run out of ammo in their gun clips, forcing them to insert new ones, Warrior Angel's wounds are already healed up. She smiles, slamming the ground with a fist and causing the Earth to shake in a mini Earthquake, with dirt and rocks flying into the eyes of the enemy and hopefully blinding them. She also hopes it forces the army of bad men to lose their footing. Then she spins around like a top at superspeed, drilling into the dirt at approximately half the speed of sound. She drills about a half mile down before she veers off into a direction that takes her away from this place. She has lost the battle here and failed the test her mother gave her.

Avatar image for clara_mass
#24 Edited by Clara Mass (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

Clarice Michelle has been messy as of late. Her time in this world has presented her character as incompetent, but she was the goddess of mayhem. Her mind was sharper than any knife and her will was stronger than any man. She'd prove her worth soon enough.

@amin_karrit, however, was quick to test her grit. With her back turned and her grip on Ada's assistant loosening, Clarice was shocked to feel the unforeseen assailant reach out as swiftly as she had done to this woman just moments prior.

"I'm sorry, sweetheart!" The way his fingers wrapped around the back of her head would have been fun if the circumstances were different, she thought. "You're not our type." Luckily for the violet-eyed vixen, @feral_nova had unwittingly followed her to this crossroads of chaos. Without much warning, the fire goddess pulled the former Olympian Queen by the arm and away from certain doom.

Clarice Michelle rolled onto the ground, watching the levitating inferno entity push a fireball toward their gargantuan opponent. Her eyes widened in sheer disbelief at this display of power. Her face warmed as residual heat waves caressed her olive skin. It was a sight to behold, but action demanded a reaction.

"You're hurt, but I can help." In an effort to assist her ally, Clarice Michelle focused her attention on the wounded knee of Feral Nova. Through their psychic link and their previous body contact, the reality-bending powerhouse attempted to speed up the healing process of her partner and return her to optimal health. All the while, the men of Amin Karrit attempted to engage in the fight by drawing their weapons.

"We need to stop her, Nova." It was a vain effort on her end, but before Clarice Michelle could get back on her feet she tried to telepathically connect the minds of these men to Amin Karrit. Regardless, if they linked to Amin Karrit or not she hoped to telepathically hijack these goons and redirect their firepower onto one another. The best case scenario, they'd shoot Amin and the combined mental trauma would disorient the big fellow enough to let Nova attack some more. Worst case scenario, the gunmen would shoot each other and Clarice would find herself disorientated by whatever mental protection the strange fellow had.

Avatar image for arquitenens
#25 Posted by Arquitenens (12008 posts) - - Show Bio

Her well-crafted disguise in place, Lazuli navigated the city and the compound itself virtually without issue. An outsider, she could make out little at a glance and largely committed herself to recon. Besides, she figured, it was only a matter of time before the archer commenced with an aggression that would account for the both of them. One of us might as well be scrupulous about it. If I could just—

"You get back in the warehouse!" a man’s voice called, and she looked to see him pointing.

It took a good deal of effort to keep her lips from curling into a smirk. Like you read my mind. Thanks. She nodded and jogged to the tower on her child-legs, eager that soon she would learn what the enemy was planning and earn her keep.

Another man fell in silence, just as others before him, under the effect of the same sleep spell focused into a non-lethal arrow. By the time he hit the ground the heroine was no longer in place, driving deeper into the compound, toward a goal she wasn’t even sure of. There’s a problem, we know that even if we don’t know the solution. Just get in there and act, she’d told herself, and something will manifest. You’ll understand when you see it. Find whoever’s in charge, take them out. Or find clues to their plan and it’s just sabotage from there.

“Y’know, I admire the commitment t’yer principles,” Diarmuid remarked as another body fell unconscious, “but I gotta wonder how ye stayed alive all this time like this before startin’ on Gráinne’s magick.”

Abigail ignored him, dove into a barrel roll and proceeded. She was still in control of herself. That was all that mattered. The slightest distraction and she could slip. Screw up a spell, cause an explosion, miss a detail and find herself on the wrong end of a firing squad, or worse. During the registration debacle in the States she’d been able to charge a line of gunmen head-on and come out of the other side unscathed. Since then her luck had shifted and she had no interest in testing whether the same could hold true against these seemingly more coordinated forces.

“Arq? May wanna look at this,”Lazuli chimed over their private “Borabu” connection. “Transmitting visual.”A request appeared in her vision, courtesy of NOOCS, and she accepted.

She realised only after the fact that the sharp inhale was extremely, uncomfortably loud. She felt Diarmuid’s influence prodding her mind and body. But the image of them all standing as they were, living prepubescent bombs, focused her, and she fought him off. The last thing she or the endangered children needed was the wrath of an angry spirit clouding her judgement. “Send me your location. I’m en route.”

Coordinates arrived almost instantly. Abigail turned just in time to see the butt of the gun before impact. Everything became mired by a thick haze, body numb. She put out an arm to catch herself as she fell. She was made vaguely aware of something being wrapped around her neck, and then nothing at all.

Darkness.

Avatar image for ali_sani_bashir
#26 Edited by Ali_Sani_Bashir (2509 posts) - - Show Bio

@arquitenens:

No Caption Provided

So many questions and yet, the unexpected revelations at the hands of the fairweather traitor, 'General Riberia,' had enlightened the former warden of the bay. Liafadors, Cardinals, and a plot involving the False Bay had all been revealed, had all been brought to light before the disgraced General had fled leaving behind his extravagantly tailored battle suit.

Every compulsory impulsive screamed at the fallen warden, 'home!' 'go home!' But the hero in him would not allow such an act of selfishness to govern his motivations. After all, years earlier; alongside his father, the dynamic duo had led a mass exodus out of Venezula and into the Kwazula Alcazar. Rescuing hundreds of displaced refugees. As overnight, humans were hunted down and executed to make way for the then, new mutant kingdom of Venz. It was an act of noble sacrifice that had earned him the moniker of the Prince of Orphans. And should he succeed in freeing the mentally manipulated children, caught up in the indomitable dogma of Cardinal influence, the Prince would become a King. The King of Orphans.

His feet galloped atop the auburn dirt covered road with graceful strides and gait, keeping his senses sharp, though dissociated from the chaotic conflict brewing between the more well known super-powers. Even if he had wished to test his metal against those directly responsible he somberly understood that it would accomplish nothing. A fight of that magnitude would take too long, expend too much energy, the risk vs reward wouldn't justify the forfeiture of so many resources when the true objective was the freedom of the children.

Sticking to the edges of the encampment, Ali began to slowly incapacitate the weakest and smallest of the child soldiers. A nerve strike here, a rear-naked choke there, he pressed each position with surgical stealth and a whisper's whistle. Then, he saw it, saw her, as a small armed contingent drug her towards the center of the camp. "What are you doing heah" he thought. Recognizing the archer instantly from his own sorta dealings, their past a complicated one. Seemed fate had deemed that they cross yet again.

in the General's garb
in the General's garb

With a deep breath his emerged from the brush and underbelly of the lockout tower. "Sir! We caught this one just outside the perimeter." Ali remained silent but kept moving forward. "Sir?" without hesitation the Vibranium Maharajah reached out and grabbed the unsuspecting solider by the barrel of his machingun. Quickly jerking him forward into a throat crushing close-line while simultaneously dropping the General's military belt and somersaulting forward. "GRENADE!" someone roared, scattering the unit in all directions and leaving Abigail unattended. The false alarm would hopefully open a window for the disoriented archer to reclaim her freedom. Everything else, would have to wait.

Avatar image for arquitenens
#27 Posted by Arquitenens (12008 posts) - - Show Bio

@ali_sani_bashir:

She awoke to the pungent scent of iron and blood. Half her face was cold and soaked with her own blood, and her right eye, which was now sightless (she hoped only temporarily), was both closed and stinging acutely. She felt herself being dragged to God-knows-where and her heart sunk. The recollection set in gradually. Wherever they were taking her, Abigail imagined she wouldn't live long once they arrived, and it seemed a long shot her escaping while blinded, recovering enough to continue fighting, or Lazuli arriving in time for a rescue.

Although, she thought, if I'm still alive now there must be a reason for it. Information maybe. Or, given what we know about this group's MO so far, the public execution of a famous fighter would send a strong message. But maybe if I play my cards right, with a bit of luck and timing...

"GRENADE!"

Shit!

Shouldering the men on both sides of her, Abigail bolted blindly forward. Anywhere away from there, ignorant that the surrounding circumstances had been a ruse by a potential ally. Odd, but even if there had been time to process the stimuli she was not optimistic enough to assume the best. Least of all that an old enemy had returned and for some unknown reason saw fit to help her.

While she ran Abigail wiped her eye, attempting to clear it, and though it still pained her, open or shut, she managed to achieve some modicum of partial clarity. She scanned the area, looking for Lazuli. Or someone who could've been partially responsible for her freedom. There was no one. Not even a blast from the grenade. Some part of her was relieved, then. At least she hadn't doomed those men while escaping.

Still, not outta the woods yet. Not enough information to make a reliably smart move from here. For the moment, she resigned herself to hold watch, survey the situation and wait until something presented itself.

Meanwhile, "Park. I need my eye in the sky. Can you do a fly-over and get us some kind of map of the place."

{Sure but it might take some time to get it to you and I can't make any promises on how accurate or detailed under these circumstances. I'll see if I can cross-reference any other sources that might help speed it along. Place should be marked on at least one satellite database. Otherwise these guys are on some next level shit.} He sounded almost amused.

"Sure, fine, just do it," Abby responded and then fell silent. Moving low, quiet, as inconspicuously as possible to avoid another detection while minding the earlier scene.

Avatar image for lethal_weapon_x
#28 Posted by Lethal_Weapon_X (86 posts) - - Show Bio

@ali_sani_bashir: @arquitenens: @dominus_:@feral_nova@amin_karrit

No Caption Provided

At the present moment, Ada was positioned at Liafador International HQ, The exact details of the plan were still vague albeit puzzling themselves together. Again, she was under no circumstances able to question the motive of her renter, rather support Ada's actions until success or death.

Much like the children parading around with assault rifles and suicide vest, X too was a product of a Child Soldier firm. The Lethal Weapon program kidnapped children, before indoctrinating them into a rather painful process--of mental sculpting.

Despite sharing a similar fate to the youthful force, X

Maneuvering across the rooftops, X landed in a crouched state adjacent to the warehouse where the "child-bombs" was being held, their inclusion in this conflict slightly augmented the conditions for victory.

Ada deduced these children would be focal of the opposition's priorities, rather the actual skyscraper magically appearing in the empty space. Because of this, Ada was able to stride into Liafador International, much to her surprise it was contested.

X's role became apparent, keep the opposition out of the skyscraper. Leaping from her crouched position, Agent LSD twirled to the ground releasing three canisters of Tear Gas in an attempt to reduce visibility.

"All Cardinal units converge on my location...all of you" She commanded, speaking to them via a silent signal. All of them--Cardinals from all over the encampment closed in on X's location. Though like the two crusaders, they too would be running directly into the haze of Tear Gas.

As the Cardinals swarmed around them, X slipped out through the X but not before commanding the children into the streets with their vest.

"Execute"

No Caption Provided

Avatar image for clara_mass
#29 Edited by Clara Mass (8758 posts) - - Show Bio

"I arrived too late," she spoke between parted breaths, distressed by the growing toll of staying on this Earth. The reasons for her presence were clouded in mystery, but much of it had to do with Ada and whom she worked with if not for. Assisting Feral Nova and Warrior Angel proved to be fruitless efforts in her personal crusade. As for Amin Karrit, well he proved to be an even greater distraction.

Clarice Michelle understood the lives of children were at stake. It struck an emotional chord for the mother of two. Thoughts of her sons and their innocent smiles came to mind, but these militant children weren't her own. Neither this world's pain nor this momentary game of heroism would prevent her from the true cause.

"I'm sorry, Nova Bear." Peeling off her brunette wig to reveal long flowing strawberry blond hair, the violet eyed vixen playfully winked before committing yet another vain attempt at telepathically stunting her Amin Karat's guards. This time, however, she hoped to physically incapacitate their bodily functions.

"I've got things to do, but we'll stay in touch. I promise." It was then and only then that she transmuted into green static energy before reappearing inside the meeting room of Liafador International where she'd pinpointed the location of Ada. Whilst standing atop a table, very much uninvolved in whatever was happening between Ada and whomever else was inside, Clarice Michelle gleefully eyed her target with the sincerest form of feigned admiration.

"I'm going to be honest with you, Ada." The former Olympian queen unzipped her leather jacket just enough so that she could breathe more freely. Focused and unrestrained the reality bender approached her prey with a wicked smirk on display. "I don't want to KILL YOU!" she spoke from the pit of her soul and it bellowed outward as a telekinetic wave of energy and screeching sound.

No Caption Provided

If met without resistance, Ada and those around her would be disorientated long enough for Clarice Michelle to strut across the table. She would then press her palms on the potentially dizzied target. Ceiling lights flickered about and fractures on the walls stretched across the entire room. Withered groans and panicked screams set the mood for this evening's disarray and in the center of it all, Miss Michelle peered down from the table as her fingers ran through the hair of Ada like a goddess meeting woman for the first time.

"I just want to know..." Her violet eyes widened as she attempted to probe the mind of Ada and find the being behind it all. Her knitted brows arched as her joints locked. It took effort on her part to exist on this earth, to use her powers so far from her own realm, but she persisted nonetheless as beads of sweat seeped from her pours. "I just want to know," she could feel the vibrations from this fixated point in reality, "why."

Avatar image for ada_guillaume
#30 Posted by Ada_Guillaume (172 posts) - - Show Bio

No Caption Provided

Ada turned toward the nearest window, her green eyes settled on a series of explosions erupting throughout various areas of the encampment. "Ada...tell me you didn't," Charles asked dropping his cigar before rushing by her side toward the window. The mentally captive children erupt into a magnificent, yet terrifying display of flames and ash.

"No Charles I did not" She replied, she spoke with all the fervor of someone who could be believed, yet in hindsight, she did authorize those same children to be militarized; meaning their fate was the same.

"You did all of this, for a recipe?" Charles had seen his fair share of horrors, but never did he witness someone so such a disregard for the life of a child.

"No Charles, I did this for order. You stood beside Ziccarra as she enslaved the Tibetian peoples. You stood by her as she invaded Venezuela and ran Spain into the ground. You need to accept the fact that our spots in hell are already reserved. And from where I'm standing the fire is just as hot."

The Poetic Assassin slipped the thumb drive into her pockets in preparation for an exit, her would-be retreat was halted by the arrival of Clara Mass.

As Clara spoke, Ada wince. She actually hadn't anticipated Clara being this much of a nuisance. Then it hit her, a powerful concussive sonic screech. The blast sent the French-born psychiatrist plowing into a wall, it's foundation cracking under the sheer pressure of Clara's scream. "You...Foo" before she could finish her statement Clara's hands were pressed up against the side of her head mentally phishing for information

With Clara in her mind, Ada released a scream herself; not a super-powered attack, rather a scream of agony. "Y..ou...want to...know....why?...I'll...show...you...Y"

"Hello.

"Hello." The Flower of Carnage spat seated on a throne in the farthest reaches of Ada's mind.

Fighting through the mental intrusion, Ada now had what she needed. Clara. Attempting to grasp the woman facilitated by the close proximity. Using her own psionic blessings, and her ability to manipulate mental energies; Ada sought to repel Clara's intrusion; however, instead of peering into the mind of the Mistress of Mayhem, she sought to transfer the disease into the mind of Clara--hoping it would claim her too.

Whatever the case, the Parisian woman pushed away, making a mad dash towards the emergency exit stairs. "You're not going anywhere!" Charles screamed. His ears bleeding no thanks to Clara. This situation became increasingly dire. Charles was halting her exit; Clara even managed to touch her. She wasn't a combatant and hadn't anticipated the possibilities of unexpected interference. Wafting her hand across the ambient space, her telekinetic powers sent Charles flying into a wall.

With his grasp of her gone, Ada slipped from her heels up the emergency passage leading to a helipad.

No Caption Provided

High above the besieged city, she saw the fruits of her plan. Smokestacks rising out throughout various areas in the city. Luckily, Clara Mass and Charles were the only people who knew she was here. (Also unknown to her Ali Bashir).

"Amin, I am ready for extraction. I am on the Helipad of Liafador International. X retreat. Prepare the assault choppers for a missile launch." She commanded dropping to her knees. Her body weak as a result of Clara's mental intrusion. Very soon the final strands of Ziccarra Liafador's Red Cardinal faction would be washed away, and a new faction...a faction crafted with the information she obtained on the thumb drive. A faction lead by the Poetic Assassin.

Avatar image for amin_karrit
#31 Edited by Amin_Karrit (862 posts) - - Show Bio

@ada_guillaume: @clara_mass: @feral_nova:

No Caption Provided

Almost. The word echoed loud in his mind as he felt Clarice's head slip through his iron grip. Growling in frustration, the Blue Gangster sighed - then felt the air around him grow hot. So hot that the smell of burnt oxygen hung thick in the air. So hot that the air itself reddened in appeal to the storming heat wave roaring from Feral Nova's palm. Light flared bright across the street, and Amin was swallowed into the scorching depths of a fireball. His skin burned, his nerves cried out in pain, and he fell to a single knee like a knight bowing before his king - Feral Nova. But as the air cooled, and the fire died, Amin remained. Slowly rising to his feet and cracking his neck as he did, Amin was indignant.

Patches of burnt skin, and pain swarming violently through every inch of his body, he was beside himself with rage, and glaring the ice cold specter of death Nova's way. "Ah, I see", he began, coolly undoing his tie as his voice floated far too calmly for the quiet fury in his eyes. "I tried to be kind", he paused, his words menacing as he tossed his tie to the curb of the street. "To give you a quick death. Painless", he continued, removing his jacket as he strode forward, his hulking physique rippling under the shirt he then tore off. "But you refuse to cooperate", he growled, tearing the shirt off his mountainous torso, his chest heaving, his Lebanese accent adding something ominous to his words. "Okay", he simply said, bringing his hands together with the utmost force to unleash a thunderclap unlike any other.

The glass on buildings and car windows shattered, their sharps shards clattering on the ground as decibels upon decibels of audible power rippled about wildly, threatening to rupture eardrums and lead the shock-wave on a rampage that'd pulverize the internal organs of Nova and Clarice alike, and see the intense rise of heat and pressure'd blast them into the distance like dust in wind. But in the wake of Amin's hypersonic eruption, Clarice was gone, leaving behind a taste of her telepathic sorcery that bound the rattled minds of his men to his and saw them unload round after round in a hailstorm of gunfire. It was horrible. The minds of his men, how incoherent their thoughts were, how loudly they echoed, nay, shouted in his mind. It was disorienting, it was horrifying. And as Amin clutched the sides of his head in desperation - it was disabling, but slowly his adaptive genetic component came alive.

Superheated rounds tore through his flesh and spilled his blood, lacerating his torso like the butchered remains of slaughterhouse meat. "ENOUGH", he roared, his mental fortitude and adaptive component barely winning out, "Of this foolishness", incinerating every round and turned henchman in a sea of heavy energetic interactions - a violent burst of gamma radiation courtesy of the gamma effect in his blood. The same power shared by his twin brother, Satar. Vaulting high into the air, a small crater left in his wake, the Blue Gangster smashed through a window and landed inside the meeting room of Liafador International with a thud. Bleeding violently from every cut and gunshot wound, his body crackling with energy, with the cruelest of ionizing radiation, he shot a glare Clarice's way. A glare that cast non-visible streams of gamma rays her way. Gamma rays that'd penetrate her flesh, mangle her DNA, and kill her cells.

Gamma rays that'd leave her weakened, light headed, poisoned and terminal. If she did not collapse now, she would die later. But with this much blood gushing out his wounds, so would he. Making his way to the helipad, Amin's eyes fell upon Ada, his confidant and partner, and met her request that an extract chopper come their way - with an alternative. "There is no time". With the gamma effect faded, his body too injured to maintain it, he'd scoop the Black Dahlia into his arms if she didn't protest, and leap from the building to the wilderness, then leap again and again until they'd reached the mountains where the extraction chopper waited for them. And once there, the missile launch was green-lit. The other choppers, high from their vantage point in the open sky, unleashed hell on Earth with missiles tearing the asunder, threatening to raze the city without mercy.