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#1 Edited by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

Arlington Cemetery, 7:00 PM

Klaus von Lichter, heir the the dread name of Count Untergang, glanced down at his handheld computer, noting the time while he waited for his contacts to arrive. His father's own hood, that of his father before him, clung snugly to his face, white lenses concealing his alert eyes. Upon his body was a black combat harness, and underneath, the soft magenta uniform that could save him from any bullet, blade, or dart. Every so often, his phone would vibrate within his pocket, giving him the coordinates of his family's prized, deadly heirloom.

38.9517° N, 77.1467° W. The CIA.

His face fell once again, disappointed that his prize hadn't been moved.

Truth be told, Klaus bore no ill will towards the Central Intelligence Agency. It was possible that they had murdered his father, but he'd been inclined to doubt that. It would take more than what they had to offer in order to kill Otto von Lichter, he was sure of that much. However, what did concern him was the fact that they'd clearly acquired something that should belong to him, and him alone.

When he reached the age of six, he'd become acutely aware of his father's illegal activities. Even more fascinating was the manner in which he went about performing them, donning the family's purple hood and publicly matching his own intellect against that of various adventurers, challengers of his madness and power. As it stood, Klaus respected said adventurers far more than his sinister relative, but one aspect of his own father's escapades had consistently mystified, horrified, and impressed him in equal measure.

His father had in his possession what could only be described as a Death Ray.

Said weapon was truly terrifying to behold, as young Klaus had on several occasions. It had multiple settings, each displaying varying degrees of power output. As of yet, he'd had little idea of how the thing actually worked; he was unable to tell whether it projected intense heat, or if it actually disintegrated its target through sheer concussive force. He'd seen it used more than once, sometimes on an inanimate target, other times on a living, breathing human being.

Was it traumatic? Absolutely. Did he hate the weapon? Yes. But that didn't change the fact that he needed the thing back. It would only be a matter of time before the CIA managed to crack the genetic encryption that prevented it from being used by anyone but his dear father, and while it was true that they had other weapons of destruction (in fact, they would likely be far more efficient than a simple laser gun), the fact of the matter was that Klaus had no desire to see his own father's specific design used for murder.

And to that end, he'd need to track it down. That part had been easy; included alongside the family's traditional rapier and his father's last letter was the code needed to lock on to the Ray's tracking device. He'd merely entered the fifty-digit code into his phone, and it'd locked on instantly to the weapon's location. He was planning on coming to America anyhow, so stopping by to pick it up from wherever his father had stashed it seemed like a walk in the castle courtyard.

Imagine, for a second, the look of dismay upon his face when he identified the specific location of the device. He had been lounging in his seat aboard a Boeing 787, regular clothes overtop his ever-present protective uniform. The stewardesses and passengers alike walked by him, oblivious to his criminal ties, to his unique upbringing; but to him, the world stopped as he realized that there would be no way he could retrieve the Ray alone. Images of it being used widespread flashed throughout his mind.

After the dramatic sinking feeling in his stomach had passed, he'd taken the time to come up with a plan. He leaned his head backwards, took deep breaths, and opened up one of his father's many journals. Placing his earbuds in his ears, he pored over the small, leather-bound novella, flipping through the hand-bound pages until he came to the chapter regarding a particularly famous league of assassins.

Painstakingly translating the words onto a napkin, he deciphered the Middle Eastern text, closing the book with a satisfied thump and leaning back in his seat once more. Ripping up the napkin, he'd disembarked as naturally as any other passenger at landing, collecting his luggage and leaving Dulles Airport to explore Washington DC.

Now, one week later, he'd finally manged to contact what seemed to be the actual League of Shadows. Ordinarily, the cemetery was never undefended, and always under the heaviest of surveillance, but his contacts had assured him that being detected would not be an issue. Their connections were uncanny, their powers seemingly limitless; while he appeared calm, he was truly intimidated. Within his action-oriented uniform, he kept a firm grip on the Gottschwert, his signature sword, the one that had supposedly been passed down for generations. The blade itself was retracted, but with his grip on the hilt, Klaus could instantly teleport himself to anywhere in a short range should the need arise.

At his feet was a bottle of fine burgundy wine, brought along as an act of trust. He was nervous, terribly so, but he didn't show it, aside from a constant tapping of his booted foot. In his other hand, he held an apple, one he'd absentmindedly picked from a nearby tree only an hour before. It didn't even occur to him that he was holding it, but he was squeezing it, eyes darting back and forth. He'd identified himself as Count Untergang II in his address to them, not Klaus von Lichter.

He squeezed the apple once more.

Soon enough, I'll have it back, and Otto will be unable to kill from the grave.

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#2 Posted by Arquitenens (12006 posts) - - Show Bio

Abigail strode through the cemetery in a mild hurry. The location was precise, Aeon a perfect guide from the moment she left the safehouse. These days Washington DC made her apprehensive – no doubt a "side effect" of her connection to what was essentially classified as a potential terrorist organisation, for their actions in Gothic City – but she reminded herself that her affiliation was a well-kept secret. Kept from most circles, at least. She was flanked by several others, all plain-clothed; Abby herself wore her newly constructed, one-of-a-kind theta trion body armour constructed with the help of her connections at Avalon. A little peculiar in appearance, maybe, but from the outside it looked as nothing more than cloth and leather.

She would've preferred to meet him alone. Less baggage. But the connections made walking into the place with a weapon much easier than if she were alone.

She was mostly ignorant of the League's prior history with the contact. Hell, she was ignorant that it even existed until Ali Faiz gave word of the strange communication. Like most of her affairs she kept the matter under tight wraps, but for security reasons she did not meet the contact alone. She didn't need any more devils in her life – but if he was affiliated with the League of Shadows before her eminence it was almost certain. But she was the heir to Raysh al-Shaytan, and that had to count for something.

Still, she worried how meeting an old acquaintance would've sat with most of their rank. Drumming up memories of their late master and a resurgence of dissatisfaction, rebelliousness, maybe? It'd sure suck to muck things up over a meet-up that might not even go anywhere.

How twisted is that? she thought to herself, half-smiling. The organisation I lead now. My own followers, my partners, and I look at them the way I might some infection. Or a cursed hand. She chuckled.

She wondered on the contact himself. What would his thoughts be? He probably expected a league of assassins. Probably wouldn't take it too well that they weren't that anymore, that she aimed to reform it in its entirety, turning them away from those methods.

Not much longer now. Abby set her eye on him from a distance and removed her hand from the cloaked nanite bow where she'd unconsciously laid it. She came to stand in front of him, flanked by her disciples. If he was truly an acquaintance of a former Raysh al-Shaytan he would probably be able to distinguish her by the Devil's Fang, the ceremonial adamantine talwar borne by every Raysh al-Shaytan since the League's inception.

There wasn't much to tell about him under the getup. No age, distinct facial features, distinguishing marks, nothing. It was mildly unnerving, but she could only assume she'd faced worse. Abigail stood before the man she knew as Untergang and cleared her throat.

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#3 Posted by deactivated-5cd6e53f65ed0 (2413 posts) - - Show Bio

No Caption Provided

As the newly constituted LoS navigated the dangerous waters of what could only be considered as a delicate transition, they were forced to adapt. Forced to evolve beyond the categorized list of immoral resources once utilized by the former al'Shaytan. The Aensland Archer had strategically cultivated a new revenue of tactical resources more in line with her pragmatic philosophies. For example, were the Knightfall assassin would have concealed their cemetery meeting through murder, Abigail had concealed it through an unseen hand strumming the musical strings of manipulation. A small exhibition of the League's international influence, but they were being tested like never before. Alliances were anything but assured. Even with Nikademus' extensive purge of the traitorous remnants of the past, there was no telling which members of the old guard still honored the fallen Al'Shaytan. So as Abigial was called to yet another clandestine meeting, Nikademus had been sure to count himself among her entourage.

Wrapped in black and grey ceremonial shawls and a facial keffiyeh, the Sleeper casually bled into the background of the hooded fraternity. Anticipating and tracking, projecting mental mathematics with unconscious intention. The heightened awareness weighed on his focus like an anchor of distraction. A compartmentalized curiosity of cerebral orchestration played with an algorithm of predictable reactions, based off fabricated variables. A silent, "what if" game as the Aensland Saint waited to hear why she had been summoned.

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#4 Posted by Cobra_Rei (111 posts) - - Show Bio

I can leave at any time...

The one thought plagued Rei's mind as he walked behind the one he personally referred to as Raysh al-Shaytan. His first real assignment with the League of Shadows, John could not help but admit that worry fueled him, wondering if this was, all-in-all, his sort of thing. Of course, his alternative was spending the rest of his eternity haunting the streets of New Orleans. But everyone around him seemed so... Ceremonial. Like none of them had ever laughed at a fart-joke in their life. If anything, social anxiety was what truly bothered Smith about his position.

Shifting in his black leather, he continued to follow. Luckily, he wasn't a part of this for his charisma, but rather his skills with a blade. And indeed, Dusk and Dawn were tightly wrapped around his waist, each one ready to be swiftly drawn at a moment's notice. Something that stuck out from what the other agents of the League wore (albeit each one bore slightly different attire), the vampire had a pair of wrap-around sunglasses on, making him quite the peculiar sight as he strode with the group. However, what most considered unprofessional, he considered necessary.

Underneath these sunglasses, yellow eyes darted around the scene with an awareness that one might perceive as nervousness. Everything around him was, at the moment, a potential threat, and he could not deny a certain edge that made him, in this instance, prepared for anything that would help prove his worth with the other League members.

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#5 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@nikademus: @cobra_rei: @arquitenens:

Klaus dropped the apple right before they arrived, letting it roll away as he composed himself. Behind his magenta mask, the Lichter Legacy inhaled sharply. He'd made the call, and the League had answered, right on time. One figure strode towards him with an air of authority, with numerous followers in tow. The leader, whom he now observed to be a woman wearing some sort of plain leather clothing, had approached him with all the calm he'd hoped he'd be able to fake. The cloth-like apparel that adorned her likely had unique properties of its own, though Klaus had little idea of what they may be. He'd heard of magic, dizzying spells and enchantments described in detail in one of his late father's journals, and he wondered if perhaps the utterly plain clothes concealed something more esoteric. This agent of the League likely represented the Washington sect, if there even was one. Their response to his unusual request had been prompt enough, after all.

Such a curious entourage, he observed, noting the presence of two more easily distinguishable members of the League.

Suddenly, his eyes fell upon the sword she wore, sheathed at her side and engraved with all manner of arcane-looking symbols. He'd seen the sword's design before, sketched in the very same journal that described how to contact the League. His pulse jumped once more.

Raysh Al-Shaytan!

"Raysh Al-Shaytan," he began elegantly, delivering a small, pre-practiced bow of respect. His form was perfect, as a side effect of living his entire life in the presence of such uptight tutors. Even as sweat built at his brow, he kept his body language relaxed, his shoulders straight. He trusted his cowl to obscure his visage, and while it was still perfectly serene (years of training had seen to that), he nonetheless was relieved that she would likely be unable to discern anything of his appearance.

"I am honored to make your acquaintance," he said, maintaining what would've been eye contact were it not for the stark white lenses of his mask.

My name's Klaus, what's yours?

"I am Count Untergang the Second," he said, standing up straighter, arms now clasped behind his back. "I offer my thanks to you for answering my summons in my time of need," he continued, "for our task will not be an easy one. In fact, I firmly believe that your League of Shadows are the only candidates fit for what I have in mind. I'll get straight to the point."

He turned slightly to the side, watching the Winter wind scatter some remaining leaves, but more to keep an eye on Al-Shaytan's two more interesting followers. He sharply returned his masked gaze to her.

"The first man to bear my title was a merciless rogue. It was through the knowledge he left behind that I was able to contact you. My predecessor," he cringed behind his mask at the thought of calling Otto such a thing, "is now dead. He killed without second thought, and so he paid the price."

He looked to the West.

"However, he's left behind a legacy that endangers many lives."

He paused for a moment, considering the irony of his statement.

"He developed a handheld weapon that I can only describe as a Death Ray. It brought utter devastation to anything he had a mind to direct it towards. I intend to see it decommissioned. The device itself is currently in the possession of the Central Intelligence Agency. To be blunt, I do not trust them to destroy it."

He relaxed his body language slightly more, inviting an atmosphere of comfort.

"What I desire from the League is that they assist me in infiltrating their compound and taking flight with the device. Afterwards, it will be permanently deactivated, and we can celebrate our little victory with a bottle of wine. You'll be paid a considerable amount of money, and news of your prowess would spread far and wide. There are a few caveats, I suppose. I don't wish for anyone to die. I'd prefer to do this without being detected. But at the end of the day, I can certainly condone a few CIA agents receiving broken limbs in the line of duty. It's what they're signed up for, after all."

He smiled behind his mask.

"So, Raysh Al-Shaytan...do I have your interest?" he said, smooth as silk, his clipped tones carrying across the cemetery.

Don't kill me.

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#6 Edited by deactivated-59c7179498eb5 (549 posts) - - Show Bio

@lichter: @nikademus: @cobra_rei: @arquitenens:

Here we are.... and for what?

His deceptively faithful presence in the midst of the organizations summoning was born from cultivated intrigue and curiosity at the prospect, masked beneath the snakeline veil of unwavering loyalty. Sah Ed Valam's moderately broad frame was silhouetted among the flank of assassins amid Abigail's position, form clothed in ceremoniously black adornments that largely guarded his identity from the uninitiated. Distinctively black arrows of numerous varieties were kept in the quiver on his back, his finely obsidian crafted blade carried in an ebony and viridescent hilt at his side. An amassed variety of talents pertaining to his occupation enabled him to wordlessly blend into the darkening hues of the cemetery, sepia hued eyes callously falling upon the magenta-masked individual whom would prove responsible for the league's summoning.

As the masked individual began to speak, Mason watched. He listened, he waited. Not a sound was uttered from him, not that it would readily be permitted. All the while paying surprisingly diligent attention to his remarks, his statements, observing the subtle and swift body languages, mentally sifting through the variables and possible outcomes to his summation of the mission... formulating conclusions. Tis was a remarkably useful habit he'd gotten into in his past of vigilantism, a tactical routine of honed ocular examination that some might simply develop overtime. Though devoid of the harmonious mental equations and mathematical capabilities that the Xsoteric possessed (Abilities that Mason was thoroughly unaware of), his analysis's remained, if nothing else, practical.

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#7 Posted by Arquitenens (12006 posts) - - Show Bio

He has no idea.

A moderate relief washed over Abigail. He didn't recognise her. He addressed her first as Raysh al-Shaytan upon seeing her. He couldn't have recognised her. A heroine, world-renowned for her skills and exploits, and he didn't recognise her. Traces of a smirk touched her lips.

Perfect.

As he spoke, her almost-smile faded, returned, and widened. If he spoke the truth of his background and intentions then the alliance might not go terribly. The weapon itself remained a cause for concern, but he seemed genuine enough (at least compared to what she'd gotten used to). His additional "no-killing" rule practically sealed the deal, but there was no small credit for the circumstances they shared, even if the budding al-Shaytan didn't consciously recognise it; two human beings, heirs to dangerous men, set about reforming their organisations and making up for their immoral deeds. For these things she felt an unrecognised kinship, mildly aware that there was something that "felt right" about the gentleman but oblivious to just exactly whatever it was.

She allowed herself to smile, hoping it shone as an expression of confidence rather than relief but not entirely concerned with controlling her expressions anymore. "You've got more than that. We'll help you," she said, extending her hand.

"And no one will die."

Following, she turned a half-step away. "If that's all, I'll take my team, we'll brief and get ready for the operation. We'll meet you whenever and wherever you're ready to begin, but not...like this," motioning back to their exposed faces and plain garb. "One of our own will give you a more efficient means to contact me in the future, so we don't have to do this every time.

"Hope it's a pleasure."

With that, if there were no objections, she would take her team and depart.

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#8 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@arquitenens:

Klaus inhaled sharply once more, closing his eyes as the enigmatic leader of the League accepted his offer. He met her handshake, his own gloved fingers firmly confirming their little deal. Looking more closely, he noticed the famed Raysh Al-Shaytan expressing a smile. Had he not elected to wear his mask, she would have noticed a weary grin in return.

Alright. Easy, now.

"Many thanks, Raysh Al-Shaytan. I'll be in touch," he said, watching as the League departed. And with that, he moved his fingers, bending each one back and forth with incredibly precise, almost imperceptibly short movements. In that instant, the hilt of his blade materialized in his hand, the handle interfacing directly with his own nervous system in a one-way link through his glove. With a mere thought, he willed the ever-resonating blade to emit the signal that would dematerialize him in a similar manner, only for him to reappear somewhere else. To any still watching, it would be as though the Lichter Legacy had disappeared without a trace, not even a single sound signaling his departure.

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#9 Edited by Hound_of_War (3944 posts) - - Show Bio

No Caption Provided

Back in 93’ the CIA was attacked by a mutant named Michael Velasquez. At that time I was already in Sweden otherwise he would not have gotten past the parking lot. Reports state that one day he was angry at the news shows attacking mutants and that he was “mad at the way the U.S was handling foreign policy with Venezuela (his homeland)”.

Velasquez was not carrying any guns except himself. The autopsy showed that his powers while mutant in nature came from an abnormality in his brain which extended through his neurological system. Our technology was not as advanced back then, but it was not too difficult to infer that he could manipulate electricity by the way he was frying our personnel.

Eventually one of our more prepared agents stopped him, unfortunately; the reason why I say that is because he did not kill him which would have made the next part cheaper.

We couldn’t contain the news so we had to cover it up. We blamed it on the Middle East since at the time, peace with mutants seemed more likely (it still does) and an event like this would only do more damage to the rising tensions.

The only problem was that we had to give him a public trial and the press was not going to miss that. So we sent in a shapeshifter instead of him.

This event taught us that we had to upgrade. The Meta population was growing exponentially, which is why we hired Maverick and Kamelot contractors.

A gate was installed with movement sensors in case anyone attempts to jump it. The 500,000 watts is just to make the person believe that is the main purpose of the gate when in fact the sensors are. If anyone was to try to enter through the normal gate, they would need their ID, listed car model and plate number.

The base is a no-fly zone. Any plane or metahuman that attempts to fly over us is shot down faster than they can say “Holy overreaction, Black Bat” by a multitude of lasers. These lasers are meant to take down speedsters instantly or so they said. These turrets are not limited to the outside, we have them scattered throughout the building, hiding in between the walls.

If they somehow manage to get past the main gate undetected they will need a different pass key to enter the building. There are cameras on every corner, these cameras have facial recognition directly linked to our database and cross referenced with previous available recordings. We also have a team of specialists constantly watching these cameras, studying the movements and habits of every single staff member. Hell, we even have sensors and cameras in our bathrooms and sewage systems. (My office is the exception)

We have agents patrolling the hallways 24/7. Though they are not the best killers around naturally, they were able enough to pass our vigorous physical and training exams. As a last measure, we added Maverick troops on stand-by due to current conflicts with Venezuela and more specifically Spain.

The windows are thick enough to take RPGs and manufactured so they can’t be opened manually from the inside. Air ducts are small; in case someone who can reduce their size attempts to enter. We installed sensors and countermeasures such as electroshock and tear gas too.

Restricted areas such as the evidence room have another level of security and require a completely different ID card, a handprint, and retinal confirmation. Inside a series of invisible lasers are set in zigzag, should they be tripped the room completely goes into lockdown and a series of traps are released. Due to the weapons high powered nature they have been disassembled just in case someone attempts to use them to break out.

Since then, there have not been any successful attacks. Not for lack of trying of course.

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#10 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@nikademus: @cobra_rei: @_dark_knight: @arquitenens: @hound_of_war:

3:00 AM: Four Days Later

Klaus stood atop a nearby hill, his regular attire having been modified for the stealth operation. The other members of the League stood with him, prepared to enact their own portions of the plan. He'd been assured that the location they were in, while close to the building, was in a concealed area, chosen precisely to prevent them from being spotted before enacting the plan. After a few days of planning, they'd managed to concoct a scheme, one that hinged on absolute synchronicity. Such a maneuver would be dangerous, yes, but that was why they had a Plan B.

Their point of entry would be none other than Klaus' own sword, the silver-imperium forged blade bequeathed to him from his own sinister father. For such an extraordinary weapon had proven more useful as a method of transportation, with esoteric energies housed within the hilt serving as a means of initiating what could only be defined as instantaneous teleportation. Runes lined the blade, traveling up and down the sharpest of edges; yet Klaus was convinced that it was science that powered the weapon. He didn't dare examine it too thoroughly, though, as any present intrusion into the device's inner workings would likely leave it inoperable forever.

Typically, the magnificent weapon functioned by line-of-sight only, but it could be modified to transport the user to any specific coordinate, a quadruple-digit plane representing the entire planet at Klaus' gloved fingertips. It would never land inside of an object, even if the coordinates were within it, but rather reconstruct the user as close as possible to said object without having any matter appear inside of another structure. With the tracking emitter still informing Klaus of the Ray's location, it would be a relatively simple matter for him to blink next to whatever vault they held it within, only to abscond with his heirloom as quickly as he'd come.

This, of course, discounting whatever extranormal security measures the CIA held up their sleeves. To Klaus, one thing was obvious: there would be a countermeasure to handle teletransportation. By his numbers, crunched in the past 72 hours, at least 2% of superhumans possessed the ability to teleport themselves. While such a margin may at first seem negligible, it was in reality a sizable number of people, each representing the grandest of security concerns for the CIA. To that end, he had no doubt there was some manner of defense against a teleporting fiend like himself. However, he also reasoned that such a defense would likely be highly complex in nature, requiring the same (or at least similar) technologies to those kept within his own blade.

And such technologies would be reliant on the power grid.

Deactivating the grid would have several effects; for one, it would instantly alert the Agency of a break-in. They'd lock down the facility, no doubt, sending in a group of murderous, highly-trained operatives to eliminate them, and they'd instantly turn on the auxiliary power, reactivating their infernal machines and likely preventing them from blinking away. But, his allies in the League had assured him that there would be a window of opportunity afforded during the ten-to-twenty second interval between "no power" and "emergency power."

It would have to be enough.

3:15

He'd seen the enigmatic League-member leave, taking off at a pace that left him considerably impressed. Whether it be by magic or science, he knew not, but they had assured him that whatever action he'd take next would leave the power out, and their entryway theoretically clear. He'd felt an odd presence, an aura of mystique that surrounded the ever-cloaked man, and he'd, of course, assumed him to be a metahuman of some sort. He would be aided by another, a black-clad swordsman whose appearance unnerved the Lichter Legacy a little more than the rest of the shadowy group. Behind Klaus stood a an archer whose physically imposing form belied his stealthy abilities. And of course, at his side was Raysh Al Shaytan herself, who requires no further description.

Moments later, he'd received the signal that the power had been momentarily disabled, and as of yet, without their immediate knowledge.

1...

Taking a deep breath, he grabbed the shoulders of both Raysh Al Shaytan and the Archer, the timer on his blade's hilt activating, the group of three vanishing from sight.

The Vault

...2...

He didn't think, he merely acted. Shaytan and the other were with him, inside the CIA Vault, the air stale and artificial. It was almost as he'd dreamed it would be, with black-gray "decor" surrounding them both. Sinister-looking panels lined the walls and ceiling, with camera devices stopped in their course along rails lining the room. Already, his allies would go to disabling them, providing a loop of footage for when the cameras came back on in less than a minute. How long exactly? He had no idea.

...3...

He fumbled for his phone, holding it up before his white-lensed eyes. The tracker pulsed, indicating that he'd indeed been taken to the location of the infernal device. He grabbed the hilt of his sword with his right hand, still clutching his phone in his left.

...4...

He walked over to the wall to his left, the tracker practically screaming at him to get it over with already.

...5...

He held the sword with a reverse grip, the blade meeting the hilt underneath his pinky finger. Raising the family heirloom high, he plunged the thin metal blade into the side of the hatch. Leaning heavily on the blade, he forced the vault door to open, vibrations rippling through the tiny fortifications as tumblers clicked into place.

...6...open, dammit, open...!

A sigh of relief mixed with excitement permeated the air as the hatch cracked open, the tracker deactivating as it sensed the presence of their valuable MacGuffin.

...7...!

He reached in, grasping at the familiar handle. Gloved fingers enclosed around the grip of his own family's terrible legacy. When it touched his hand, he felt a small prick, a microneedle in the handle extending for less than a second, collecting his own blood and storing it within. His touch verified, it sparked to life for a terrifying second, just as DNA Verified: Otto von Lichter flared up within its databanks, the weapon finally able to be used once more: for good, or for ill.

...8.

His short intake of breath was interrupted as the first alarm kicked off, followed by the sudden heat of charging energy weapons at their feet and at their sides.

The power?

Well...it was back.

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#11 Edited by Hound_of_War (3944 posts) - - Show Bio

Campaigning is a 24/7 job. Being one of the leaders to one of the top espionage organizations is a 24/7 job too. There lies the problem. Not enough hours in the day for Julian Knightfall aka Alexander Donn, Presidential candidate and Deputy Director to the CIA by day, but by night he is the masked assassin scoundrel known as the Black Bat!

Mr. Donn slept in his ebony chair; he required thirty minutes every night. He used to only need ten in his prime, getting old was an annoyance which hunted him. Every day his hands seemed to wrinkle more, his hairs seemed thinner and grayer and worst of all were the weaker bones.

His mind and instincts on the other hand have only evolved; he was snapped back from those few moments of weakness by the lights shutting off. The backup generator in his office activated the emergency red lights.

Time to change into something more fashionable.

He pressed a button hidden inside a secret compartment in his desk and wrote in a code. A metal case rose from the ground, packing one of the best kept secrets in the world. He had a few seconds before the lights turned back along with the cameras. By then he would already be on the move.

------

The power was back.

Instantly the sensors from the walls and the floor were activated. The alarm ran, alerting every agent in the building of the intruders and their location. The turrets appeared from the panels in the plain wall and started firing with calculated accuracy at the heist members. These weren’t just common turrets; they were the same that Maverick used to protect themselves from bricks and speedsters’ attacks. From the tips, they released multicolor spear like energy shots.

Reflecting the artificial light was a silhouette with red glowing eyes and demonic ears. His contacts scanned their bodies and begun cross referencing it to their database. The only one who appeared was the one in the gaudy costume and ONLY the costume. Not the boy’s identity.

The contact moved on to the weapons in their hands, again he matched the kid. A DNA activated laser gun that belonged to Count Otto von Lichter, reminiscent of an older generation of Cowboys and Indians. It seemed hard to believe that one would break into one of the most heavily guarded buildings in the world for an artifact like that considering all the other more dangerous weapons.

Despite his costume, the original Count is much older. His body structure would resemble that of an experienced man, heavier, more concrete regardless if he maintained his physical form or not. The one before his eyes was a baby; he could not more than twenty.

No Caption Provided

This told him the follow things:

  1. It holds a sentimental importance to this impersonator or it does for the person who hired him, that is, without taking into account the fact that he enjoys dressing up like the original.
  2. The fact that it is DNA activated means that he is related to the late Count. A fanatic would not be able to get a sample of his DNA in order to activate it unless they were being directly coordinated by the Count or a family member. Then again, if he was hired then why is he dressed like the Count? Someone who wears a costume to mirror the monarchy would not defame his own image with a lowly thug.

In conclusion, he has to be related to or be the Count himself. I should investigate further after this inevitable confrontation.

“Your first mistake was breaking inside an agency that focuses on intelligence and believing that it would not take us five seconds to figure out who you are, Mr Lichter”.His cheeks lifted themselves like a perverse corpse and his lips curled revealing his sharpened teeth.

“The second was stealing the gun first instead of something more valuable. You should have made it seem like the gun was a souvenir. The fairy costume was the nail in the coffin however.” The Withered Rose plucked two highly concentrated carbon monoxide grenades from his utility belt and rolled them in the ground towards the assassins and their employer. It only took two minutes to feel the side effects of a concentrated dose of 6,400 ppm. His grenades had 12,800 ppm which usually caused certain death in only two breaths, four if they were meta-humans. Those who chose to ignore the effects would have approximately three minutes until the reaper claimed their souls.

His smiled continued as he cocked his dual guns and aimed.

Anticipating what their next move would be.

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#12 Edited by deactivated-5cd6e53f65ed0 (2413 posts) - - Show Bio

No Caption Provided

With all the latest in name dropping gadgets, the C.I.A. building had molded itself into the epitome of name brand defenses. Military porn for the covert elite as it were. Nikademus admired the systematic overkill though found the notion of such basic implementations redundant. "Only as strong as your weakest link." he thought to himself. Disappearing from the group with in a light jog, only to reappear minutes later outside the main gate of the facility. Unrecognizable, the Sleeper's entire physiological, emotional, and spiritual disposition had transformed, along with his visual attire and appearance. Seated atop a Harley Davidson Sporster Iron 883, Nik slowly removed the true owners matte black helmet while handing over his security I.D. tag. Unconsciously mirroring the micro-mannerisms of employee number 654-2765Killraven68. A solitary bachelor with an advanced degree in electrical engineering and a pension for entertaining attractive young men.

It had been four days since the masked Count had solicited the aid of the League, in which time the clandestine cabal of shadows had feverishly gathered as much intel as possible. Names, addresses, dates of importance, and so forth. Nikademus had immediately marked the anti-social engineer as a substantial piece of importance, secretly placing himself in calculated areas of premeditated selection as to initiate a favorable encounter. From but a simple glance the Xsoteric's customized version of Eidetic Kinesthesia (photograpgic reflexes) had begun construction of a physical profile, mentally manufacturing webbed connections to a larger picture. Precise measurements of personal information via inductive reasoning. Creating a hypothetical catalogue of living expression. But he needed more then to simply be able to move like the unsuspecting CIA employee, he needed to be him.

Fooling a machine was easy, what Nikademus needed to do was to fool himself. His thoughts would have to be those of his target and not of his own esoteric volition. So he lived 654-2765Killraven68's life prior to the mission. Experienced the sadness of consuming a t.v. dinner alone, the excitement of learning that Glen had not died, the self-adulation of a new Boba Fett action figure still in its original package, all mentally marinated in a digested soup of loneliness. Transforming the stoic mystic into a deflated shadow of the human experience. And when he was done, after he had thoroughly vetted the friendless shell of sadness; gleaming every aspect of his persons, his apartment, Nikademus left him in magic induced slumber to be awoken days later in the aftermath of their successful break-in.

"Your clear. Go ahead." the gruff voice sentry ordered. Allowing the inconspicuous mage entry into one of the most fortified locations in the United States. And all for some family heirloom.

A multicolored mathematical menagerie of mentally manufactured equations set down overtop of the Sleeper's optical survey. It was simply the way in which he observed the World. Unconsciously formed algorithms pertaining to guard rotation, camera angles & blindspots, and even the number of projected steps 654-2765Killraven68 employed in a normal day were all instantaneously processed before being implemented into the Xsoteric's natural motions and progressions.

Morphed muscular enactment coupled with a mystical aura of esoteric entrapment, allowed the perfectly camouflaged mathematician unimpeded accesses through the basic foundation of the building. Heavily restricted areas, such as the hatchway down to central power-grid, sadly required the inclusion of supernatural espionage.

No Caption Provided

::Retinal Scan::

♪Lovely is made for the eye of one who sees♪ he sang with a whispered breath

::Handprint Scan::

Sometimes if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands he silently swooned

::I.D. Card::

♪Access to query raw SIGINT♪ he authorized

Once inside Nikademus softly exhaled and closed his eyes. Not in some fashionable means of gathering his power, but rather in an effort to clarify the numerical precision of his next act. Unfolding his hands, an illuminated hue began to grow as his kinetic mastery temporarily overloaded the facilities power-grid with an overwhelming ignition of overloaded energy.

1....

...2.......

...........3......

....................4......

.5...............

........6...........

................................7.......

.................8..........

Power Reactivated

The plan was simple in theory. Disable the grid and regroup with the primary squad for a stealthy evacuation. Only all hell had broken lose, with armed containment sentries descending upon both areas of infiltration. Aided by state of the art Maverick defenses in the form of arm mounted turrets, the statistical success of an outright escape had imploded.

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#13 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@nikademus: @cobra_rei: @_dark_knight: @arquitenens: @hound_of_war:

He spun on his heels just as twin turrets erupted from within the walls, time slowing around him as they rotated to face their position. Even as he dropped to one knee in what would undoubtedly be a vain effort to survive, he'd noticed that they'd emerged from the walls facing the doorway, rather than the vaults. It'd afforded them less than a second, but for the Leaguers at his sides, it'd been just enough. What happened next, the Lichter Legacy could not see, for he'd been struck hard in the chest by the turrets' last projectile.

Head over heels, he was thrown backwards into the wall, colliding with the vault doors with a soft, almost humorous thwump. Chest smoking, he crumpled to the ground, Death Ray clutched in his limp fingers, held in place by the quasimagnetic grip lining his gloves. Groaning, he propped himself up on his elbow, struggling to get up. Finally, he stood, vision slightly blurry. Looking down, he saw a smoking burnt mark in the middle of his black vest, the undersuit intact below the ruptured combat fabric. He was truly amazed at his own survival, as the vest had been designed to prevent puncture wounds and nullify slicing attacks only, not protect his body from firearms. What he could not have known in that instant was that the guns were those of the Maverick Corporation, and they were rounds meant to punch through the most powerful of foes. It was the unique nature of these bullets that actually prevented them from entering Klaus' suit; these particular rounds were designed to penetrate the skins of superhuman powerhouses, not harm them through impacts. And thus, while any regular bullet's impact would not have been blocked by the suit, the Maverick bullets were unable to penetrate his revolutionary pseudofluid jumpsuit.

It still hurt like hell.

Rubbing his temples, Klaus twisted his torso, stretching out his sore form. The turrets, he presumed, had been taken care of, or he'd likely be dead; it'd paid to bring the League members along. Glancing at the Ray, he flicked a few switches on the sides, disabling the disintegration function and reactivating the purely concussive element. It was still his intention to leave without harming any CIA members too seriously, but that outcome was becoming more and more unlikely. He tossed the gun from hand to hand, getting a feel for it, the quasimagnets obeying his neural impulses. Let go, hold on. It was that simple. The Ray had perfect balance, comfortably designed for a Lichter palm. Even having never held the weapon before, he found he had a perfect idea of how it functioned, aimed, and felt. Returning it to his right hand, deactivated the final safety, preparing to blast them a way out through the ceiling.

“Your first mistake was breaking inside an agency that focuses on intelligence and believing that it would not take us five seconds to figure out who you are, Mr. Lichter.”

Still sore, he turned around slowly. It probably dramatically arrogant, which had not been his intention; it just hurt him to move.

His eyes came to rest upon a dreadful silhouette, red eyes peering at him from beneath a blackened cowl. Pointed teeth (obviously fake, he thought) were bared in his direction, horn-like points emerging from the top of the figure's head. Perhaps still dazed, he didn't immediately feel fear, but rather fascination. He...he tries hard, he thought, squinting as a debilitating headache emerged, distracting him from the situation. Despite this, his blood soon began to quicken, his senses returning.

He called me Lichter. Hn.

“The second was stealing the gun first instead of something more valuable. You should have made it seem like the gun was a souvenir. The fairy costume was the nail in the coffin however.”

Fairy costume?

Even as the gas grenades rolled into the room, the Lichter Legacy processed what had happened. They'd been discovered, as anticipated (nobody had wanted to say it, but the odds of Plan A working out had always seemed far-fetched), and this demonic CIA operative had managed to discern his identity. What was this he felt, as the two stared each other down? Was it fear? Intimidation? Excitement? Or all three? The time had come for him to reply, to say something in response to the snide comments of this over-prepared agent of intelligence. Carbon monoxide filled the vault, but it would do him no harm. His father's mask had saved him from gas before, and it would do so again. But what would his daring response be, his great comeback to the Black Bat?

He shrugged, and fired his weapon.

Red energy erupted from the tip of his gun like the fires of Vesuvius, an enormous shot of pure concussive power that could blow a steel door from its hinges. This particular shot carried no heat with it, pure kinetic power directed from within the pseudoscientific device that could force a grown man fifty meters backwards on even this low setting. It was his intention to cripple this presumptuous agent, then escape with devastation in tow. It had not been his intention to maim the United States' intelligence force, but if it were necessary to prevent them from replicating his father's insidious designs...so be it.

Klaus was not the sort of man to fire once, and see if it worked. He continued shooting, so much that the luminescent crimson blasts would fill the vault. Even if his foe had managed to dodge his first wild blast, he would face at least ten more. When the Bat had been incapacitated, they would be free to escape.

"Always shoot first," he murmured, unknowingly making his first ever one-liner, continuing to fire a barrage of red beams towards the entryway.

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#14 Posted by Hound_of_War (3944 posts) - - Show Bio

Tiny twitching from Lichter's body, eye contact breaking connection constantly, hidden contracted legs and back movement. For the common sight, he looked as if he was in prime condition. After all, there were no visible injuries. To Julian, a master of body language, he might as well be coughing blood from all his entries.

The turrets had performed their assignments in an acceptable quality; it appeared to be the correct time to turn them off before the guests figured out a way to do it bluntly. Bold's tech was not cheap, even for the CIA's budget.

Every week a new emergency code phrase was given to the significant staff members in case they needed to shut down the turrets in the event a glitch was to somehow occur. Due to the holiday season ahead, the IT department head believed humor was appropriate.

"Vengeance smells" He uttered under his breath, hoping to avoid breaking character in front of his guests.

After decades of photographic obsession he had learned a vast multitude of techniques in short time periods, one known as "Wú jǐchuí dòngwù" (translation: invertebrate) which allowed him to loosen his large frame in a ragdoll like manner, this granted him an alternative to reduce the damage employed by an attack by simply allowing the force deployed to push him rather than impacting. The only downside is that he sacrificed balance, maximizing the distance that he would be moved once the blast impacts. A factor which he counted on, in fact, relied on.

As soon the kinetic energy had gotten him off his feet. Julian rapidly lifted his arms and aimed once again. This time, he fired two incendiary rounds from his guns at the boy’s arms. He wasn’t too keen on actually hitting him. The gas would do most of the work.

Carbon monoxide has two distinct deadly qualities. The first being highly poisonous in concentrated doses. The second one quality is that it is highly flammable; most would not be able to identify this until it was too late due to the gas’ colorless and odorless nature.

There’s a reason why I didn’t get close after I threw the grenades. Everyone is protected against toxic gases these days, but escaping an explosion from a windowless room without a scratch is far more difficult even if your suit is fireproof.

His back cracked the wall as he smacked against it. The logo in his chest had been torn by the kinetic energy; a bruise shaped like a bat would be imminent in his chest. Julian stood up from the shattered concrete rubble slowly with one knee and dusted himself with his palms.

Blood was coming from his mouth, his lips had been split. No concussions. The cowl had taken the majority of the damage. Still he felt an aching pain in the back of his head with extended itself towards his eyes.

He switched the incendiary bullets with the armor piercing casing and aimed for the vault door.

“Always think first, asshole”

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#15 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@nikademus: @cobra_rei: @_dark_knight: @arquitenens: @hound_of_war:

Exhilaration accompanied the heir's wild shots, frenzied blasts connecting with the disguised agent's body.

Yes! he thought, savoring the thrill of connection, only to remember that he'd possibly maimed the dutiful operative, whose only crime had been to perform his assigned job. And yet, in this situation, he was finally the one in power...how exciting. He loved the feel of the Ray, the recoil, the color of the blast; it was a true shame it would need to be destroyed...

Movement caught his eye as the brightness faded, his foe taking action in mid-air as he was hurled from within the vault. The Legacy's keen eyes widened as the man raised his own weapons, cool and collected as ever, even as he was thrown through the air. Knowing what was coming, Klaus also knew he couldn't dodge bullets...if the man was as accurate as he'd acted, then he could very well die right then and there. Without his teleportational sword to save his life, a bullet would tear right through his skull, and there was little he could do about it. Acting on pure instinct, he initiated a maneuver that was halfway between a majestic dive and a clumsy fall, hurling his own body towards the wall just as the ray fired from his hip.

Steel blasted apart in front of him just as he heard the roar of bullets from behind, accompanied by deadly ignition. Rather than leap through the newfound hole in the wall, as he'd intended, he was thrust through, arms flailing, body soaring across the hallway. His kinetic shot had made an enormous, smoking hole in the wall across the corridor as well, which Klaus soon found himself soaring through. Flames licked his back as the dazed would-be superthief was tossed through the opening like a doll, body sprawling across a glass table in the other room. Metal fragments accompanied him on his way through, the remains of his communications device sprinkling around his form as he slid from one end of the table to the other, falling to the ground with an unceremonious whump.

Coughing, he remained still on the ground for the moment, too sore to move. He'd been trained to endure harrowing physical challenges, but the aptitude tests his father had put him through had never amounted to physical abuse. He'd likely experienced a plethora of fractures, accompanied by a profound sense of renewed humility. The ray was still latched to his open hand, held in place by science he didn't understand. Such miracles, lost to the world with his father's passing. If only he'd shared his more practical secrets with everyone else, rather than aggressively demonstrating the more lethal applications of his favorite toys.

Looking up, he found with surprise that his weapon had perhaps been fired on a higher setting than he'd first anticipated. Three more walls had been demolished in a straight line, the fourth dented a long way away. Papers fluttered to the floor all around him, red lights flashing on and off. Debris littered the ground, and every wall the crimson death had touched had been scorched by sheer concussive energy. Too much power? Perhaps. He struggled once more to his feet, using a wall to hold himself up. Far behind him was the vault, smoke pouring from where he'd narrowly escaped with his life. There was no sign of Raysh Al Shaytan and her ally.

Should I try and help them? Are they even alive?

He looked to the holes in the wall ahead of himself, then back to the burnt, gaping chasm he'd come from.

Or should I run?

He clutched at the gun, twisting a knob on the side as he wrestled with his own indecision. He could see if they required aid, or he could save his own skin. The CIA would already be massing at the potential exit points, and despite his ability to carve a new path for himself on a whim, he wouldn't have much time to spare. But if he returned, he could perhaps save their lives...would it be right to let anyone die for his cause, even if they'd volunteered? He was going to pay them, after all. They'd been hired, they knew the risks. But they could still be alive...

Dammit!

Dejected, Klaus von Lichter turned around and sprinted through the hole he'd made, pained legs carrying him far from the vault and the League of Shadows.

Arms pumping, he leaped over ruined desks and destroyed filing cabinets, dodging debris and falling bits of the ceiling. Stumbling over a piece of the wall he'd busted through, he fell to the ground, skidding along on a knee, before pushing himself back up. It was hard to maintain good form, with all the pain he was feeling. Once again, he stumbled, almost tripping over his own hurt foot. Picking up speed once more, he raised his firearm, blowing another red hole through the wall. He cleared this jump with ease, sprinting through a larger, atrium-like room.

He would keep running in a straight line, through every wall, until he'd made his escape. It'd seemed as though rendez-vous was out of the question, with his League communicator destroyed; his only hope would be to escape the premises and whatever anti-teleportational countermeasures he'd presumed kept him trapped. Only then would he be able to leave this world of pain behind.

If the League had survived...they'd understand that he'd made the right choice.

Right...?

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#16 Posted by Damien_Bonaparte (2251 posts) - - Show Bio

@hound_of_war - @lichter

No Caption Provided

The Frenchman's most cherished hide-out was a small ranch secluded within the lush rural portion of Czech Sudetes, the property was home not only to the Bonaparte but also to it's humble household staff and a dozen or so farm animals. It was a private hamlet, really, one whose scenery could be likened to John Constable's prime paintings. So peaceful, so green, so warm. It offered a moment of pause and respite from the more colorful aspects of his burdensome work. It's why he liked it, Damien, it's why he knew all it's residents by name and it's why he woke here with the break of dawn.

Glass of fresh orange juice and a traditional warm English breakfast waiting behind the newspaper in his hand, to his right a mix of various fruits and berries to refill glycogen reserves in muscles and at the very centre of the decorated table stood a glass vase rich with aromatic levander.

It would be a perfect morning, save the cigarette and the inevitable intrusion of Mr. Dufek, the estate's groundskeeper who hurried into the room in boots dirty from the muddy soil outside.

"Sir, we've just recieved a message from Mr. Donn. He insisted you arrive immediately.", the elder man said whilst holding what was reminiscent of a high-tech tablet in one hand and peeking into it for information.

"How many digits?", Damien inquired quite dismissively with eyes pinned on the article in the newspaper. It wasn't until later his eyes casually rolled off the page and towards his host.

"Enough, sir. Enough."

The C.I.A. Headquarters;
Now.

Under the assumption that 'tis a state of utter emergency, Damien recruited his own vast resources to quickly cut the intercontinental voyage. Piloting his own prototype aircraft, the 8 hour flight was cut into 2 by pushing the contraption's experimental geo-magnetic propulsion. The plane soared along preexisting ley lines and exponentially increased both air-time and fuel efficiency. The CIA's helipad now served as his temporal vallet thanks to the incorporation of VTOL tech.

The agency's operatives that were waiting for his arrival managed to quickly brief him about the situation, but into the building Damien ventured alone and took a detour from the elevator shaft directly into the ventilation system. Thought intricate, the building's internal defenses that would sure destroy him were inert in his registered presence due to being an associate of the CIA. Damien soon emerged above Lichter who had found himself in one of the broader rooms within the facility.

♫ Když vstoupíš do lesa v tento den, uvidiš budeš se bát... ♫, Damien's remote voice sounded from high above the rogue, as he scoured the poorly illuminated ceiling supports. He stalked in the dark where the lights didn't reach and lowly uttered a Czech lullaby. It was mainly for effect for he was nigh-certain that Donn had already employed his own theatrics.

♫ ...sám nechoď do lesa v tento den, raděj zales pod kabát... , he quickly covering distance through acrobatic dominance until finding himself just above Lichter. He had stopped there and brought his arm upwards, aiming towards the running man. Once steadying his aim, he would the shoot out his grappling hook with the intent of tangling Lichter's leg and tripping him. The wire was a titanium derivate of springsteel covered in a very thin layer of graphene, purposely conductive it was also both durable and elastic enough to bear the weight of a small yacht.

If he would succeed in his attempt, then he would quite simply use Lichter's body as a counter weight and jump down the other side of the rafter to drag the german up and leave him hanging helplessly in the air whilst significantly easing his descent. If not, then he'd just pursue his target from above until attempting to pin him down with his vibro-katana, Wailing, at the end of the atrium.

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#17 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@damien_bonaparte:

Klaus continued his sprint down through the atrium, finally picking up speed as he approached the end of the room. Occasionally glancing backwards to ensure he was not being pursued, he twisted another knob on the side of the gun, calibrating it perfectly to blast through the approaching bulkhead. Even as he continued his run, he'd thought he'd heard music of some sort, wailing through the rafters above. He was about to pull the trigger when his right foot stopped moving, dragged out from underneath him by an unseen trap. His eyes widened, arms flailing as he crashed to the ground face-first, masked visage contorted in pain as it bounced off the linoleum.

Broken nose? he wondered, blood slowly filling the inside of his mask. Wincing, he tried to feel his face, only to experience further disorientation as he was dragged backwards, then up into the rafters. Something had ensnared him, wrapped around his leg; it'd failed to cut off circulation due to his suit, but the sudden whiplash he'd experienced had been extremely painful. Blood dripped down his face.

Broken...nose, he thought, reaching up in vain to massage his face. He soared up towards the rafters just as his new opponent descended, evidently using Klaus to slow his descent. Helplessly he ascended, arms hanging limply as he desperately attempted to re-orient himself. Blood rushed to his head and out of his busted nose, further increasing his notable...discomfort.

But this attack, no matter how ingenious it was, would not be the one to force him to submit. More than ever before, it was paramount that he escape, with his DNA having activated the Ray; the CIA wouldn't need to endeavor to break the genetic lock now that he'd so graciously done so for them. Success was his only option. He continued his climb towards the ceiling, trapped for the time being...he'd be unable to cut through whatever held him up, lest he suffer a fatal fall to the ground below. Teleportation was just as likely to result in his death; he'd heard stories of "blinkers" attempting to infiltrate the likes of Maverick Incorporated and the CIA through teletransportation, only to be disintegrated upon arrival, their frequencies somehow cancelled out by unknowable technologies. Even without evidence of such an outcome, he couldn't risk his own death by "telefragging," as he'd heard it described.

W-what if...yes...!

Grinning despite his bloodied face, lifted the Ray up to where he could see it, struggling against his relentless ascent. Pushing a series of buttons on the back of the device with his long fingers, he disabled the recoil-dampening excess-vents, the ones that prevented the user from being blasted backwards at equal force whenever the trigger was pulled, as per Newton's Third Law of motion. The vents dispersed the excess kinetic energy, allowing the gun to remain static even as it fired deadly concussive energy outwards; now, when Klaus pulled the trigger, he'd be thrust backwards at the same speed as the crimson beam, in the opposite direction: downwards. And, were his new opponent still holding on to whatever snare had caught him, he too would be dragged upwards, at speeds greater than any could've anticipated.

Aiming his weapon towards the ceiling, he pulled the trigger, the gun's recoil now more powerful than ever before. The back of the Ray crashed into his chest as he was forced downwards, just as the scarlet energy blast collided with the roof of the building. Rather than be dragged upwards slowly, he instead shot towards the ground like a magenta bullet, ideally dragging his new foe back up into the rafters. When he reached the ground, he'd grasp for the Gottschwert, using it to slice through whatever held him aloft and set himself free. And his opponent? He was likely to experience quite the nasty fall.

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#18 Edited by Damien_Bonaparte (2251 posts) - - Show Bio

@lichter:

Carefully monitoring his locomotive gadget work it's course Damien tugged at the last moment to trip the intruder. He almost cringed under the mask as his sapphire gems saw the man fall face first onto the floor. I must have been painful having the whole of his bodily weight slap you directly in the nose. He then, having wrapped the grapple around the inside of his palm, graciously descended down to the floor and in a confident gait made way towards a nearby rail.

<He seems aptly built, this man. However, it appears that he doesn't have that deep of actual combat knowledge.>

He pondered as he began neared the railing, oblivious that his prize was already scrambling for his energy gun. He began tying then, having to hold him the entire time would be tedious, and only managed to wrap the rope around the rail once before the dangling rogue used his high-tech weapon as a propulsion system. The rope quickly lashed out and escaped from his grasp to God knows where. Damien stood there for a brief moment, frozen in the tying position and completely confused. So he stood up and corrected his posture, looking back over his shoulder.

First he peeked upwards at the smoking hole in the ceiling and then at the now freed target with a upward curve to his left brow. He peeked up in disbelief to review the situation again and then to Licher again, having his lenses diagnose the energy signature of the fallout. Then after intensely staring his mark down, he looked at his gun and then at Licher again before nonchalantly pointing to at his weapon with his right hand as it was closest to his enemy. His remote network had finished the diagnosis of the energy that his ray gun emitted.

"Is that a 'Death Ray'?", his voice carried a heretic infliction as he inquired. The words he uttered left a lingering distaste in his veiled mouth.

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#19 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@damien_bonaparte:

Lying still on the ground where he'd fallen, Klaus groaned, eyes shut. He'd escaped the snare, and avoided a broken back, but he could still taste the blood dripping from his nose. Metallic, sticky, and warm.

Rolling over onto his chest, he propped himself up on an elbow, then stood, knees shaking. Sweaty palms, weak knees, heavy arms. Ray still intact, along with most of his bones. Head spinning, he narrowed his eyes at his pursuer, the one who'd managed to string him up to the ceiling less than a minute ago. He, too, was disguised, an attire reminiscent of an Eastern ninja. He'd said something to him, something incredulous, with a hint of distaste...

"Is that a Death Ray?" the man asked, pointing to Klaus' firearm.

He stumbled backwards, catching himself on his back foot, only to slouch forwards ever so slightly. He cocked his head to the side, looking at the ninja, then at the gun, then back to the ninja.

"...Not if you let me...go," he said, adjusting the weapon once more to reinstate the recoil-control. Straighter he stood, his memories kicking in, reminding him to have good posture...especially during combat.

"They'll kill people with it. I don't...want that," he mumbled, raising the gun ever so slightly, still on concussive-only settings. Slowly, he began to walk backwards, gun still trained on the ninja-esque warrior. Just a few more walls, and he'd be off the grounds, free to teleport away.

Hopefully to a hospital.

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#20 Edited by Damien_Bonaparte (2251 posts) - - Show Bio

@lichter:

"Not if you let me go.", he parroted the man's one-liner. "Dazzling wordplay. Very 90s Schwarzeneger.", Damien added as his pointing hand returned to his side. "That would be optimal, yes? I just let you prance away with something like that by being under the impression that I find myself in the employ of the 'bad guys'.", a pause ensued as Damien watched the man barely cling to his consciousness and catalogued his fighting posture that readied the weapon in his direction.

"However, let us harness the little time you have to stay conscious to debate. Allow me to present a rebuttal.", again a brief pause made as the Frenchman folded his arms, covertly bringing a smoke-pellet concealed in his elbow-pad into his grasp "This weapon, this 'Death Ray', how long do you think it has been sitting here? Ten, fifteen, maybe thirty years? That would grant the C.I.A. more than enough time to fully harness the weapon's capabilities. Yet do you see any of their members wielding anything reminiscent of this energy pistol?", Damien sought to undermine the man's resolution with his words, after all the fact that he hasn't fired yet must mean that the person under the mask is if fact a rational being.

"Another considerable problem with your thesis: Do you possess any tangible evidence, beyond your malignant paranoia, of the C.I.A. ever doing anything beyond having the gun within their possession? It certainly wasn't reverse engineered, you're holding it in your hands at this very moment without as much as a scratch on it.", his second point ended with a dismissive gesture towards the weapon and immediately after Damien's other arm whipped your from under it's counterpart to send a capsule of thick radar-disruptive smoke under the target's feet and recruiting his honed reflex to flank from the left.

"Engaging primary.", he silently conveyed through the comms towards his current employer. "How do you want him?"

"Lastly, the most important counterpoint for me to express:..", Damien's high-tech energy lenses switched to IR filters to allow him situational awareness as he silently blitzed on the outside of the smoke. "...Do you know who originally owned the weapon?", the style in which words rang were meant to jab at the homicidal Count Untergang before Damien closed in with a side-stomp to his target's knee.

This attack was meant to further cripple the man and after both of his feet would return to the ground he'd immediately harness his position to momentarily straddle. A whole body twist would reveal while he needed this room for it begat a roundhouse kick that sought out the target's Periental with merciless furor. This strike was meant to drive his prey unconscious until further orders came in.

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#21 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@damien_bonaparte:

He seemed to swim in and out of consciousness, the Lichter Legacy. Blinking hard, he continued to right himself, shoulders broadening, legs straightening out despite the soreness. Willpower was key, not physical condition. Idly, as his assailant mocked him, Klaus drew his blade. The Gottschwert's dagger-form soon gave way to a large blade of a fencing master, extending from within the hilt as esoteric pseudoscience worked its magic. Silently, it unsheathed, the perfectly balanced weapon connecting with Klaus' nervous system through his intricate glove...

He had neither the time nor the energy to refute his opponent's mindless prattle, even as black spots covered his vision. Thirty years? Otto had been alive and in possession of the weapon but a month ago. He shifted back and forth on his heels, listening to his bones click softly. Rolling his neck, he twirled the sword, rotating it casually despite his pain. He'd only been halfway listening to the second agent, who was still loving the sound of his own voice. Another inhalation, and Klaus was back in the game, mind clear, eyes locked on his target.

Smoke, curling up from a small pellet dropped at his feet, obscured his vision. His foe could be anywhere, but an imminent strike would undoubtedly accompany the vision-obstructing smoke. He closed his eyes, not bothering to strain and look through the cloud that surrounded him. Klaus had trained from the time he could walk to wield such a blade. Doing so was beyond natural for him, and he almost reveled at the chance to put his training to use. His previous foe had opted to resort to gunplay, and thus, he'd had no chance to show off, as it were. But now, despite his injuries, and the agent's confidence...he was in his element.

Keep talking, he thought, focusing in on the sound of the man's voice through the smoke. Every mental twitch, every synapse firing off...his blade subtly responded. They were one; where he directed the blade, his body would intrinsically follow, the sword processing his natural skills and choices as quickly as a man could think. Aerodynamically superb, and able to direct his muscles in the most efficient way possible, the Lichter Legacy could strike with his blade more quickly than a man could fire a gun.

"...Do you know who originally owned the weapon?" came the voice of his opponent, right outside the smoke. It would be irrational to assume that the Scarlet Swordsman would remain docile within the smoke...rather, he would use it to cover his own offensive. Just as his opponent began what would have been a crippling strike to Klaus' knee, Klaus moved with the blade, flowing like water out of the way. Every tendon was in sync, both man and weapon operating in tandem. Seeking to interrupt his opponent's attack before it could connect, he moved with such haste that the cloud of smoke was instantly dispersed. In the span of a single second, his blade would lash out three separate times, faster than the eye could see. Each strike was imbued with enough resonant power to slice through most defenses, and would carry through his foe's limbs, as he perceived them to be. The calculated stabs would be followed by a lethal lunge, the Legacy's perfect footwork accompanying his deadly strikes, accounting for nearly any conventional maneuver.

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#22 Edited by Damien_Bonaparte (2251 posts) - - Show Bio

@lichter:

Damien had underestimated his opponent on more fronts than one, a lack of judgement he would call it, and his formerly knee-bound foot instead touched the ground to which his magenta-discolored eyes flared in curiosity as his suit felt nigh-explosive force of the german's thrust completely disperse his fabricated veil and simultanenously managed to slice through his nano-silceram breastplate like a hot knife through hot butter. Three strikes, three punctures in his right breast.

<Interesting. I appear to have misdiagnosed his injuries. They are all dermal, hypodermal at most judging from how acutely inhuman his reaction was. But he's not a warrior, he's a fencer with a bit of celerity.>

Harnessing optical brilliance that he found under the Voiceless Monk's tutelage, the only truth known to a warrior: that the body is always unnering, Damien used his inhuman reflex arc to multitask beyond predicting his opponent's movement through body language. Once the first barrage of attacks ended, Damien immediately ordered production of adrenaline and internal opiates, endorphines - the benefit of having total control over his very being. Then he temporarily tightened the wounds in his pectorial muscle to minimize blood loss and began a retaliation plan.

<Hmm...the sword. Surgical precision, he's probably priviliged given his choice of swordsfighting. The two move in perfect unision, as if the blade itself was weighless. Unnatural, perhaps surreal even. But there's no deviant energy signature around the weapon.>

To Damien, his opponent was an lengthy roman and every action a book and every implication of movement a paragraph that advanced the story. Lichter was simply an audio-book played at double speed when wielding his weapon. He wielded it finely, with perfect European form as exemplified in the lunge he was about to make. So Damien side-stepped to his right in anticipation and simultaneously retreated his left hand to his belt to bring out a speck of explosive gel, which he strategically concealed within his hand.

Lichter had lunged out with prenatural swiftness, but Damien was already in the process of dodging before the potentially lethal attack launched and waited for a specific instance. The moment when the swordsman was most extended and counter. Recruiting his Shaolin reflex Damien immediately reached out with his left hand to grab Licher by the wrist of his wielding hand and at the same time winded his right arm above his left shoulder to unleash hell. Once he would be within his grasp Damien would straddle and slide his right leg towards Lichter to be at the same height.

This was instrumental to unleash his winded arm and send a surgical barrage of three karate chops with his iron-like hand, one for each stab to punish the man. The first sought to take his orientation, it sought his already broken nose to augment the pain. The second followed in fractions of a second through his refined Wushu mastery, seeking to crush his larynx and steal his opponent's voice. The final one sought to wind back and attack from under the held appendage to impact in the center of his ribs to steal what little breath he would have left.

After this show of martial dominance, Damien would simply let go of the hand and give the german swordsmaster some space for he always could retreat to the explosive gel he would have sneaked on Lichter's dominant wrist.

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#23 Posted by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@damien_bonaparte:

A wry grin crept its way onto Lichter's face as he felt the sword's tip connect, satisfied that he'd been able to make use of his training for the first time. The man would not be wounded too grievously, and the following lunge would incapacitate him, downing him long enough for Klaus to make his escape. Just as he was about to make the final stab, however, his opponent moved out of the way, outmaneuvering the Magenta Rogue with deft footwork that matched his own. Eyes widening, he attempted to stop the lunge, to regain his balance before his foe could initiate a counter-maneuver, but it was too late. Overextended, he was powerless to resist the practiced grip of his ninja-like opponent, clamped around his right wrist and ensnaring him within a painful grapple.

Three times he was struck, the hard hand of his foe colliding dramatically with his broken nose, throat, and chest. More blood spurted through his mask, the disoriented and exhausted Klaus released from the seemingly endless grapple. He crashed to the ground a few feet behind, sliding on his sore back. Vision blurry, he fought the urge to vomit as he desperately fumbled for the Death Ray, drawing it from where he'd holstered it only seconds before. His throat had been crushed by the last strike, his raspy voice barely able to croak out a single word.

"Enough," he coughed, twisting the third knob on the side of the gun. This switch changed the radius of the subsequent blast, turned all the way up to maximum. While the shot would be far less focused, it would also encompass nearly everything in the Masked Marauder's field of view, a red wall of ever-expanding kinetic power that would surge forth and blast away his foe. Keeping his finger held down on the trigger, he would continue to send the blast outwards, repulsing everything to his front and sides with dramatic power. The recoil, while mitigated by the vents, was still particularly intense, requiring both hands on the grip. Red force exploded from the tip of the weapon, traveling outwards in a massive wall of kinetic energy mixed with scorching heat.

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#24 Edited by Hound_of_War (3944 posts) - - Show Bio

@damien_bonaparte: @lichter:

Julian heard the Lichter Legacy destroy the walls in his attempt to flee. The doors to the vault had been sealed with debris. He had to find a way through it. From his belt he retracted two mines and placed them on the broken concrete wall. Methodically, he took some steps back, pulled the trigger with his thumb, and watched as the rocks turned into cramped pieces. Each step that he took crushed them into smaller parts.

Unfortunately (for Lichter) the assassins had apparently escaped, only leaving behind a single arrow with an iconic fletching. He analyzed it for a second and four words were spoken silently from his lips. One thing was a group of ragtag thieves, but them? This was a direct attack, if it was somehow leaked that they were involved then this would become an international incident. Julian needed confirmation.

"How do you want him?" The message echoed in his brain suddenly. It appeared the Frenchman had entered the building.

“Alive and restrained, but make him think that you’re going to kill him. He’s related to and dressed like Count Otto von Lichter aka Count Unntergang, a 20th century super-villain who mainly operated in Germany. Buy me two minutes; I need to confirm a lead first”.

High clearance files like the League of Shadows required access to a physical scanning system only found inside the building. While the computer did all the work he reviewed the recordings from the cameras. A man covered in black garments was carrying it in his quiver; he made a copy of the footage and erased the original.

Through the same cameras, he spotted where the tussle between the Frenchman and Lichter was currently taking place and started heading there.

“I agree, Mr. Lichter. Enough. It’s over. Your allies left you to die”

“There are three possible outcomes for how this situation could end. The first one is that you somehow manage to escape. Then what? We leak to the media that Otto was a criminal. You get labeled as a terrorist by the U.S. That should be enough to drag your name through the mud.

Every single property in your family’s name gets seized and auctioned for pennies. Even your offshore accounts get frozen. Who’s going to protect you then when you can’t even afford to sleep in a pigsty? They are more likely to turn you in for the bounty that will be in your head. They might attack innocent people that you care about and use them as bait. Even if they don’t you will live the little moments that you have left in your life wondering the direction where the bullet is going to come from.

The second option is that I give my friend here permission to slit your throat and be done with it. Then I still destroy your family’s reputation just for my own personal enjoyment. The only reason why you are still alive is because I allow it.

Or…and I think you will favor this option more than the previous ones. I let you go back to your life with the death ray under one condition. You report to me from this point on. There are certain advantages to having a person with close ties to the aristocracy working for you. You do some missions for me from time to time, mostly recon and undercover assignments. Nothing that would get your hands dirty. As you can see here, I am not on a short supply for assassins.

So how about you start by telling me about the person who owned this?” The Last Kennedy extended the arrow and lifted it in front of his face.

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#25 Edited by Damien_Bonaparte (2251 posts) - - Show Bio

@lichter- @hound_of_war

<Thesis confirmed.>

His mind raced under the influence of adrenaline as he felt his attacks progressively cripple his sword-savvy adversary, feeling the royal bones crack under the iron edge of his hands before letting go of the barely hanging hand. Damien appeared to have gained the upper hand in the encounter and watched his broken target crawl away with the last of his power. It was a brutal beating he had laid down on the intruder, but not neccessarily life-threatening. Still, it was almost reproachful to watch. He had to be remain objective, Damien, now and ever.

The Frenchman's chiseled chin rose upwards to listen in on his employer playing the advantage which left him oblivious to Lichter fiddling with his gun and when Damien did return his focus? A spanning bright red surprise was already waiting for him. <Merd--.>

His body was enveloped whole before he could even think to finish the word and his hands came into defensive cross only through sheer reflex. It protected his head, yes but the brunt of the fiery attack still swept him off his feet and lauched him across the room in a moments notice. His electrostatic shielding assimilating most of the thermal energy, still singed from the excessive concentration Damien crashed into the wall behind him at what could be described the turn before terminal velocity and he became embedded in the wall.

Donn had finished his speech then and Damien gathered his remaining strength to fall on the his knees from the wall, head trauma messing with his vision further amplified by the excess of blood pouring down his face. First attempt to rise resulted in feeble retreat to his knee.

<He could have killed me just there, but chose not to even after what I've done to him...>

He rose up moments after and began tearing off the damaged purple armoring of his O-yoroi battle-harness on his way over to Lichter. He'd stop a few feet short, and, depending on how'd he reply to Donn's offer, either be the first to pick him up and bring him to the infirmary or be the one to quickly and painlessly end the swordsman's life. The least he could do out of respect.

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#26 Edited by Lichter (5808 posts) - - Show Bio

@damien_bonaparte: @hound_of_war:

He'd been practically unable to move, he was so sore. He removed his finger from the trigger, the blast successful in buying him a moment's respite from battle. Limply, he let his arms fall to his sides, dragging himself backwards to a piece of fallen ceiling. Scooting backward, he used it to prop himself up, standing for a moment, then falling back to a knee. Shuddering, sat back down, leaning on the fallen debris with the Ray held weakly at his side. More coughing, more blood. His opponent was still moving, which was a relief. He'd come close to dying, and perhaps close to killing. He had no idea which prospect was more unsettling.

The Bat had returned. He was a figure of authority, clearly, which struck the Legacy as odd. Was he a mouthpiece for another man, simply speaking for someone higher in authority than he? Or could the grizzled operative he'd faced before somehow be in charge? For a second, he'd weakly trained the Ray on the agent, but deactivated it as soon as he'd begun to speak. With vague interest, he'd listened to his offer, sneering at the man's threat to ruin his family's name. He'd held no love in his heart for his bloodline. Still...the plot continued to thicken. After the obligatory "I could kill you anyhow" portion of the speech, there came a far more interesting offer.

Report to the CIA. Undertake clandestine missions from time to time. Keep the weapon.

Tempting. Or I could set this thing to self-destruct. Blow Fairfax county off the face of the planet, take everyone with me.

He almost laughed.

That would be asinine. But this...this is unexpected.

Then he did laugh, a low chuckle that soon grew into a mirthful sound, emanating from his broken voice-box. Shoulders shuddering, he stopped abruptly, a sharp pain in his stomach preventing him from continuing. It was humorous, yes, the way things had turned out. The original operation had failed as soon as the power had returned seven seconds ahead of schedule, and deep down, he'd known it. Escape had taken a backseat to survival. He'd been shot, burnt, and beaten, but he was still alive. The Death Ray was back in his possession. What more could he ask for? Besides, being involved with the CIA would certainly have its benefits. He hadn't trusted them before; what better a way to keep an eye on the organization than to become part of it? The Bat had implied a great degree of autonomy involved with the job...performing small favors from time to time couldn't hurt, especially if it meant he got to leave the room intact.

Straightening his back, he rose from his seated position, bracing himself using the fallen rock. Standing straight up, he felt his back crack, a sickening sound, yes, but it lead to comfort. He'd sheathed the Gottschwert, and holstered the Ray. He looked around the broken room, rolling his neck. Slowly, he nodded, a slight smirk on his face.

Tenderly, he reached up to his hood, the psychoreactive elements in his glove undoing the links keeping his cowl on his head. Reaching underneath his chin, he pulled off the mask, blood smeared on his face. Exhaling, he looked back to the Black Bat, careful to make eye contact.

"Your deal...is acceptable," he said with a chuckle, smiling to reveal reddened teeth. Extending his hand for a handshake, he maintained eye contact, projecting an intensity that only the son of a supervillain could provide.

I am no man's slave.

But I can deal with being one's intern.

"As for my, shall we say, former associates...we can discuss them later. I'd like to clean myself up a little first," he said with a laugh, blood running down his face. The game was far from over; he'd achieved his objective, but at what cost? Regardless...the future would prove incredibly interesting.