The_Catalyst

"Can't we all just get along?"

433 0 9 18
Forum Posts Wiki Points Following Followers

The_Catalyst's forum posts

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@rey_king:
What the hell have I walked into? Was I wrong? Is he..?

No, it doesn't add up. I didn't hear a scream, he blood is all over him, he didn't run for help, it's too... off...
But isn't that how life is, sometimes? Things just fall apart and you can't figure how to put them back together again? You stop making sense. You know what you have to do, but you just can't...

I just don't know... but now's not the time to focus on me any my failings. They need help... but I'd best be careful, regardless of who the kid really is.

Look, kid, here's my phone. He said as he slipped a battered flip-phone from his jacket pocket, the cracked screen glowing a dull blue, and tossed it to the boy across from him.

Now get out of the alley, I don't get any bars in here. Call 911, tell them to send an ambulance to the alley between Donora Drive and the Richmond Highway, 'cross the street that leads to the Whole Heart Med Center. Chris suspected the boy was lying to him, but there was no way of really telling, and if the two on the ground could be helped, he'd have to act fast. He pulled off his gloves to be better able to feel for a pulse, however unlikely, and moved to push the boy away from the bodies. As his hand moved to clasp over the boy's shoulder in an attempt to move him, the edge of his thumb slid along the boy's exposed neck. In an instant, he felt the familiar surge of information push its way into his senses, the odd, pulsating, somewhat slippery feel of another person's genetic makeup, felt the shrill waves of information travel through his arm, into the muddy realm of comprehension, and then, suddenly, like a jolt of lightning shooting harmlessly through the body but felt all the same, he felt it.

Power.

Undeniable, immutable, inborn power. The boy wasn't what he seemed after all. Carefully, with a practiced nonchalance he'd cultivated for other, more nefarious purposes, he pushed the boy lightly, keeping his hand at his shoulder, feeling for any sudden movements while attempting to appear as though his motivation had remained unchanged. Just get out of here, kid. It'd be better for them and for you if you do.

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

#2  Edited By The_Catalyst

@sarah_and_lara: Patience. That's the name of the game.

That's a very good point and also fair to ask. Where was the DSA during the Valor City crisis, where were we in Gothic City and why didn't we prevent Solace City from being taken over by a terrorist? Our viewers have already asked these questions in our newspapers and those are very fair questions. That is why I am here now. I'm not going to shy away from the truth. As the Director of the DSA, I failed the America people because I should have had the DSA be there in those cities to meet the crisis occurring within. But I was not. There is no answer I can give that will satisfy anyone. I failed, not the DSA, and that's on me. However, during the recent crisis in Metro City, the DSA defended it's home. We managed to avert a crisis. So, because of that, the DSA has been scaled down to protect the city we call home and the only city we have managed to protect since it's obvious we're doing such a poor job protecting others. The world needs better protectors and, I am sad to say, the DSA isn't it."

And we would very much like to thank the DSA for its attempts at protecting the people of Delaware, of course. A furrowed brow, a well practiced look of sincerity, of empathy.

"Those are very good questions and I hope I can clarify them for you. The mutants that work for the DSA view their jobs the same way a police officer does. If they find a mutant breaking the law, they aren't afraid to bring that mutant in. Mutants are people too, I believe that and that is why so many mutants have positions within this organization. But just as with everyone else, there are mutant criminals and the DSA will arrest them regardless if they are mutant, alien, cyborg or otherwise. They break the law, we will take them in."

George Kelmer nodded and, on occasion, even smiled a thin, but patient, smile. He seemed to ponder her statements, hands folded neatly in front of him, until finally he felt he had heard enough and felt he needed to "clarify".

Oh, hold on there, Ms. Jones. Now, as I understand it, what you're describing here, that mutant-kind are "just like us", I think that that requires a little bit of nuance, don't you? People-- normal people, mind you-- we share a few experiences, certainly, but for mutant-Americans there are many more potent, shared experiences. Surely you would not deny that there is a culture of ill-treatment toward mutants in many parts of the country, perhaps, to some small degree, even here? Surely you don't mean to deny the bonding experience of shared suffering, do you? Kelmer seemed oddly proud, almost gloating, as he feigned a look of speculative curiosity. It was restrained, certainly, but just as certainly, it was there. Sarah Jones could simply sense it in the air around him, in the somewhat disbelieving, somewhat smug furrow of his brow, the look of incredulity mixed in there with the questioning curiosity as he shook his head almost imperceptibly.

The reason why we offer mutants jobs is, as I stated a bit earlier, mutants are people too and they need jobs just as you or I do. Just because they are born different, doesn't mean they shouldn't have the same rights. I may be human myself, I'm not a mutant. But when I look back on our history, I see racism and prejudiced people made issues about skin color, about women and now it's about mutants. When will this all end? Yes, Mutants are dangerous. They can, and have, used their powers for nefarious purposes. But so do humans. Humans like me don't have powers, but give us a gun, a bomb, resources, and we can be almost as dangerous. While the DSA does monitor mutant activity, and others with extraordinary power, we also wish to offer these people a job. A chance to benefit society instead of damaging it."

Again, Kelmer interrupted. He threw up his hands as through surrendering, but instead pressed forward.

Whoa! Hold on now Ms. Jones! Now no one is suggesting that mutants do not have rights or that they do not deserve the chance to make a living. In fact, I am sure that many people, myself included, are glad that your organization has managed to corral so many mutants into a place where they can do some actual good in the world. The only nitpick I believe our viewer here may have is that mutants seem to obtain these "jobs" purely by grounds of the "talent" (as many call it) that they are born with. Does that not seem to you to be an unfair system that benefits, almost exclusively, people who have a trait that they cannot choose to have? I mean, who among us would not take the powers of Superion, or Thee Champion, or any other mutant or meta-human if given the chance? I believe the gripe that our viewers are presenting is that it is unfair to hire mutants based solely on the fact that they are mutants. Understandably, you are hesitant to permit a human to attempt this type of work, but I assure you that with the right technology (such as that of Avalon, or perhaps a requisition of Maverick's old arsenal, or even some of the technology now flowing out of mutant-controlled Venezuela) a human can present plenty of challenge for a mutant, so why not hire us on? You said it yourself, we're plenty dangerous, and so, plenty capable, with bombs and weapons.

And by the way, you brought up another very interesting point. You claim that mutants "have the same rights", but is that really true? In the same breath you said you also "monitor mutant activity", and this seems to imply, to me at least, a form of active surveillance not condoned with "normal" Americans. Is that correct? AT what point does your job end? What is private, and would the Meta-Human Registration Act, which makes all of this public knowledge, not be preferable to what some people are calling the"secret police" program that they accuse the DSA of being? At that moment, before she could respond, Kelmer glanced down at an ornate gold and platinum watch on his wrist. And we'll get to Sarah Jones' responses right after these messages. Stay tuned.

A smug smile crossed his face as he breathed a long, drawn out sigh. Thanks for coming by, by the way. You have no idea how hard it is to book guests from Metro-City in a little town like this. He clasped his hands together, seemingly amicable, but she could still sense the cold disdain radiating from the stiffness of his shoulders, from the way the smile did not touch his eyes.

Commercial Break

In a world of increasing uncertainty and risk, where anyone could be stronger, faster, and tougher than should be humanly possible, there is only one person who can protect your family.

No Caption Provided

You.
You.

No Caption Provided

Protect yourself. Protect your home. Protect your family.

With new, Stag-Eye Security four gauge shotgun shells, now available at all major hunting and fishing retail stores.

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Moved from Washington DC (CVU) to a canon location

How long have I been here? How long have I whiled away the time while the world keeps moving around me?
Didn't you hear me, pal? Two fingers of whisky!

Christopher McClain looked up from the glass he was polishing, almost surprised that he was behind a bar again. It had been years since he decided to leave this simple kind of life behind, but here he was, three years later and still slinging drinks. His grand ambition of changing the world, one over-inflated political egghead at a time, had come to nothing. He'd gone back to Venezuela not long ago, the Orochi having sent for Celvice, his handler. She was to finish her training, and he to begin his. There they impressed on him the need to deceive others, the need to avoid implication in any controversy in DC. The last thing the Orochi wanted was to be implicated in a plot to convert the political players of the United States into mutants, lest it contribute to war between their nations. They would disavow him and Celvice, and McClain would be hung for treason. Or shot for treason. Or drawn and quartered by a couple dozen stallions, for treason. They made it clear he'd be killed if caught, and McClain just didn't think dead and quartered was a good look.

He was scared. So he went back to bartending. Told Celvice he was planning how to best approach the president, or his kids, to try to "mutify" them, hit hard right away and maybe garner a lot of support all at once. Really he was paralyzed. Too scared to try anything of the sort, because finally it had come through to him. It was his own life on the line.

Can't even bring myself look at her anymore... God, what must they think of me now? I talked so big. I saw the Shogun in person! Me! And now... now...

TWO FINGERS! WHISKY! NOW!

McClain looked up once more. Not at his rowdy patron, but at the cracked red digital clock on the bare brick wall.

2am. Closing time.

Sorry pal, you're done for the night. Closing time, boys and girls!

Patrons mumbled in low voices, complaints and slurred goodbyes as they cleared the Swampwater Tap. It was a dive bar in one of the worst parts of DC, but the patrons each clung to one another and left in groups. They, at least, would be safe. Christopher McClain, for his part, locked up shop and started to walk down the back alley back on to his rat hole in Bell Haven. The streetlights blinked out, and once again the dark overtook him. He hated the dark. It was where all his thinking happened. Where all his regrets hit him at once.

His mind was occupied by his life's failures. His eyes were on the ground. His ears heard only the chorus of disappointed voices in his head, the people that he'd let down, the ghosts of the dead that he had failed to save over the past few years. It was little wonder he didn't see him.

@the_catalyst: (Sorry, forgot to change Accounts)

In the darkest alleys of Washington DC there was a slender figure lurking in the shadows. A young boy with slick black hair would stand lean against a wall with a Swiss blade in his hand. He was laughing to himself and throwing and catching a knife. A couple would wonder pass the alley where this boy would stay, and when he witnessed them passing ,his entire demeanor changed. Now looking scared he would put away the knife and would approach the couple. "Excuse me?" He would say to the couple while seeming nervous. "May you please help me find the apartment number 632?"The couple would exchange glances at each other and would then look at the boy who look scared out of his mind. They would decided to turn him in to the nearest police station to see if they could help him. After hearing their decision the boy would nodding slowing and would look down.

With the shadows hiding his face he would let out a sly smile and would quickly withdraw his blade from his pocket. He would slit the throat of the female of the couple. The blood gushing from her throat would cover the boy's attire "She could've died less ...messy" He would shrug and would witness the man running. He would sigh and would throw his blade at the man, who was 300 feet away from him. The blade would connect to the back of his head and would exit through through his eye. The boy would teleport and grab the knife as it continued to fly forward. He would place some gloves on his hand and would scan the bodies for any valuables. A few moments after he confiscated the wallets, he would use his magic to unlock the credit cards. He would read the names on the cards and would kneel down near the lifeless corpses "Mary Jonson and LeMark Jonson, Nice to meet you two, My name is Jack Suma. See ya later and thanks for the help" He would shove both wallets in his pockets and once again manipulated the footage from the cameras that witnessed this act.So that he won't be visible. After doing so he would wonder the dark streets of DC with his newly found riches.

@rey_king:

It wasn't the sound. That's what he would remember later. The thuds, they could have been anything. Trash bags hitting a full bin and falling to the pavement, a drunk losing his balance, a clumsy raccoon taking a tumble. No. It was the feel. The disrupted air. The feel of something cutting through the relative stillness of the alleyway's air, the sudden disruption, followed by the complete and sudden return to stillness.

That, and the smell of iron that began to hang thick in the air. Chistopher McClain could feel that something was wrong, could feel that something had changed. He froze, listening for the sound of anything, of even crickets' chirping in the heavy, humid summer air. There was nothing. Just the rustling of cloth, the ever increasing cacophony of blood in his ears, and then, shortly after, a muttered "Mary (thud thud thud) and LeM (thud) Jonson, Nice to meet you two, My name is (thud thud). See ya later, and (thud thud thud) for th(ud thud) help."

There came no reply, or, at the very least, none that he could hear through his own panic.

His blood turned to ice on that humid summer's night. His legs began to shake and quiver, his blood continued to pound in his ears, a call to action, flight or fight.

I've got no business here. Either I'm too late to help and I leave my footprints (and God knows what else) all over the "scene", or I step in and cause a scene, which is exactly what I can't afford...
Nobody knows who I am. That's the sturdiest shield: anonymity. There are no cape killers gunning for my head, no megalomaniacs trying to track me down and smack me with their shiny green, power-draining rocks...

But I can't just turn around either... What if they're bleeding to death, and I'm the only one... the only one who can... God damn it. God, frickin' damn it.

And so it was that he rounded the corner of that alleyway, hands balled into trembling fists, voice cracking with fear and dread. "Wh-Who's there?! Show yourself, damn it!" Then he saw her, a young woman, throat slashed, a clean red slit where a pale white neck ended and a limp, hanging head began. He retched, backing away from the grisly scene, and caught sight of the man, no, the boy, standing over the two corpses.

No, not corpses, McClain reminded himself. Mary and Lem Jonson. People. People that need help, people that might live if I...if I run in there and put out some feelers, maybe give 'em some of the old rege-- regeneration. The smell of the blood came stronger still. The sight of the gory mess turning his stomach and buckling his knees. Still, something had to be done. "Back! BACK away from the people there, pal, or I'm going to have to--oh, God--
I don't feel so well. Oh God, God, why?
get... nasty."

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@rosso: Well this street interview is in a public place. Anybody could be coming along at any time. I certainly won't stop you from coming along!

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@soliton: Well, full disclosure, I did quit pretty hard those two years I was away. But I'm here now!

So let's do this!
So let's do this!

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

Slow going.

You don't know the half of it, Glost.

Still know more than you do, Herric. Donovan Glost, president of the HFF, smirked his patented, unbearably smug smirk, and lowered the still steaming tea onto the dainty little saucer Mitchell Herric had provided, swiping his long, platinum blonde hair out of his eyes as he did so. The tea was weak, and a weak chamomile to boot. Simply undrinkable.

We've been hemorrhaging funds since the Registration Act was repealed. There doesn't look to be much hope of garnering much action in the coming election either. Dorian is losing the youth vote thanks to all the hip, young metas running around. The positive spin on the hero angle is insane right now. Every John, Jim and Mary knows somebody who was saved by some mask or another. He's down 12 points in the polls among adults 18-25. He's a dead fish, Don.

Donovan Glost seemed entirely unphased by the pessimistic predictions of his associate, lifted the cup of tea to his lips once more before he catching whiff of the weak tincture within and, remembering his disappointment, lowers it gingerly onto the saucer once more, shaking his head as he does so.

Tut, tut, tut, Herric. Haven't you learned to trust me yet? The campaign hasn't even started in earnest yet. Just trust me. He smiles gingerly at his comrade, pityingly, almost. The man has no imagination AND no taste in tea. Such a shame.

Don't you know, Herric? Donovan Glost always has a plan.

Downtown Dover City, Delaware

Spotted her. Yes I'm sure. What do you take me for, an amateur? Uh huh. No. Yeah. Orangish hair, hairclip always on the right side, five foot five-ish, looks like a middle-schooler, sparks shooting up sometimes. Yeah. IT's HER! Gee-Frickin'-US! YES! Look, you tell Glost to shove it. If I wanted somebody micromanaging my ass and second-guessing every move I make I would have stayed at home with my wife.

Yeah. Yeah our volunteers are here. Of course they're fitted with the devices. No, no. Told 'em it'd be a minor shock. Like a taser. Yeah. In position too. Shouldn't be a problem, nearest patrol car's gotta be a mile away. We'll be first on for sure. Yeah. Yep. Oh, it's gonna be a hell of a show. Yeah, ha ha ha, yeah... I gotta give it to 'im, Donny's a pain the ass, but he's got a hulluvan imagination. This oughta be fun...

Rebecca Long stands at a busy street corner, microphone in hand, waiting for the cue from her cameraman/director/boyfriend/maybe soon-to-be ex-boyfriend.

What do you mean, Marcus? How am I supposed to "look cheerful, but respectable and serious"? You mean I don't look respectable right now? And why are we out here anyway?

Marcus shook his head. She knew perfectly well why, but she never tired of making her point. Well the debates are on in a couple of hours. When else are we supposed to take a litmus test of the public's opinion on mutants and metas?

Ugh. But it's so hot, and I was supposed to be in the commentator's booth by 7! I've got a master's in Journalism AND poli-sci. I swear they're always wasting me on this fluff stuff when I could be doing some real work...

Marcus Stain knew she was right. She was a smart woman, capable, personable (when she wanted to be), stunningly beautiful, and as quick witted as they came. It was why the lump in his throat had begun to form. He didn't want her to be involved in this. He'd begged Herric and the rest to choose somebody else, but she was pretty. She was personable. She was smart, and capable, and quick witted...

And losing her would be a tragedy for the community. He knew that. He just wished it wasn't her.

Rebecca sighed to herself and focused on taking the outside perspective, like she always told herself to. Did she get what she wanted? Maybe not, but by being out in the field without complaint (assuming Mark kept his trap shut about her complaining) she would show how versatile and willing to adapt she could be. So what if they had her doing "man-on-the-street" interviews? She was more than equipped for those, and beyond that, this was still her name on the job. She could either pout and scream (and possibly never be trusted by channel 6 again) or put her name on it, own it, and really make the best of the situation.

Well, I'm no quitter... and I am the best there is in front of a camera...

Alright, fine. I'll take this one, but you owe me dinner for this Mark.

Yeah, sure, anything. Let's just get this done.

Marcus lifted his camera and began filming, the dread rising in his gut.

Ok, the older people first. You now, a proper sample.

...

So who are you supporting in the election next month, sir?

Oh, I don't know, probably ol' Rosey O'Malley. We old farts gotta stick together you know? Heh heh heh....

And you ma'am, what do you think about Mr. Dorian's proposal to reinstate the Registration Act?

Well the way I see it...

...

Finally Marcus spotted her. The one they were looking for. She was just as they described, maybe a little cuter than he expected a mud-gene to be. She was a short little squirt, a little like his kid sister...

His stomach turned while he stared, paralyzed by the idea of what he was now supposed to set in motion. She walked along, seemingly carefree, or maybe taking care to project that sort of air about her. Either way, she had to be ignorant of what was about to happen, walking along ignorant while he contemplated doing the unthinkable: destroying what little peace she still had left in her life.

Maybe it's not her. It can't be. She's just a regular girl...

But the parted hair, the oddly orange tint blazing throughout, gave her away. It was her. He knew it was, which meant he had no choice but to follow through.

His stomach churned and squeezed, his throat tightened into a wiry knot. The reality of what was about to happen, of what he was about to do, finally began to settle in his mind. Distressed as he was, he still managed to choke out his last allotted line.

What about... her, the-- the kid He choked on the word.

Rebecca looked up, annoyed that he would even suggest a child. She was a real reporter, a political correspondent, why would she be giving out Nickelodeon style, "Kid's Choice Award" interviews?

Her? Why would I interview her? She's not even of voting age. She can't be more than 13. What do you expect me to do, slime the girl if she gets the question wrong?

Well, first of all, she's cute, and that's good for ratings. Plus, it's important to involve the next generation, and all that. You know... he wanted to continue, but suddenly his throat was sandpaper and glass.

Oh God, Becca is gonna notice. There's no way this slips by her... She's too perceptive, too smart, too kind, too feeling a person to not notice me screwing this up...

And notice she did. But Rebecca Long, for her part, did not act on what she observed. She had always prided herself on her laser focus, and when her mind was made up on doing the random, catch-as-catch can interviews, she had decided to devote her full attention there. If Marcus had something bothering him, he would have to wait until after the interviews were done.

That's true... good ratings... huh? Yeah. It might be interesting to see what the kids think of all this, but I kind of doubt she'll even know what we're talking about. When I was young I was more concerned about what Nancy Drew was up to rather than who Anthony Stark was and what, or who, he was doing...

But it's worth a shot.

Yeah... it's worth a shot. And you're right. She is adorable. She'll make for great TV. C'mon then!

Yeah...

Rebecca Long, age 22, sauntered over to the young girl she saw non-chalantly walking the streets of Dover. With a bright smile (and in an exaggeratedly cheerful voice) she asked the stock question she'd been asking all day.

"Hi there, I'm Rebecca Long with Action 6 News. We're out here today doing interviews, trying to get a feel for what people think about gubernatorial candidate Gregory Dorian's proposal to reinstate the Meta-Human Registration Act in Delaware. Do you know who that is, and what that act does?"

Long smiled invitingly, coaxing the girl into the interview while simultaneously blocking her current path, adjusting her angle to allow the camera to capture the best light to frame both her and her guest. Oddly enough, it made Marcus love her even more. That she could be so attentive, so accommodating, so thorough in everything she did... the way she smiled, the mischievous twinkle in her eye when she thought she had the girl stumped...

He bit his lip and choked back a gasping sob, for once glad that his face was hidden away by the heavy camera equipment.

@soliton

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@soliton:Fair enough. I'll have to jump you elsewhere...

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@rosso: Okay, good! I was worried I'd have to import that stuff over to a new thread or something. Thanks Arq!

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@hawkshade: She's not dead, right? I've been outta the loop, but she can't be dead. Nah. Couldn't be.

Can I pm you? I'm just gonna go ahead and pm you. I have too many questions and gushing fanboyisms to dole out to do it in public.

Avatar image for the_catalyst
The_Catalyst

433

Forum Posts

0

Wiki Points

18

Followers

Reviews: 0

User Lists: 0

@hawkshade: Thank you! But as long as we're in the confessionals I'd like to say that I miss your mother. Was kinda hoping she could whip McClain back into shape.