Intro to a Prince

November 3, 2011

Prince Varian wiped the sweat off of his lean, muscular frame with a white towel and pushed a sweaty, stray strand of silver hair out of his eyes. His rapier he held in his right hand was held, point down, at his side. His torso was bare and the two white wings protruding from his back were folded loosely to keep them out of the way.

“I’m afraid I’m not much good at this Alexander.” He said to the light skinned and well-toned young man with him.

“Nonsense young master, you’ve improved quite a bit since last time.”

“Then how is it I can never beat you?” asked the prince.

“That is because I am programmed to provide you with a suitable challenge. I have had to increase my skill level several times now in order to keep up with you.” Varian smiled at his friend and manservant.

“Well, that’s enough for today. I’m supposed to meet my sister for lunch, am I correct?” Alexander bowed his head slightly.

“Indeed you are sir, it’s best not to keep her waiting.”

Advertisements

Dark Thundercats

November 3, 2011

Lord Lion-O stared coldly at the Thundarian peasant cowering before him.  The fool had dared to babble some excuse about not having enough food for his family as a reason for not paying his tribute. If that were the case, perhaps he needed one less mouth to feed.

“Take him back to his village and put him on a pike.” ordered Lion-O, “He’ll serve as a warning to the others.” The guards pounded their right fists on their chests and dragged the blubbering man out of the throne room.

“An excellent decision my lord.” came a sensual female voice. Lion-O turned to face his queen as she entered the room and stood beside him.

“My dear Lady Cheetara,” replied Lion-O, “What brings you here?”

“It’s our daughter’s sixteenth birthday today.” said Cheetara, “We need to do something special for her.”

“Is it?” mused Lion-O, “That means it’s been about twenty-five years since I slew Mum-Ra on Third Earth.”

Thundercats: Bold New World

November 3, 2011

Lion-O rolled over in bed and stared at his wife, Cheetara. There were still times he had trouble believing that it was twenty-five years since their adventures on Third Earth.

Leon-A stared at her younger brother as he gobbled up his breakfast. She grimaced in disgust.

Claudus ate his food as quickly as he could.

Remnants of the Past

November 2, 2011

A new day was dawning in Siphon City and crime was rampant, it was as if the whole city had gone insane overnight. The streets overflowed with muggers, thieves, murders and every unsavory character one could imagine. It felt as if someone had declared that it was the end of the world.

            Yung Sang finished tying up the mugger he had just beat unconscious and stifled a yawn. He didn’t even bother taking them to the police anymore, the jails had no more room and in the time it took him to drag the crooks down there, two more were committing felonies. He hadn’t slept at all in the past twenty-four hours and it was starting to take its toll. A scream reached his ears from a few blocks down and he sprinted in that direction without a second glance at the unconscious form he left tied to a lamp post.

            Captain Roger Andrews emerged from a burning building with the acrid smell of smoke still clinging to his nostrils and two limp forms over his shoulders. Wordlessly, he handed them over to the waiting firemen as the blaze suddenly flared to life one last time before being snuffed out under a pile of ash and debris as the building collapsed. The firemen hosed down the embers as Andrews left the scene in silence.

            Cyber-Storm shoved the last thug into a containment cube, a four sided prism made of energy. He had designed them with the intention of using them as temporary holding cells for gang members and other criminal elements until the local authorities could take them away. Now they were more like portable jail cells, which quickly filled up. He hoped the chaos ended before his supply ran out; otherwise, he’d have to resort to more primitive methods of containment.

Quake stood silently as several crazed gunmen fired at him simultaneously. The bullets ricocheted off his metal body without leaving a scratch. When they ran out, he struck the ground with his fist. The resulting shockwaves cracked the concrete around him and threw his attackers off balance. Quake then proceeded to render them unconscious.

            Copperhead smiled around the lit cigarette in his mouth, as the mass of thugs, gangsters and thieves advanced. It would take twice their number for him to even break a sweat. At least he wouldn’t be bored today.

            Paragon changed into a large boa constrictor and wrapped himself around the gang members who had been attacking innocent civilians. He squeezed until they lost consciousness and then let them go. Transforming into a gorilla, he picked up a long pipe from some nearby debris and wrapped it around them so that they would not be able to cause harm to anyone when they woke up. Satisfied with his work, he moved on to find others in need of his particular talents.

            Webmaster had disappeared into the depths of the web. He wasn’t much help in the physical world compared to other heroes. The other reason for his immersion in the web was that hackers were running rampant, using the chaos in the streets to hack into government computers and unleash viruses on the general web community. He effortlessly dispatched some weaker viruses and continued searching for more threats.

            Bolt easily dodged the bullets of his attackers and quickly knocked them unconscious with a quick blow to the head. It wasn’t just thugs and other petty trash he was fighting. Even some of the more adamant anti-supers supporters were taking up arms against any known or suspected super. However, the best he could do was to knock them unconscious and use whatever he could to prevent them from causing more harm when they woke up.

            Bug flew after some fleeing criminals and launched his stinger darts at them. They found their targets and instantly paralyzed them. The effects only lasted twenty-four hours at the most, but it was the best he could do without killing them.

            Adhesive had finished gluing the last of the thugs to the ground when more spotted her and charged at her with weapons or fists raised. She managed to stop the first dozen or so when her glue ran out. She searched for her refills, only to realize those were empty too. With an exasperated sigh, she turned and fled back to Freedom Corps headquarters.

Union of Superheroes: A New Team

November 2, 2011

Adam Black leaned back in his leather chair and twisted the black ring around his finger as he watched the screen in front of him. The superhuman epidemic was spreading and the first official superhuman team formed in Siphon City, but none of that concerned him. The key to the future lay in six rings. He was searching for those rings and the ones who would wield them, because they would be leaders in Earth’s darkest hour.

He had already extended invitations to five of them, but the owner of the sixth ring turned up dead in an alleyway with his ring finger chopped off. His people had searched the man’s home and belongings and found nothing, which meant the ring had been on the man’s finger and whoever had murdered him had taken it. It was a most perplexing problem indeed. The intercom on Black’s desk buzzed.

            “Mr. Black your guests have arrived.”

            “Very good Sharon, show them in.” He would worry about the sixth ring later; it was time to greet his guests.

Zell followed the secretary into the waiting room, not taking his eyes
off her behind until she stopped and turned towards him. She was giving
him a look that told him she knew what he was thinking and that it
wasn’t going to happen.

“Mr. Black will be with you in a moment.” she said, motioning for him
to have a seat. Zell gave her an innocent smile as she left the room.
Looking around the room, Zell didn’t see anyone he recognized until his
eyes landed on a familiar face from his childhood.

“Rith,” he nodded towards the blond haired man in greeting.

“Zell,” replied Zell, returning the nod. Despite growing up together, the two of them had never quite gotten along. They hadn’t seen or spoken to each other since they had gotten into an intense argument on their eighteenth birthday and Zell had packed his things and stormed
out.

Turning his attention to the others in the room, Rith began to wonder why they had all been brought here. He and Zell were the only males in the room. The other three were women, two appeared to be in their twenties or thirties and the other one appeared to be in her teens. The two women were professionals, judging from their posture and attire. The teenager, on the other hand, looked worse than Zell. It was as if she had been picked up off the streets or some seedy punk rock bar.

A brief while later, the secretary that had shown them all in
reappeared and motioned for them to follow her. Rith stood and followed
her out the door with Zell and the others in tow. A short time later, after everyone had entered Mr. Black’s office, Mr. Black turned his black leather chair to face his guests and began.

“Greetings ladies and gentlemen,” he said, getting up from his chair and walking around his glass top desk to stand in front of them.

“I am Mr. Adam Black the head of Black Ware industries. I have invited
you here to offer you a proposition, but that can wait. Please, have a
seat.” Mr. Black pressed one of the many buttons on the control panel
built into his desk and black leather seats emerged from beneath the
floor behind his guests.

Zell gave Black and then the seats a questioning glance before
shrugging and slumping down in the nearest chair.

Rith gave Zell a disapproving look, they hardly knew their host and
Zell was acting as if nothing about this was unusual. Why would a CEO
of a successful company want to meet with them? Rith noticed the others had also taken their seats. Reluctantly, Rith did the same.

Black seated himself behind his own desk before continuing.

“I’m not sure I know all your names, so if you could introduce yourself.” Black pointed to a blond male.

“Let’s start with you.” The man stood up and gazed levelly at Mr. Black.

“My name is Rith Sandar.” he said. Black nodded and Rith sat down. Zell waved a hand, casually, in greeting.

“Yo, call me Zell.” A woman with short, brown hair stood up.

“I’m Linda Shaw.” The two remaining women sat in silence, until Black cleared his throat.

“I guess I’ll go next,” said the woman with blond shoulder length hair, “My real name is Samantha Roberts, but I’m better known as Zephyr.” After a moment’s pause, the other woman spoke up.

“Call me Stoic Naid.”  Black nodded.

“Very good, now the reason I have brought you here is because you each were given a very special ring by a certain young lady. I’m here to warn you that with these rings comes a great responsibility. A prophecy foretold eons ago stated that these very rings would save this world from the ultimate evil if wielded by those with hearts that were strong and true. You are the ones chosen for this task and it is my duty to prepare you for what lays ahead and forge you into a team. However, it is your choice to join me. If at any time, you are unable or unwilling to uphold the responsibilities of your position, your ring will pass on to another. Are there any questions?” Rith Sandar raised his hand.

“You said six rings, but there are only five of us here.”

“Yes, sadly the owner of the sixth ring is no longer with us and we were unable to retrieve his ring. Which brings us to your first mission, find the sixth ring and bring it back to me. I have already made preparations for a successor and put a bounty on the ring, but I would prefer one of you find it.”

Zell only half listened to what the man in the suit was saying.

~Man, this guy talks too much. ~ thought Zell. When he heard the last
part of the speech, Zell spoke up.

“What’s in it for us?” he asked. He didn’t see why he should help this
guy, nor did he remember agreeing to be a part of his little hero group.
“If you find it and decide to join, I will give you an automatic raise in your salary. If not, the bounty is yours and you are free to leave. There’s no need to decide right away, you can give me your answer in the morning.” Black pushed a button and a tall, balding man entered. “Jenkins, escort our guests to their rooms.” Jenkins nodded and motioned for them to follow.

The rooms were comfortable, each one had a twin bed, its own bathroom, a television, nightstand with a phone, and drawers containing a set of casual and formal clothing embroidered with the Black Ware company logo. After retiring to their rooms, the five of them dealt with the information in their own ways.

Rith walked the length and width of the room, carefully examining everything in it. Something about this deal made him uneasy, he had a feeling there was more to Black’s offer than he made evident. It was best to be cautious; he should talk it over with Zell.

Zell paced the room anxiously, pounding his fist into his palm. He needed to think and he couldn’t do it in this room, it felt small and cramped; he had to get some air. Zell grabbed his worn, black leather jacket and walked out the door.

Angelica Pratt, also known as Stoic Naid, was returning to her room after a smoke when a guy in a black leather jacket bumped into her.

“Hey, what’s the rush?” The man passed her by without a word.

“Hey, the least you could do is apologize jerk.” She yelled after him. When she reached her room, the first thing she did was to stare at the Black Ware uniforms she had laid out on the bed. She had already made up her mind to accept Black’s offer, but these uniforms needed some improvements.

The first thing Samantha Roberts did upon entering her room was to take a long, hot shower. She had just been about to return home after her evening patrol when two men in suits approached her with an offer that seemed to good to pass up. She had come straight here and hadn’t had time to wash up. She let herself relax as the water washed the day’s dirt and grime away.

Linda Shaw was the last one to be shown her room and was just about to enter her room when the butler, Jenkins, coughed politely.

“Is there something I can help you with?” she asked. Jenkins bowed respectfully.

“Yes, madam, am I correct in stating that you are a practicing lawyer?”

“Yes, you are. Why?”

“Mr. Black has a special request for you. Would you be so kind as to meet him in the dining hall this evening at six?”  Linda nodded after a brief period of stunned amazement. The request had caught her totally off guard. The butler bowed.

“Very good madam, I will leave you to freshen up.” As Jenkins left, Linda closed the door and left to wonder at this odd request.

Amantha carried the small box into the park, she had yet to open it and the lawyers dealing with her parents will were annoying to say the least. She took a deep breath, she hated the city, but she had to come here for the meeting. Now that things were finally finished, she could try to find a place to recover. Finding a secluded park bench Amantha opened the small box and peered inside.

 What struck her first was the assortment of different earrings, not one was the same, all were similar yet each one had a different colored stone attached to it, the small number of necklaces and, of course, her mothers rings. There were five in total, she recognized the wedding band and the engagement ring, but the others were unknown to her. She shut the box in mild disgust, and stuffed it into her small bag. The other thing the attorneys had given her was an address here in the city; she took one last look around and then headed off to find a taxi.

When the taxi pulled up, she exited and double checked the address, making sure she had the right place, then heading up the steps approached the front desk.

“I am looking for a Mr. Black, I was told to come here by my mother’s attorney and so I am here.” she gave the note over, and waited a moment, before she was directed to take a seat in the foyer. Taking a magazine, she began to read, waiting for something to happen.

Adam Black frowned at the papers on his desk; his company database had been attacked for the sixth time in three weeks. These intrusions had cost him large sums of money and proved to be a serious security risk. The hacker had already stolen plans for a top secret, high-tech, bio-mechanical suit.

His security teams were as confounded as he was and that only added
to his irritation. If his guests accepted his proposal perhaps, he would have them hunt down this cyber-vermin as well as hunt for the missing ring. Suddenly, the intercom on his desk buzzed.

“Mr. Black, someone’s here to see you. They said they were sent here
by an attorney.” Adam sighed.

“Send them in.” he replied.

Amantha stood when she herd her name and followed the instructions given to her at the desk and before long stood in front of the office to this Mr. Black, she took a deep breath and then entered, putting a smile on her face as she approached the man’s desk and sat down, giving him the letter from her mothers attorney.

“I have no clue as to why I am here just that I was asked to come and see you; do you know what my mother was on about?”

Adam Black scanned the letter before setting it down and looking the
young woman across from him in the eye.

“Your mother was assisting me in keeping an eye out for a special item,
a ring of great value. This letter says she left certain treasures of hers in your care, one of which may be the ring I’m searching for. If it is indeed the ring, I’d be willing to pay a substantial price for it.” Amantha looked at him and dumped the contents of the small box on the desk top, looking at him.

“Is it there, if so how much, I want to get out of the city more than anything, I hate it here, it’s to enclosing.” Sitting awkwardly she looked out the window, trying to take her mind off the there and then her mind was trying to pull her out the window to soar above the city, and away from the fumes of technology. She had a vehicle of course, but it was owned by the ranger station where she worked and it was as clean as any vehicle could be, but the petrol fumes outside had gotten to her. As he mind wandered so did her body and feathers began to make themselves known to her, concentrating hard she hoped that she had kept the lapse hidden, then her eyes caught the look on this Black person, and her heart sank.

Adam Black arched an eyebrow as feathers began to appear on the woman
in front of him.

“This is probably none of my business,” said Black, “but would you be
metamorph by any chance?” Glaring at him a moment, she finally relented and nodded her head once,

“Yes.” she glared at him further not knowing what was happening next and hoping that she was not going to have problems with him.

“What’s it to you?” her eyes never leaving him, and an almost impossibly long stare, as if she were trying to kill him with the daggers of her mind. Black shrugged.

“It’s nothing really, I was just wondering whether or not you would
accept an offer to join a superhero team I’m putting together.” he
said sensing her hostility.

“However, since you don’t seem to enjoy city life I’m guessing the
answer would be no?” asked Black sifting through the various jewelry
strewn out on his desk. The ring didn’t appear to be there. He was
just about to tell his guest when his hand brushed across a necklace
that was made out of the same material as his ring. He wasn’t sure
how he knew that, except that he felt it in his bones.

“If there is money in it, every girl has her price”, she looked at his hand, “and for a price I can put up with the city, but there are restrictions, and conditions, what do you want and I will see if I want to do it.” She reached across and started to put the items away back in the box, “anything you want from this?”

“I’m in need of someone who can get in and out of places with out being
noticed, mostly to gather intelligence. I’d be willing to set you up in a
place of your choosing, here in the city or just beyond, and start your
salary at around 12000 a year?” he reached for the necklace.

“How much would you accept for this?” he asked. She looked at it, and then at him.

” Add a zero to the salary and you would have a deal, 12000 is not even worth getting out of bed for, especially if you want me to stay in the city, a girl has to have some compensation for living in a filth encrusted place, but if you want to pay me by job, then 12000 base with 5000 per task with a minimum of 20 jobs per year, after I have a place customized, then you have a deal, I will even give you the necklace, don’t need it myself, the stuff interferes with my changes anyways.” she closed her eyes a moment, and thought of the job she had, and then what this black was proposing, hoping her high demands would put him off. She liked her old job, but the pay sucked, this way she had a chance to get a good wage and probably afford to buy small plots of land outside the city building up her own park, and private land area. Black smiled to himself, this woman was nobody’s fool.

“All right, 120000 it is then. Give this to the person you first
spoke with and they’ll get you on your way.” he said handing her a
slip of paper. Amantha took the paper and headed out and back down to the woman, she met at the counter and handed her the paper.

“I was told to give you this, now I guess you want me to sign some things for this employment that Mr. Black wants to put me through, where are they and what training are you going to give?” The woman handed her a sheet with dates, locations and times.

“Show up at one of these locations at one of the given times. They’ll
give you basic self defense training and run a few tests.” Amantha took the paper and looked at the list of training sessions and winced, sighing she gave it back to her,

“Looks like I am staying here for a little, how about you recommend a place to crash, and I will attend the first one on the list, get it over and done with, and don’t fear, if I ever get into a situation when its just me in there I turn and run, or whatever means is available to me, shaking her head.

“Where is this place anyways?”

“It’s a few blocks from here. You’re welcome to stay in one of our apartments on the upper floors if you wish.”

“As long as it has some access to the outside world I don’t much care, how much is it to stay here till the trial, I need to try and meditate this headache away, and no drugs seem to effect it so lead the way”

“Lodging here is free of charge for employees.” Amantha sighed, “I guess the rooms are upstairs?” she looked around for the elevator, “is it just chose a room or do you have a list of free ones?” The woman brought out a list.

“These are the rooms that are currently unoccupied.” she said sliding
it to Amantha. “Which would you like?” Amantha looked at the sheet and picked a corner room that had a small balcony,

“This one I guess will fill my needs, she slid the paper back and waited for the key card, and with a sigh headed up to inspect the small room, the elevator took its time, and she was sure that there were cameras in the ceiling, then when the bell rang, and the doors opened she exited, her small carry bag on her back she headed over and opened the door, fitting a do not disturb sign on the knob she locked the door behind her and threw her bag on the bed moving over to the window she looked out and down onto the city below, and let herself relax to the point that her natural form showed, her gossamer wings folded neatly down her back, she seemed to have miscalculated the railings height and had to get something to stand on, then fitting the chair against the railing she again rested her head on the rail looking out the slightly cleaner air helping her to relax,  taking one last breath she headed into her room to practice her animal forms, sticking to those of the woodland she called home

It was early evening when Rith knocked on his brother’s door. There was no answer, which meant he must have gone out. Rith sighed, there was no use going out to look for him. It would be simplest to just wait for him to return. Rith turned and began to head back towards his room when he passed Jenkins and Ms. Shaw walking towards him. Jenkins bowed his head in greeting as they passed and Rith returned the salutation with a nod of his own.

Jenkins led his guest to the main dining hall, past an obscenely long dining table and into a small side room where Mr. Black sat in a leather booth in the corner. Jenkins bowed her into the room and closed the door behind her. Black motioned for her to take a seat next to him, after she had made herself comfortable he spoke.

“So I hear you’re an excellent lawyer as well as a crime fighter. How do you mange to do both so well?”

“Actually, my staff does most of the daily work; I just handle the major clients.”

“And so modest too, a woman of your talents is truly a blessing to society.”

“Is there a reason you asked me here Mr. Black?”

“Call me Adam, Mr. Black is what my associates call me.”

“Very well, Adam, is there a reason you asked me here?” Black gave an amused laugh.

“Cutting right to the chase then? I like that. The reason I asked you here is that I need an outside opinion for some legal advice. I’d pay you as an independent advisor, so you could be completely honest with me, unlike my pack of lawyers who are only interested in bigger salary.” Linda looked at him suspiciously.

“What about your proposal for me to join your crime fighting team?”

“It would not be affected, whether you choose to join or not. This is a completely independent offer.”

“I’ll have to think about it,” replied Linda as Black’s personal chef entered with two steaming silver trays.

“Ah, dinner is here. I hope you enjoy lobster.”

The street lamps had just come on as Zell paused to light a cigarette with his ring. Suddenly, a woman’s scream broke the still night air. The cigarette fell from Zell’s mouth as he broke into a run. The scream had come from a poorly lit alleyway, but Zell hardly slowed as he entered the darkness. The scream came again, followed by a frightened whimper and Zell lit his ring and flooded the alley with dancing light and shadows.

A man with ice for skin, and eyes just as cold stood over a woman cowering in fear. Zell wasted no time in summoning his ring’s power and delivering a fiery right hook to the man’s face. The woman’s assailant was caught off guard and hurled into the wall. The frozen felon stood, clutching his melting face.

Zell moved in for another punch, but stopped in his tracks when the evil eyed man fired a ray of ice from a ring on his hand and froze Zell’s feet to the ground. Zell cursed silently as his quarry escaped into the night and began thawing his frozen legs with his ring.

It was close to midnight when Zell stormed into Adam Black’s office, followed by an apologetic Jenkins.

“I’m so sorry Master Black, but he insisted on seeing you, said it was urgent.” Black held up a hand.

“It’s quite all right Jenkins; I wasn’t planning on getting much sleep tonight anyway. What seems to be the problem Mr. Sandar?” Zell slammed his hands down on the desk.

“I’ll tell you what the problem is, the problem is you not telling us exactly what we’re up against when you offered us a reward for that ring.” Mr. Black raised one eyebrow.

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“On my way back here I saved a woman from a man covered in ice and there was a ring just like ours around his finger. Care to explain that?” Black folded his hands and leaned back in his chair with a thoughtful look on his face.

“You are sure it was a ring like yours?”

“Yeah, I got a good look at it when he used it to turn my legs into icicles.”

“The reason I did not tell you about this man was because I did not know about him. All I knew at the time was that the former owner of that ring had been killed and his ring stolen.” Black paused. “I don’t suppose you got a good look at him?”

“I saw the left side of his face when my burning punch melted the ice. Why?” Mr. Black leaned forward to type on his computer.

“I have access to the FBI database which has information on every registered citizen, including criminal records.” Black motioned for Zell to join him.

“I’ll run the photo ID of every person in the database and you tell me if any of them look familiar.” Zell stared at the screen as a multitude of faces went by.

“There, stop.” Mr. Black froze the image on the screen and Zell covered up the right half of the picture with his hand. “That’s him, that’s the guy.” Black frowned and pressed the intercom on his desk.

“Sharon, have Jenkins wake my guests, including our most recent arrival. Also, make seven copies of this file I’m sending you and give one to the head of internal affairs.”

Jenkins started with the latest member of the team since she was not
grouped with the others. Knocking politely on her door to get her
attention, he spoke.

“Pardon me madam, but are you awake?” at the knock Amantha turned back to her human appearance, and wrapped a towel around herself, and then opened the door.

“I am here, can I help?” Jenkins bowed apologetically.

“I am sorry to disturb you, but Mr. Black requests your presence.”

” I will be down in a moment, I guess he will like to see me in his office?” not waiting for a reply she picks up her clothes, redresses and grabs the key card for the room, before opening the door and following the messenger

“What does he want with me now, I know the test isn’t now so… do you have any ideas?”

“I couldn’t say madam, but I’m sure he’ll explain once everyone is in
his office. Pardon, but I must fetch the others. If you get lost feel
free to ask directions from any of the staff.” With a slight bow, Jenkins departed.

taking her queue from the messenger she headed down to Mr. Blacks office, suspicious of him still and growing more so of the fact that others would be there, she didn’t like crowds, any more than 3 other people and she began to have, panic attacks, she would have to keep her distance and be up against a window at least, when she was smaller and in one of her guises she felt more comfortable but only in so much as following the lifestyle of what she became. Reaching the door she knocked and opened it, heading in and trying to B line her way towards a window

Adam saw her come in and nodded his head in greeting. The others
arrived a short while later and Mr. Black handed out the copies
Sharon had given him.

“Thanks to the efforts of Zell, we now know who has the last ring.
His name is “Slashing Jack” Jones, a felon wanted for the murder of at
least a dozen people. As long as he has that ring, the police won’t be
able to touch him, it’s up to all of you to bring this criminal to justice and keep the ring out of the wrong hands, but first we must find him. What do you say?”

Amantha looked at the file and dropped it on the desk,

“You will have to tell me what those rings do, and the necklace, what is so special about them and if he has one why can he not be caught by the police, I mean if we are to capture him what can this… punk do?”

Rith had noted the new person when he had entered and assumed she was there for similar reasons as everyone else in the room. Rith wasn’t sure he trusted Adam Black, but he did agree that the ring and the criminal had to be taken off the streets.

“I’m in.”

“Leave it to me. I’ll get that bastard.” said Zell smacking his fist
into his palm. Linda and Samantha also agreed to help, but Angelica remained silent
until Adam spoke up.

“What about you two?” He asked, looking at Angelica and Amantha in
turn. Angelica had no interest in spending her night searching for a
homicidal maniac; not to mention her ring used water based powers and
that wouldn’t do much good against a psycho with ice powers. She told
Adam as much and he nodded in agreement.

“That’s true, what about you?” he asked Amantha, “I know it’s sudden,
but we could really use your help.”

” I can help find him but at the moment I don’t want to get close, I don’t particularly like ice, but I am sure these others can take him down, let me study his picture, once I find him I can find his scent then things will be much easier” Adam nodded.

“That would be wise.” said Adam reaching inside a drawer in his desk.
He placed a small case on the table, inside were wireless headsets.

“Use these to keep in contact with one another; each of you will take a different part of the city. If you find him, let the others know your location and keep an eye on him until they arrive. Do not engage him alone.” said Adam with a stern look at Zell.

“I cant use a communicator, the way I will be searching, first I would be unable to speak, second, I would have no ears to hook it on to, I will work with another for this time, until you can come up with an alternative”

“Then you can assist him.” he said nodding towards Zell.

“I don’t think so,” replied Zell, “I work alone.”

“It’s not open for debate,” said Black, “now I suggest you get started.  We’ve all ready wasted enough time here.”

Amantha looked at black, “look, there are a few things you should know,” I can look after myself, and I know I will be of aid, and believe me you will not even know I am there, until I find this person, if I do you will know it is me.” Addressing Mr. Black, “I will wait for him outside, just tell me what he drives and I will keep up”

“I believe a black Harley Davidson is Zell’s transportation of choice.” said Adam. Rith, meanwhile, had taken a communicator and was heading out the door.

“I’m heading out now.” he said. Linda and Samantha soon followed suit as Rith stepped out the door.

Amantha headed back to her room, and locking the door, laid her clothes neatly on the bed, and let her disguise drop again, then heading to the small ledge of a balcony climbed up and crouched on the rail, moments later she had shifted her form to that of a goshawk, and looking down, reveled in the senses that the raptor form gave her, then taking flight she circled round waiting for the Harley to leave the building.

Zell put on his helmet and sped out of the parking lot. He wasn’t big on the whole team thing, but he had gone along because he wanted another chance to fight that ice punk. Amantha spotted the bike leaving and followed it keeping her eye on its movements through the traffic below, and scanning around it if she could find a thermal imaging camera and give one end to Zell via a radio link. Then she could act like a helicopter, but it was too late for that so she just kept pace trying to see if there was any ice around.

Rith tapped his earpiece to clear the static. Black’s voice came through the earphone.

“Can everyone hear me?”  There was a general affirmation from Rith and the other members.

“Good,” continued Black, “from now on you’ll refer to each other by the powers your rings possess. Now I’ll turn you over to your operations leader.” There was a click as a young, female voice came over the receiver.

“Okay, I really don’t want to be doing this, so I’ll make it brief.”

“Hey, aren’t you that girl, Stoic something or other?” interjected Zell. There was an audible sigh over the radio.

“Yes, flame brain, and from now on you’ll refer to me as Water, or Operator. Got it?”

“Hey, watch your mouth girl or I’ll…”

“Zip it flame brain.”

“What’d you say?!”

“Shut up Zell,” ordered Rith, “we’ve got a job to do.”

“Fine, whatever.” A few hours passed by with no sign of their icy prey and Rith broke the silence that had formed.

“I think we need to regroup and…” Rith stopped short as he turned into an alleyway and saw their man attempting to break in to the back door of a warehouse. Noticing Rith, the murderous man pointed his ring at Rith, but was too slow. Rith instantly brought up his ring and blinded his opponent with a flash of light. The man yelled and clutched his eyes before running off.

“Operator, I’ve found our man. He’s heading east on Ellis Avenue. I’ve temporarily blinded him, but he’s still dangerous.”

“Roger Light, keep after him. The others will try to cut him off.” Hearing the report, Zell rushed to intercept their quarry. Zell managed to cut him off at the end of a narrow alleyway. When the man saw Zell he raised his ring and let loose an icy blast in an attempt to freeze Zell solid, but Zell countered with a blast of flame from his ring which resulted in a thick cloud of steam. The man threw ice shards in Zell’s general direction, but Zell managed to dodge and let loose with a flaming whip that breezed past the man’s face.

The man then formed an ice dagger in his right hand and charged Zell. Zell dodged the blow with only a minor cut and managed to grab his  assailant’s wrist and causing him to drop the ice knife. Yanking his  foe towards him, Zell let loose with a fiery right hook to the man’s  stomach. The man countered by icing over his hand to form a blade and thrusting it towards Zell’s face. Zell let go and barely dodged the  attack. Charging his ring, he unleashed a flamethrower attack that
engulfed the alleyway and melted through the man’s hastily  constructed ice shield and icy body armor, leaving him unconscious.

Amantha saw the fight and then circling down landed behind some trash cans and shifting her appearance back to her true form crawled out towards the unconscious figure.

“Do you want me to take the ring back to your boss, I had an idea whilst I was trailing you and it would be a mite easier for me to aid you in your quests” she tried to keep the fact she was without clothing from her mind, not wanting to upset Zell but in the end she would have to bare all as it were, unless there was a nice unstable molecule unitard lying around. Zell did his best to remain cool, he had forgotten she was along on the mission.

“Sure.” he replied slipping the ring off the man’s finger and tossing it to Amantha.

“I’ll just stay with him until the cops arrive.” he said jerking his thumb at the unconscious figure. Placing the ring over her middle toe she shifted back to bird form and took off back to the HQ, the ring was clasped firmly in her talons, as she circled over head, gaining height before she headed off towards her guest room and her change of clothes, she didn’t want to meet Mr. Black again until she was half way decent.

Mr. Black was at his desk when the silent alarm went off, alerting him to the presence of someone in Amantha’s room. Turning off the alarm, Adam had someone go to the room to keep an eye on her.

Amantha picked up the ring from the floor and after smoothing down the dress headed down towards Mr. Blacks room, the ring held tightly in her hand, she didn’t like the thing and would be glad to get it to someone else. Taking the stairs, she let her fun side out a little and was sliding down the banisters a little to make the journey go quicker. It wasn’t long before she reached her desired floor, hurriedly taking long strides she pulled up outside his office and knocked on the door. Black heard the knock on his door and told the person on the other side to enter. Amantha entered the office and ring held between finger and thumb deposited it in front of Mr. Black,

“Hot head stopped him, and gave me this to give to you, he is probably tying up the punk now and waiting for the authorities, to take him, I was pretty useless until the time he began the confrontation, if you want some advice I have an idea, if you use microtechnlogy or other means then I don’t care but either way I think it would be a good idea to make a small package I can carry and you can observe and direct me from, light weight and portable something an eagle or hawk can carry in its talons, gripping is easy as I lock onto whatever I carry but it would suit you and allow me to participate further if you want me that is” Black thanked Amantha for the suggestion and made a call to the head of his technologies department to have them work on Amantha’s idea.

            “Is that all you will be needing me for, I would like to retire to my room and be myself for a while, I would also like to ask about these tests you want me to go through, but that can wait until after the others get back for their debriefing”

            “Yes,” replied Black, “and I’ll be more than happy to answer any
questions you might have at your earliest convenience.”

Amantha nodded in acknowledgement and left Mr. blacks office, heading directly to her own room, there she cleared away her bag, and set the furniture against the walls giving herself as much room as possible. Last of all she set the do not disturb sign and locked the door, now she undressed, reverted to her natural form and stretched her muscles, legs, arms back wings and stomach, she took her time in each letting herself feel the tension ebb from her body. Sitting herself in the middle of the floor, she began to meditate, settling herself into a very relaxed state, her wings gently resting on the floor behind her.

After handing the criminal over to the police, Zell rode back to Black’s building and immediately went to his room to crash on his bed. Once the ring was out of the criminal’s hands and the criminal himself was in the hands of the police, Angelica ordered Rith and the others to return. While the others went to their rooms or other areas, Rith tried to get a word with Mr. Black.

The group of superhuman eco-terrorists known as Protectors of Earth were plotting their next move in their plan to save Earth from environmental threats. They had made great strides since Dr. Aquarius had become their leader. Hummingbird had gladly handed over her leadership role to him when he promised them he could help them achieve their goal efficiently. The other members of their group included those she had originally formed the group with: Emission, Fixer, Dopplebanger and Puppeteer.

The others had been brought in by Dr. Aquarius: Manimal, Enion and Gamma. Hummingbird listened carefully as Dr. Aquarius outlined the planned assault on the city’s major cause of pollution, Blackware Industry’s power plant.

Breaking News: UoS

November 2, 2011

Anti superhuman protests, continue to increase due to the large number and increased frequency of violent clashes between superheroes and villains. These uncontrolled brawls cost the city millions of dollars in damages and lawsuits. Riots have begun to break out as superhuman and human protestors take to the streets.

            The mandatory superhuman registration act that had been in deliberation for some time has finally been passed by congress in an effort to calm the storm. The Freedom Corps and the Union of Superheroes have chosen to register as examples to others. Captain Blaze made an appearance earlier today, along with the other members of the Freedom Corp, in order to show their support for the new act and encourage other heroes to register.

            While the law has already been passed, debate still rages within the superhero community. Some heroes feel that the law could too easily be abused and that it violates their privacy. The act will also automatically register any captured villain, a fact which has some human rights movements up in arms.

            Supporters of the superhuman registration act say that if a super really is a hero and a contributing citizen, then they should have nothing to hide and assure the public that it is only to protect non super citizens. A thing which they claim any true hero should want to do.

            Zell Sandar turned off the television and went out on to the balcony outside his apartment window. He took a cigarette from the pack in his rolled up sleeve and lit it with a tiny flame from the ring he wore on his right middle finger.

            Zell took a drag and exhaled as he looked at the ring. It was gold with what appeared to be a small ruby in the center. This small fashion accessory had changed his life dramatically.

            “Hell.” he said. He placed his ring hand on the guard rail of the balcony and stared out across the city. They had both seen their share of action in the past months. Zell sighed and flicked ash over the rail, at least he was being paid for his trouble. However, it still irritated him that he had to sign up with some government agency as a super human when he only had powers because of the ring.

            Zell looked at the ring; he supposed his dislike of authority could take a back seat to the power and privilege that came with being a hero. Zell thrust the ring forward as if he were punching an invisible foe and a jet of flame spurted from it and died. Zell smiled, registering was definitely a small price to pay.

            Amantha hadn’t registered, she felt her personal liberties would be severely encroached upon, she had hung around after the last caper, but still unsure of herself and her part in this union she wanted to find her niche here she looked out at the view from her balcony. sighing, she let her eyes wonder over the vista, she wanted to go for a fly but had to restrain herself, the owner of this facility had asked her to refrain from anything for the moment, and she wanted to oblige him. The feelings were strong, turning and walking back into her room, she glanced down then scowling sharply, untied her dressing gown and taking two quick strides jumped and shifted into the majestic eagle form she loved so much.

            As she cleared the room, she could feel the breeze, letting the wind catch her she took flight, wanting nothing more than to circle the city she began by gaining height on thermals created by the car park next door. It wasn’t until after a few lazy circles that she noticed Zell and, after another pass, flew down to land beside him on the balcony. Tilting her head inquisitively, she waited for Zell to speak. Zell returned the eagle’s gaze and a slight smile formed on his lips.

            “I thought you weren’t supposed to fly around the city like that.” He said. His tone was playful, it didn’t matter to him whether or not others obeyed the rules Mr. Black laid out. He flicked the butt of his cigarette off the balcony and onto the street below.

            “So, why’re you still here little bird? I thought you’d be gone first
chance you got.” Amantha tilted her head, and then jumping down from the balcony into the apartment she shifted back, grabbing any old shirt she covered herself and returned to the balcony.

            “If you must know I enjoyed the hunt, and for your information I can change just not in public”, she sidled over to him, “I liked my job back west, in the wilderness, but it lacked satisfaction, here….. I miss the woods, the own spaces, but I also feel like I am accomplishing something. Oh, I know people would have issues if I decided to strip and then change into a bird or even a wolf, but up here I am a child of nature, this,” she pulled at the shirt “feels unnatural to me, modesty is also something I feel is over rated, but I comply with society when I have to”, she looked down at the street below, “I have mixed feelings about this registration act, I can see some good coming from it, finding work for the few who have very useful gifts, in normal rescue groups, or similar, but I also see problems.

            Those with powers that organizations can use….control like mine, make the perfect soldiers, can you not say that given the opportunity the government would not take supers and use them in the military?”

            Zell nodded, he understood where Amantha was coming from. Similar points had been made by all opponents of the registration act and Zell agreed with them, but as part of the UoS he was unable to do much, the contract he had signed to be part of the team had him caught up in red tape.

            “Or they could make their own superhero army.” muttered Zell. He sighed and reached for another cigarette.

            ” I would much rather work freelance, I don’t need much, and in hard times I can hunt for my food, but I do enjoy making a difference, and I think the more I am off the record the better” Amantha sighed, stood up strait, and stretched.

            “I’m going to go see your boss later, find out if there is need  for us at the moment I’m getting the itch, and things have been quiet, I also want to work out my employment deal, see if I can find a ready supply of genetic codes to absorb.” she smiled at Zell, “you want to come along?”

            Zell shrugged. “A little too quiet, yeah let’s pay a visit to the boss man.” Zell used his power to snuff the cigarette and adjusted his black leather jacket.

            “Ready when you are.” he said.

            Rith Sandar had been following the registration debate since the beginning. He knew the original legislation had been well intentioned, but politics always had a way of corrupting the noblest of intentions. He sighed he wondered if the UoS and the Freedom Corp were setting the right example.

Union of Superheroes: Shadows of Destruction

November 2, 2011

In the depths of Dark Haven a man made of shadows smiles to himself. He has reached the end of his quest. He could smell the darkness, taking a deep breath he inhaled its pungent sweetness and called out to the gloom around him in an oily voice.

“I know you are here Malhavoc, I sense your essence. Show your self to me.” The man of shadows watched as a black mist slowly coalesced before his eyes and took human form.

“What is it you want?” it hissed irritably.

“The same thing you do, revenge.” The hazy form hovered briefly in silence before answering.

“And how do you propose to get that?”

“By merging together, with your power increasing my own we will become gods and lay waste to this world.” The dark specter flickered a moment then agreed.

“It shall be done.” The man of shadows laughed maniacally as the phantom entered his body and the two became one.

Rith Sandar stood on the balcony outside of his room and looked out at the fading twilight. A few weeks ago things had suddenly become quiet. The almost routine clashes with villains had died down and now all that was left were the small crimes. There was almost no need for a superhero team, but Rith had an uneasy feeling that this was merely the calm before the storm.

Zell Sandar took another swig of his beer, he was supposed to be on patrol, but he didn’t see the point. Two weeks had passed without so much as an evil chuckle and there were other things he could be doing. He eyed the shapely young blond who had just taken a seat beside him at the bar. She had a cigarette in her left hand and was rummaging around in her purse with her right. She cursed under her breath before noticing Zell for the first time.

“I don’t suppose you’ve got a light?” she asked. Zell smiled and held up the ring on his right hand as the ruby orb in the center ignited.

Samantha Roberts returned to her apartment exhausted. Her hero workload may have dropped, but her business workload hadn’t. Fortunately, she could now devote her entire day to it and, with that in mind, she showered and retired for the night.

Linda Shaw had no time for sleep as she poured over case files and other legal documents for her employer, Mister Adam Black. He had been increasingly ill for sometime now and suddenly he had vanished off the face of the earth. There had been all sorts of questions at first and even a full scale investigation by the police, but when nothing turned up people eventually stopped caring. Now all that was left of him was his industry, a few legal papers and a whole lot of questions.

Angelica Pratt had taken advantage of the lull, and Blackware Industries’ money, to treat herself to a week at a five star resort. She now lay by a luxurious pool with a piña colada in her hand and the last rays of sunlight fading behind her. She smiled at the clouds above her and raised her glass in salute.

Brigit Frost sat silently on her bed, gazing out the window as an icy chill crept up her spine. She glanced down at the opaque crystal in her ring and wondered if she would have to use it again soon. She remembered the day she had gotten the ring and shivered again. The history behind it made her wonder if such things should even exist.

Madam Red shivered as she entered Dark Haven. She wasn’t quite sure why she had come, only that she felt compelled by some outside force. As she looked around she saw other figures in the shadows, some of which she recognized as she drew closer. She could clearly make out the outlines of the hulking brute, Rash, and the other members of the Chaos Club.

The technological menace known as Ultra Blaster stood in the same general vicinity as the other Chaos Club members, but kept a safe distance. He did not trust any of them, especially that Omega character; he was definitely a dangerous man. There were others he knew only by reputation, such as Dr. Aquarius, and others he had only heard rumors about such as the infamous Dr, Voltaic and his female assistant. There were also those he knew nothing about, including lesser known villains, petty thieves and minor crooks.

Freedom Corps: Shadows of Destruction

November 2, 2011

Captain Roger Andrews surveyed the desert with his binoculars and saw nothing but dust.

“What’s the word Captain?” inquired the man known as Cyber-Storm.

“There’s still no activity from the other side.”

“Good, maybe I’ll actually have time to make repairs.”

“I doubt it; they must be up to something.” Andrews lowered his binoculars as a trail of dust appeared on the horizon. “Alert the others, I think trouble is heading our way.”

J.J. Rocket ran as fast as his legs would carry him, dodging the enemy barrage. He stumbled briefly as the shockwave of something large hitting the ground behind him reverberated through the barren earth. J.J. found himself wishing for the hundredth time that he had managed to destroy Madam Red’s telepathy damper. If he had he could have contacted his brother by now, instead he was running for his life as high speed projectiles soared after him.

Cyber-Storm and Captain Andrews ducked as J.J. Rocket leapt feet first into their trench, followed closely by a large, exploding shell that flew over their heads and impacted somewhere behind them.

“Who’s in charge here?” asked J.J. looking at the two people next to him.

“I am.” said Captain Andrews. J.J. extended his hand with a smile.

“I’m J.J. Rocket.” The other two simply stared coldly at him.

“Okay then,” said J.J. dropping the smile, “I’ll be brief. I was unable to destroy the telepathic damper. I did, however, get this.” J.J. pulled out a corked test tube filled with wiggling black ooze.

“This stuff was all around Dark Haven.”

“I’ll have this analyzed.” Cyber-Storm said taking the tube from J.J.

“I’ll be off then.” said J.J. giving a brief slaute before vanishing in a cloud of dust.

November 2, 2011

Andrea Walker tested one of her knives for sharpness; this wasn’t where she had pictured herself at this point in her life. Sheathing the knife, she looked towards where her long time partners were playing cards.

“I’ve got winner boys.” They glanced at her and smiled.

“Pay up Dean.” said Jeff, placing his cards face up on the small, aluminum table. Dean looked at the cards and cursed. Andrea smiled as another explosion rocked the bunker. A young man in military dress burst into the room. Andrea, Jeff and Dean all turned their attention towards him.

“Sirs and mam’m,” he panted, “they’re attacking again.” The three companions grabbed their gear and followed the young man out of the bunker. Aside from the regular weapons fire, plasma bursts were now raining down on the force field surrounding the camp. Andrea frowned, surely by now they would have realized this tactic was pointless. She turned to the young man.

“How’s the shield?”

“It’s holding as usual mam’m.”

Anti-Super Persons League: Remnants of the Past

November 2, 2011

A new day was and crime was rampant, it was as if the whole city had gone insane overnight. The streets overflowed with muggers, thieves, murders and every unsavory character one could imagine. It felt as if someone had declared that it was the end of the world.

Andrea Walker was in a foul mood, she had originally created the Anti-Super Persons League to deal with the superhuman threat and now they were nothing more than an unofficial extension of the police force. She had trained to fight super humans, not to deal with petty criminals and insane rioters. She dodged as a particularly fervent rioter tried to slash her with a knife and kneed him in the stomach so that he collapsed to the ground in a heap.