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The Daily Bugle

Senator Hines has revealed how mutants will be handled: Sentinels.

A rumor traveled the circles of the supernatural. Mutants heard a safe, underground railroad was being started, inquire at the Summit. The beyond sought the strange power said to rest at the Summit of New York City. The gossip flitted amongst the rest: valuable information was to come to light when dawn broke over the Summit.
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 Showdown in NYC [Training]

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PostSubject: Showdown in NYC [Training]   Mon Oct 29, 2012 8:27 pm

It was a warm night, given the season of the year. New York was the same as always: a city that never really slept, with people awake at virtually every time of the day. In some other places, the streets would be half empty, and the few remaining souls would be hurrying to the comfort and safety of their homes. Here, it was the opposite. Car horns blared occasionally, the hum of human activity pervaded the air, and music of various sorts blended together to form a cacophony of unintelligible sounds. High above all the noise, atop a building, a solitary figure stood waiting...

Sometimes, she felt that this vigilante stuff was a teeny weeny old, what with the older generation of superheroes who drove around in customized mobiles and wore gaudy colors. The young woman chuckled to herself, thinking about what she would look like in such an outfit. She wouldn't dare try on one of those. They were too... corny. Her thoughts focusing on her mission, she took a lungful of air and pulled the mask over her face. Her long, silver hair had been tied tightly into a bun, and hidden under a hood. As it were, none of her external features were visible; the only thing people would be able to conclude correctly was that she was female. Better that way. She was about to do some dangerous stuff, and it would be unwise if her enemies knew who she was. The last thing anyone needed was a RPG flying through their bedroom window, when they were trying to get some shut-eye.

Her black outfit blending with the darkness, she went back to the fire escape exit and went down the building. Not a very classy way for a 'superhero' to move about, but who would she sue for being unable to fly? Once on the ground, she put on a pair of roller skates and took off. She needed her stamina in what she was putting herself into, and it wouldn't do to be out of breath by the time she arrived. Fortunately, she wasn’t going very far.

This was the place. She ground to a halt, removed the roller skates and put on a pair of sneakers. Clenching her gloved fists tightly, she walked into the tunnel. Already, she could hear the din of the spectators as they clamoured for blood. The place was quite deserted, so it was unlikely that they would be found here, making it ideal for their underground fights. Well, if she had her say, this particular fight was busted. The tunnel meandered this way and that, until it suddenly widened into an abandoned substation, lit by torches and a few electric lamps. Behind her mask, her eyes squinted in the glare of the lights, though they adjusted quickly enough. There were about thirty people or so, all screeching at two bare chested fighters who pummelled themselves to a pulp. Okay, action time.

She would have gone in unnoticed, if not for the two ‘bouncers’ who were charged with watching the entrance. ”Hey! Who the heck are you?”[b] one of them snarled, as both of them, armed with crossbars, approached. Behind her mask, she smiled. There was this little trick she had been trying to master, and she was almost good at it. She opened her palms, stretched out her arms, then suddenly clapped with powerful force. The bouncers stopped short, and everyone in the subway turned to look at her. The smile kind of vanished from her face.

”Okay, this is absolutely not what I had planned...”

The bouncers looked at each other, obviously surprised at the amount of noise that a female her size could generate with her hands. Just then, a muscular thug of a human showed up. From his demeanour, and the memories she had gleaned from her source, he was the one she was looking for. The thug looked her up and down, then said scornfully to the bouncers: [b]”The hell are you staring at? Just because this little clown bitch can clap damn well, you’re going chicken Is this what I pay you for? Deal with her and throw her out!”


”Clown bitch?”

Oh, he had done it! She narrowed her eyes, then lurched at the first bouncer as he took a step towards her. He was prepared, however, and swung his crowbar at her face. The metal might have hurt, but for two reasons: one, her glove was quite well padded, and two, based on her physical strength, a pigeon may as well have swung the crowbar at her. She caught the crowbar in her left hand, then punched him square in the face with her right. The bouncer sailed into an adjacent wall and stayed put. The other bouncer followed his comrade’s trajectory, and then realizing the mistake of that move, whirled quickly back to face his enemy. His moving head instead met with the side of her foot, knocking him quite senseless.

Already, the whole place was becoming quite chaotic. Quickly, her eyes scanned the disorganized crowd, and eventually located her quarry, who seemed to be gathering a motley band for a renewed attack. She broke into a run towards him, and then jumped into the air, an idea having occurred to her. Perhaps the move didn't work so well, because she needed a harder surface to impact with. Her gloves were padded, after all. The thug and his cronies, still thinking that they had the advantage, rushed to surround her, and managed to form a close crescent around her, just as her closed fists struck the ground with as much force as she could muster. The air virtually rippled around them, and a shockwave pulsed out, knocking her assailants in all directions.

The smile returned to her face. In time, she would perfect it, make it stronger. For now, it had served its purpose. She walked up to the thug, picked him off the ground with one hand, then smacked him into three of his cronies, who were trying to pull themselves to their feet. By now, the subway had been cleared of most people, and the remaining, who were the thug's lackeys, didn't seem to have the will to fight anymore. she walked over to the thug and stood over him. He stared at her from the ground, eyes full of fear and confusion.

"Who... what are you?!"

She shrugged impassively. "Um, I don't know. A clown bitch, maybe."

A blow to the midsection knocked all the wind, and sense, out of him, and she picked him up, slung him over a shoulder, and left. Fortunately for her, no one followed her. Having put some distance between the subway and herself, she entered into a narrow, empty alley and put him down. This mission was successful, but her job was hardly done. This man was just a key to an even greater target. It was time to see what he knew about her true mark.

Merri Skyler focused her mind and reached for the thug's face with her hands...

[1180]
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PostSubject: Re: Showdown in NYC [Training]   Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:56 pm

Phase one of the mission was complete. At this point, by sifting through the thug's memories, she had gained an address of where it happened. The annoying fact was that even though he was privy to the information, he was not among those who had gone on the raid. She took his unconscious body back to the abandoned subway and left him there. One of his goons was bound to find him. Merri wasn't concerned that his gang might want to take action on the assault done against him. There was no way they could find her, unless they had a psychic like her in their ranks. And that was unlikely. Since they didn't know who she was, and strange stuff always happened in New York, it was very unlikely that they would trace anything to her. And even though she was just a rookie vigilante, she was starting to learn a few things about making her trail go cold.

Tonight really seemed like a good night to hone all the skills she had taught herself. Already, she was pleased with the progress she had made on creating shockwaves. And now, she needed to rely on another of her powers, one that would give her an edge in her crepuscular detective work. It was useful in finding out the truth, without having to ask anyone for details. However, since this ability was far from perfected, she would have to hurry. Merri put some good distance between herself and the subway, ensured that no one was following her to the best of her knowledge, then took off her mask, turned her jacket inside out, removed her gloves, and hailed a cab. Another annoying mode of travel, given the fact that she was meant to be a superhero; in all the comics she'd read, they'd fly, or run fast, or teleport... while she had to take a cab. One day, she promised herself, she would maybe gain some new powers that would take the stigma of unsophisticated transportation away.

The cab driver looked only initially surprised at seeing a girl her age alone in such a place, but he seemed not to care much, so long as she paid up. The taxi took off at a fast pace, and Merri drew back a sleeve to take a look at the time. If she'd remembered correctly, everything had started about thirty minutes ago. That meant she had another thirty minutes before the truth would slip into darkness, and she'd have to look for someone else to beat up. At any rate, provided that nothing unusual happened, she would get back to the store in fifteen minutes...

Twelve minutes later, she alighted from the cab and walked along a street, until she saw the store. Yes, this was the place. Its windows were broken, shelves overturned, and the place really looked like it had been massaged by baseball bats and other unfriendly objects. She walked into the store. In a place like this, such crime usually went below cop radar, because the victims were threatened into keeping quiet. So, she had decided to make it her jurisdiction. Once again, she looked at her wristwatch. Eleven minutes to the 'deadline'. Since the lights had been broken, it would be rather difficult to spot her in the store, so there was a good chance she would not be disturbed. She stood at the center of the store, closed her eyes and took in a deep breath. As she exhaled, her mind reached out, probing the environment, activating what had occurred in the past hour. Her eyes still closed, she saw herself still standing in the center, but the lights were on. She smiled. The temporal replay had been initiated.

She saw Ellie in the middle of a call. Ellie was a friend of hers. Some would call Ellie a nerd, but Merri thought she was smart. Ellie's father was at the counter. She watched Ellie mention the name Descartes, and she mouthed the rest of the sentence along with Ellie. She knew the words, because she was the person on the other end of the line. And that was when they came in. Five of them. Their leader looked real muscular, like he was a gym freak. She could smell the alcohol and smoke on his breath as he walked 'through' her and into the store. Then he returned to the counter with his lackeys and demanded... tribute. Tribute? What sort of people used that kind of word these days? Wasn't that supposed to be for all those ancient Mediterranean kings..? She scoffed. He probably thought he was one. Ellie's father had refused, and it had led to a scuffle. Her eyes widened when the gang leader picked up an entire shelf and threw it at the man. Okay, she could do that, but hey, not everyone else could. Perhaps he was a mutant. Ellie's dad got roughed up; his daughter was powerless to help; Merri's fists slowly clenched in anger. She hated it when people abused power. Then one of them hit him on the head with a bat and down he went. Ellie suddenly made a break for it and escaped. When they saw that they were unable to stop her, they picked the cashbox clean and left. Merri did notice a hint of fear in their eyes when Ellie fled. Like they were afraid that she'd come back with the cavalry or something.

"Frightened, huh? Guess I could use that..."

Ellie did return, with a few concerned neighbors and a silver haired girl. Interesting. The temporal replay seemed to have another use: she could look at herself from another perspective. Maybe she needed to trim that side of her hair... Her eyes went back to the little crowd of sympathizers. They applied first aid to Ellie's father and called an ambulance...

Her mind let go of the replay and she opened her eyes. She was alone in the store. She was up to speed on the rest of the events. When Ellie had cut the call, Merri, who was already on her way to Ellie's for a joint reading session had quickened her pace, but arrived too late. The ambulance had come and taken Ellie's father to the hospital. Ellie went with him. Just before he was taken into the ambulance, Merri had tried to see if she could read his mind and figure out who had done this. The session was too short and she was too distracted, but she was able to come up with a face. The face (one of Ellie's father's assailants) she had found and crumpled a little, and she was able to glean the location of the subway from him. But now, she had the face of the leader, and perhaps even his location, once she did a little extra rooting about.

The final phase of the mission had come. It was time for vengeance.

[1159]
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PostSubject: Re: Showdown in NYC [Training]   Tue Oct 30, 2012 8:59 pm

Slipping on her mask and blending once again with the night, Merri headed towards her final destination. She had already obtained the location of the gang from the meat head at the subway station. The temporal replay was just so that she could ascertain who her true target was, and strike precisely. Many would think that she was just playing superhero naively. Maybe. She, however, knew the risks involved, and she knew that people such as the gang she was up against could be dangerous. She wouldn’t attack them directly. Sometimes, it was wise to use a little strategy.

If her memory served her correctly, she didn’t need to travel far to get to the place. Besides, a king who wanted to exercise authority would usually start from his own vicinity. It was obvious that this gang she was pitting herself up against was not what one would call influential, like a triad. Their base would have to be close by. She stopped eventually and looked up at an abandoned warehouse in the distance. The image in her memory matched the building that sat far ahead. This was the place.

Merri approached cautiously. There seemed to be some movement at the entrance. Most likely grunts who were yet to prove themselves to their leader. They would be easy to deal with. All she had to do was scare them with a little effect of her own. She approached silently, keeping to the shadows. She stopped when she had a clear view of the sentinels and the door. There were two of them. One could always watch the other’s back, so that neither of them would have a blind spot. Well, if she had her way, she was going to confound that idea.

She focused on one of them and reached out with her mind towards his. For a while, nothing seemed to happen. All of a sudden, he sat up straight and looked around. His fellow guard turned to look at him with a frown. ”Thought I heard something…” he said to his fellow. ”I didn’t hear nothing,” his fellow replied. Merri smiled to herself, then began a series of mental nondescript whispers. Her victim stood to his feet and looked around, a slightly alarmed expression on his face. ”What was that?” His fellow sighed. ”What did Boss say about stoning before…?” Merri decided to let the other one in on the fun. Like his buddy, the other one jumped to his feet. ”I… I heard it too.” ”We should tell Boss…” the first one said.

Merri decided that it was time to take action. With an urgent tone, she whispered telepathically: ”To your right!”

They both turned away from her position. Merri charged. Only when she was upon them did they notice their assailant. She stretched out both arms and ploughed into them, catching each one on an arm in a lariat. They went down rather noisily. That was sufficient to alert those in the warehouse that something was wrong. In about a minute, a punk decorated with piercings opened a door and came out. On noticing his two companions, he started, then stopped short as a heavy blow landed on the back of his head. He crumpled to the floor. Merri noticed that he was actually the one who had hit Ellie’s father on the head with the bat. Well, he would be her door bell.

The door of the warehouse suddenly crashed open inwards, as the punk with piercings sailed in and struck a heap of sacks. Then, with the sound of breaking glass, the single outside light died. Merri, hiding behind a dilapidated car that sat directly in front of the warehouse, noticed that there were four others in the warehouse, their leader included. Four wasn’t many. That was good. Of course, everyone was fully alert, and one of them even drew a gun. Merri focused on them all.

”Numbered… your days are numbered…” came an ominous whisper in all their heads. The guy with the gun almost dropped it. Pleased with the initial effect, she continued. ”Pathetic… your weapons have no effect on me.”

”Who the #$@% are you? Come out!” their leader yelled. Although his voice did not waver, Merri could sense that they were all almost peeing their pants. ”Mwahahahaha! Come out? You cannot hope to comprehend my existence. While you stare at the door futilely, I stand behind, reaching for your throat.” They turned sharply, then glanced about, giving Merri the time to sneak around the warehouse to the back. She was pleased to note that there was a junction box sitting on the wall, so she decided to make use of it. All the lights went out.

The punks in the warehouse ran like mad. Figuring that outside was a little brighter than inside the warehouse, they stopped and huddled together, facing four different directions. Merri sneaked back to the car. It was small, close to a ton, but she was sure that she could lift it. To mask the sound of her breath, Merri began a howl of loud manic laughter that caused some of them to block their ears, like it would keep out the sound. Then, with a grunt of exertion, she tossed the car over their heads at the warehouse. The car crashed into the warehouse with a deafening sound, causing the punks to scatter. Merri, on her own part, bolted after their leader and punched him in the side with her left fist. The blow was much stronger than an average man would give, but she didn't put in all her effort. If the punk leader was blessed with invulnerability, she would use her right hand on him, with all its power. It was good that her right hand was ready, because he only grunted in pain and swung round to attack. She ducked under his flailing arm, thanks to her small size and drove a vicious blow into his gut. He went down with a groan.

"You stand on my ground without an appeasement, and so your activities ire me. You are thus advised to desist." She paused for a bit, then struck him hard in the shoulder. A sickening pop indicated a dislocation. The thug screamed in pain. Merri was actually sorry to do that, but she needed these criminals to desist from their activities. Pleading would not solve such an issue. "I will not warn you again."

So saying, she drifted into the darkness and was gone. Once out of earshot, she called an ambulance and directed them to the location. Actually, she felt bad for what she'd just done, but in this job, there were times you had to play the bad cop. She hoped she would have to do much less of that in the future.

[1135]
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1180+1159+1135= 3474 (wtf?! For C rank techs?! Just kidding. Completed training for all abilities.)
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