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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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 Mo training mo training

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PostSubject: Mo training mo training   Fri Nov 09, 2012 11:39 am

A few moments to remove her shoes (which were hideous things with tall platforms) and slip on slippers Nameless had left out. The girl then put the shoes in her pockets and picked up the tray, having trouble balancing it unlike earlier. A check to make sure nothing was left behind and she collected the scroll & key from behind the pillow Nameless had been sitting on a minute ago. Putting it on the tray, she took the pillow tassels in one hand under the tray and awkwardly made it out the door closing it behind her. Downstairs she carried things and entered the restaurant, nodding at Nameless's niece and handing her the scroll (sealed and ribbon-ed with gold) as she put the cushions down long enough to take the tray into the kitchen and put together a to go box of a family order of the bananas before she returned, picking the cushions back up and giving her former boss a head bow of respect, which was returned. Outside a rickshaw waited which was called earlier and deposited the young teenager outside Nameless's new place, as yet unopened.

Opening the back door next to a street seller's stall, she entered and slid the bar behind her before going halfway up the steps. The new stairway was heavily decorated in rich red and shiny brass luck charm symbols scattered all over the walls, a hundred different types. She reached out and turned one around so it formed the opposite symbol meaning curse and then pushed it in. Bending down she slipped her fingers into the hidden crack in the step in front of her and lifted up, revealing a hidden entrance under the steps Nameless could never have managed with his child's strength. Once through it was lowered into place with a click and the stairway symbol reverted to it's original position. Unlocking the second door as well, the girl walked into the main floor which was filled with a large collection of construction tools and paneling still being placed and chose a stairway to the side, half finished, and made her way up carefully.

In the new office she acted rather curiously however. First, she was careful to only walk on the cleared top of surfaces, avoiding all parts of the floor.

Pushing aside certain things to clear the floor, she stripped down to her underthings with awkward fingers and hung these clothes up on a hanger on the far end of the room. Unrolling a special small carpet in the middle of the space (and leaving the shoes with the outer wear), she carefully slipped off the slippers and with careful aim, tossed them over the table to the far corner where they fell into a bucket. Using the Kleenex that had been rolled up in the small carpet, she wiped the bottom of each foot carefully clean before placing it on the carpet, then cleaned her fingers and tossed the bundle far away as well. Kneeling, she took the jewelry which had been left in the Kleenex and put them on, her wrists, neck, and ankles. Finished, she ran her fingers over each piece to make sure everything was ready and then bent over, putting her forehead against the carpet carefully.

Nameless stepped out of her back onto the front of the carpet and jumped lightly about three feet away, turning so he landed on his feet roughly facing her. Quickly pulling out a red pocket laser he aimed for a spot on the carpet to the side of her where the girl was suddenly dizzy and slightly disoriented. After about ten seconds the fuse went off and as she opened her eyes getting her vision back, there was a great cloud of red powder on all sides, an old magicians trick for entrance and exits in front of an audience. Clueless of these tricks, she sat up slowly with a disbelieving glance around before she even realized she was herself changed. As she felt the necklace with wide eyes and looked up, Nameless merely looked at her with a stony face and said (This is now your new place of work. You will attend me here everyday and as soon as you have moved your things, you will be here every evening as well.)

Her look was one of dawning amazement at his power and deep respect mingling with excitement! In her mind she had just been transported across the city, redressed, and presented with the proof of Master Ge's supreme powers as a being of extreme importance. She knew she never wanted to disappoint him nor anger him in any way! The last few years she had wanted to be his girlfriend, secretly desiring to be part of his rising legend in the Chinatown public, and secure herself a position of respect for her daring. That now mixed with this fresh display into a close-to-fanaticism that she had achieved her desire of the legend and held it by her Lord's will alone! She bowed deeply and moved forward on her hands and knees kissing his foot and saying (Yes Master...) with a voice tinged with devotion.

Nameless smiled.
He waited for his victim, wondering what was taking him so long. Normally the man would be home by now, at least by the last four weeks of observations by his contact who had been hired to jot down his daily itinerary. And this was not a good spot to remain, waiting for the victim to return and release the alarm system allowing access to the records he needed. Currently he was tucked up in a cramped ceiling space over two pipes, all that was keeping him from falling through the thin waferboard below him by inches. In fact it was just this security which Max was counting on as no one would expect someone to manage their way through this particular ceiling; the space just wasn't there!

On a more particularly alarming note, Max really needed to pee.

No, definitely not a good place to think about such a thing. And despite his genetically enhanced bladder and endurance stuff tucked in there, he would be up against his limit in the next while, a disastrous situation. Over the past two decades he had done quite a lot of tinkering, perfecting this particular part of his anatomy to the delight of many of the female persuasion, but it occurred to him now maybe he should spend some more time on alternatives to this situation which, unfortunately, he could focus on enough to fix with his power because[ of the distraction inherit in his biology. Which while he could fiddle, he couldn't really massively change in any speed at the very least which meant he might be giving away his hiding spot soon because of mother nature's call.

In an effort of distraction, he tried to send his mind down the intellectual side of the problem. How many phrases had he heard, anyway? The more obvious ones such as number one or pee pee used by small children, take a piss, drain the lizard, see a man about a horse, and take a leak all sprang to mind. Unfortunately. But then there were odder ones, the more unusual ones which caught the ear and made your eyebrows rise as you contemplated how that one got in the language. Like the one a young boy had used, 'I have to squege bad.' You had to wonder if that came about from the idea of squeezing the sponge on a squege or what? And really now, 'hang a yoo-ee' and 'throw a piss' were just ridiculous! How were you supposed to throw it in the first place unless you had managed the dexterity to spell your name in the snow to begin--

Okay, that was not helping at all!

Even worse, he was wearing a sealed suit, a biological type which would prevent leaving any hair or skin cells behind, but if he had to piss, they could get Namelessples from that. He would need to use something to destroy any Namelessples behind and you couldn't do that with a toilet which often had built in 'traps' that plumbers could get stuff out of sometimes. So that left the toilet out. The shoes he had wrapped carpeting around would destroy any prints from those, though awkward, so he really needed to figure out an alternative method... Max's face grimaced as he felt the pressure and fought to find a way to keep it at bay. A safe subject. Yes! Horses! No! Not horses! Trees! No, he'd been camping too many times. Flying pigs? No, nothing with wings since birds piddled everywhere. Ceiling fan. There was one going in the room below he could see it's electrical box from here, feel the slight vibration as it turned.

That was continuous constant motion, soothing. For a moment he allowed his mind to think about constant motion to avoid the feeling of cramped space he was in now. Constant motion turned to other things in constant motion which led to waterfalls. No good. His original intent to leave the man alone and slip in and out preferably undetected was beginning to fall apart slowly with the mental battle happening in his mind. He heard movement at the front of the house, the door possibly...

- The Next Day -


Officer One: Right over here, Lieutenant...
Detective: Next to the desk?
Officer One: Yes sir, you can see the outline in the carpet. Suspect was found by the owner lying unconscious, face down.
Detective: -looking up at ceiling- Well it's clear there was two of them at least.
Officer One: Yes sir. Unconscious suspect was covered in ceiling wafers, but the trail leads from here to the bathroom. -leads way around forensics-
Detective: Wait a minute. What is the deal with the ceiling fan?
Officer Two: No fingerprints sir, just checked.
Officer One: They think whoever the second suspect was he ripped it out, sir. Lots of signs of force, must have used their weight.
Detective: Curious. -puzzled over the destruction of the ceiling fan, parts lying around all over-
Officer One: Trail leads into the bathroom sir, but no detectable trail back out that they could find. But look here in the shower sir.
Detective: Odd. So the second suspect knocks out the first by falling on him, destroys the ceiling fan for some unknown reason, then goes to the bathroom, pulls out a bottle of bleach and pours it into the shower drain.
Officer One: That's what it looks like sir. And then he disappeared.
Detective: -mumbles- I hope this isn't some kind of vigilante thing...
Officer One: Sir?
Detective: Never mind. You said you had three sites to show me?
Officer One: Yes sir. -leads way into hall and points-
Detective: -stares at smashed picture of two girls at petting farm with pigs-
Officer One: And no trail here either sir. They've been looking for tracks, but somehow he didn't leave any. The carpet looks like it has been cleaned though, see?
Detective: Hmm. So the owner can't shed any other light? Nothing else has been disturbed?
Officer One: No sir. He said he had files in the back bedroom, but he didn't find anything odd with those and no other evidence in the house of an intruder. And Jones tried a step ladder to look in the ceiling space, there's no way a grown man could have gotten in there without removing parts of his body to fit. It's very tight. A child might have managed it.
Detective: Hold on, come back here. -leads way back to ceiling hole, squats and points at the carpeting-
Officer One: Ah, good eyes sir. I missed that.
Detective: So, he must have entered the ceiling from here and cleaned his tracks off the carpet with something, then climbed up above. Light weighted then, maybe a midget or a kid?
Officer One: Probably a good guess sir.
Detective: And the smashed picture, he might be making a threat against the man's kids. Or maybe this suspect was a teenager, in their school, thought bleach would cause a problem like vandalism and mess up the pipes?
Officer One: ....uh.
Detective: Right too weird. This is a bizarre scene. I'm going to have to wait for more forensics I think, but put out the word we want any information on known small-sized cat burglars working the area... But get me information on the girls, what school they go to, could be a juvenile connection here.
Officer One: -salutes- Yes sir...

They all blend in. Broken and/or smeared windows, concrete floor with cracks and the occasional black streak mark, and metallic rust-colored beams that went from floor to ceiling. Hanging light fixtures that resembled an upside down bowl with a single light inside, It seemed like every warehouse on the east coast was made by the Namelesse contractor. Was there no room for style? wondered Nameless as he adjusted the cuff of his sleeve. Alas, they were wonderful interrogation spots.

Jackson Smalls - 220lbs, give or take. Buzz cut head, broad shoulders. 6'0, maybe 5'11. Tight fitting black t-shirt, jeans, work boots. Tattoo of a skull with a snake wrapped around it on right bicep. Currently trickling blood down right cheek, eye beginning to swell, handcuffed behind the back in an aluminum chair.

Rubbing his knuckles as he looked around the room, Nameless spoke aloud to the man, "I'm telling you - you're going to tell me where the rest of your boys are hiding her. One way or another, I will hear it."

Nameless referred to the daughter of one New Jersey senator, being kidnapped in regards to the senator's stance on an upcoming bill. Of course, that proceeded into details that Nameless didn't need nor care about - the senator wasn't budging on the bill. Hence, Nameless's assignment to find and reacquire the daughter.

Regardless, Sion had his answer: Gavin Hulme was right. There was more to all this than the public knew, and Sion Delaney was going to get to the bottom of it all, if it was the last thing he did.

Nameless" Bond looked down at his watch for the eighteenth time since entering his office for what was to be the final time. Having been offered a teaching position at New York University (also as a philosophy professor - with a slightly higher salary, to boot), he had spent the past four days settling his affairs in Vermillion, South Dakota.

Having just carried two large boxes down four flights of stairs, he collapsed into his computer chair one last time. Was it really the pay raise, pulling him away from his home for nearly twenty-seven years? Was it the attractions of the Big Apple bringing him in? Was it the opportunity to start fresh in a city that he had only visited a small number of times?

No - it was none of these things and the professor knew that beyond any shadow of a doubt. Nameless was escaping, getting away from a past that he still occasionally had nightmares over. Though the man was struggling to move forward - and had made great progress - Maria's death still ripped strongly at his heart.

Walking hand in hand. Sitting in the park, watching the sunset. Talking about how they would change the world, save the world, make the world a better place.

Gabriel James, Nameless's mentor, had managed to convince him - for the most part - that it hadn't been his fault that the love of his life had been taken away. Still, thought Nameless as he removed a flask of whiskey from inside his suit jacket, I could have done more.

Replacing the now empty flask into his hidden coat pocket, his gaze returned to the slightly disheveled desk before him. His laptop remained open and on, Google.com currently pulled up on the page. Adjacent to it was a brochure for New York University sitting atop a manila folder containing flight tickets, New York apartment information, a spare copy of his résumé, along with already prepared homework assignments for his new students. Nameless pulled all of these things into a satchel and setting them beside his computer chair.

Pulling one final cardboard box towards the desk, Nameless moved to quickly finish his packing. He tossed in his business cards - useless as they were, with his relocating - just as a reminder of his work at the university. He pulled in his pen holder and an empty glass container (which typically held M&Ms - the only "bribe" for extra credit for his students). Throwing in a stack of post-it notes as well, the desk was mostly clear - minus a single picture frame.

Taking another deep breath, Nameless lifted it up, running his thumb over the glass. Maria's face smiled back at him - her dark hair pulled to the side in the picture, strewn over her left shoulder. Nameless sat beside her, arms around her waist, with a matching smile on his face as well. It had been taken just a few months before her death - the two sitting on a rock in the park, having just enjoyed a picnic with their mutual friend, Sophia.

Picture frame in one hand, the professor was halfway through pulling the flask from his coat pocket again before he remembered that it was empty. Stroking the glass with his thumb once more, Nameless finally placed the picture frame carefully within the box and closed it. Anything else left behind, he knew, would be donated or thrown away - neither of which was a concern to him.

After pulling the satchel strap across his shoulder and picking up the final cardboard box, Nameless gave one parting farewell glance to his old office. In two short hours, he would be on an airplane (though, humorously, he couldn't help but note that he could fly himself), New York City-bound.

Nameless made his way out of his office, nodding to the philosophy department's secretary as he approached and entered an elevator. What would New York bring?

New opportunities, he surmised - though, not for his abilities, despite that he was more accepting of using them all now. No, with the fall of Building 26, Nameless was a "retired" special. The threat was over, for now, and he hoped to find peace. Still - Nameless knew his purpose was to help others, and help he would... just through teaching, as opposed to saving lives.

Nameless departed the elevator on the bottom floor of the office building and stepped out into the sunlight, pulling on a pair of sunglasses as he did so. An awaiting cab driver, leaning against his car and impatiently looking at his watch, stepped forward briskly to take the box from him and placed it in the trunk of the cab. Taking a seat in the back of the cab, Nameless took one final look back at the university. "Good-bye, South Dakota," he whispered solemnly as he turned his gaze towards the windshield and the future that lay before him.

Watching the city from such an angle through his window, Nameless thought that the city looked like a living organism. The traffic - pedestrians and cars - was the life force pulsating to the necessary organs, providing life and nutrition to the city. And, in an odd way, it was a good way to describe the life of the city: the people were necessary to keep the city going, to repair, to grow, to improve.

Nameless stood waiting, debating. Though he had built up considerable skill with his telepathic ability, from time to time he shutdown the resistance to others' thoughts - due to mental stress, headaches, or just out of curiosity - in order to allow those thoughts to be heard by himself. It was also a good way of learning who was paying attention in class and who wasn't, he reminded himself with a brief smile.

Today was one such day. And what he had heard had almost stopped him cold in the middle of lecture. Nameless managed to regain composure and finish the lecture, but he had approached the student immediately after class ended. Only three lectures into the semester, Nameless had to ask her name. "Lydia. Lydia West, sir," she said, her eyes suddenly filling with worry and her head filling with fearful thoughts concerning assignments and college. Not what Nameless was looking for.

He had asked her to come to his office at the end of her day to discuss classroom concerns; and thus, the professor waited.

The girl, Lydia West, knew about abilities. That wasn't troubling - Nameless had met many specials over the past decade. But for the majority of class, amidst her note-taking, her thoughts had focused solely on the SHIELD. Were they back? Were they after him? While Nameless wasn't too entirely disturbed by the idea - he'd avoided them before - he was still keen on finding out the details before making an assumption. Still, nothing looked to favor him about the situation.

Returning to his desk, he brushed his fingertips across the polished wood. Already, it was cluttered with his things - laptop, briefcase, a messy stack of half-graded assignments, a glass canister of M&Ms, an unopened Subway foot-long, and a Coke that was slowly leaving a spot of condensation on his desk. Just as Nameless plopped a handful of M&Ms into his mouth, Lydia West slid through his door. "You wanted to see me, professor?"

Nameless nodded, quickly finishing off the mouthful of goodness. "Yes, Miss West. Please - shut the door." The girl eyed the door cautiously before shutting it behind her. Without being asked, she stepped around his desk and took a seat. Nameless moved for his chair as well.

For a moment, he considered starting with "Now, you're probably wondering why I called you here." The obviousness in the statement was worthless and wouldn't serve any purpose but to possibly stress the girl further. "Tell me," he said instead, "is everything okay? You seemed rather distracted in class today." Okay, so not the best approach either way, Nameless admitted as he finished speaking. But it would cause Lydia to think back to class. Back to her thoughts on the SHIELD.

Or so he thought. Her mind went to a person. Someone. Dylan. "I... is it normal for a professor to be calling students to his office like this?" Lydia asked, her timid nature suddenly giving way to a strange, new confidence. But Nameless had been prepared for such a question. "I take pride in my concern for my students. If something's affecting their concentration or work, I feel obligated to check in," Nameless said coolly, leaning back in his chair.

The girl simply looked at him, her face expressionless. Finally, caving, she bowed her head. "It's my brother. The line of work he's gotten into..." Lydia shook her head. Nameless could make the connection though. "I see. What kind of work is he into? Dangerous?" The student raised her head slightly, eyes darting towards the door. Cautious again. "He works for... a SHIELD."

Nameless smirked. "A ...special kind of SHIELD?"Lydia's eyes widened slightly. So there it was. Her brother worked for the very people that had attempted on more than one occasion to take him in. Lydia had no knowledge of any pursuit of her professor - she was simply worried about her brother's involvement due to her own ability. But Nameless wasn't going to spell anything out without clear confirmation from the girl.

"So I suspect," said Nameless, quietly, "that the nature of your brother's business concerns you. Would this simply be on an emotional level or do you feel...betrayed?" Simply put, Are you a special? Lydia West stared at her professor for a moment and, without taking her eyes off of him, lifted her hand.

As she did so, the glass container of M&Ms lifted off the table by several inches. Nameless nodded slowly, watching the glass jar. Slowly it lowered itself again. Lydia - whose hand was still slightly raised - looked towards the M&Ms in awe, coming to the realization that he was like her.

"Now what concerns you about your brother's work? Do you feel endangered? Or is it something more?" The sense of awe flooded out of Lydia as she recalled her concerns of the SHIELD. Taking a deep breath, she began, "Dylan's protected me, I think. I don't know. I haven't spoken to him since..."

Lydia sighed, looking down at her hands folded neatly in her lap. "...since I discovered he worked for them. They... well, you seem to know what they do," she stated, the timidness fleeing once again. Nameless nodded and said, "Yes. I'm quite familiar with the SHIELD. We've crossed paths on several occasions. But please, continue. I'd like to know your concerns."

"Very well," Lydia said, bowing her head slightly so that she was looking at the desk top this time. "They abduct people - innocent or not - simply because they're special. How could anyone think that's okay?"

"Well," said Nameless, not believing what he was about to say, "while they do abduct people, the majority are released with the abduction erased from their minds. They're 'tagged.' Only those deemed dangerous are kept. Think of the SHIELD as a policing agency: do handgun owners not need to be licensed and fingerprinted to be kept track of? And do those who are deemed a safety hazard to the public not get locked away?" The professor leaned forward, propping his elbows on his desk and pressing his fingertips together.

The student across from him gave a moment of silence to consider the viewpoint. "But no one gives them authority. No one keeps them in check. Who's to say who is dangerous?" Nameless clapped his hands, his chair rocking slightly with the movement. "Therein lies the problem with the SHIELD, Miss West. You may have a Mother Theresa personality, but if you have the ability to topple a city, then you shall be locked away."

Nameless stood up, feeling that it was nearing time to end their meeting. But he still had an issue to address - her brother. "As for...Dylan. If your brother is protecting you, his priorities are still in order. It would seem that he's looking to help protect other people as well. Don't fret so much about Dylan - I don't believe he's betrayed you."

Lydia stood as well, clearly dwelling on what Nameless had said. As she neared the door, she stopped. "Thank you, professor, but I'm curious about one more thing..." This one was an intelligent one, Nameless realized. Lydia had picked up on his use of mind reading and telekinesis.

The professor smiled as he opened the door for her to exit his office. "I have several, but I apologize if I'm not ready to speak about them now. I'll see you in class on Tuesday, Miss West."

Pacing. What was it about pacing? Why did walking help to clear one's thoughts, to formulate thoughts that wouldn't suffice with simply sitting in place?

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.
-Henry David Thoreau

Were there not in-depth psychological examinations for such things? Was there some connection between the moving of muscles and the amount of blood flow to the brain? It seemed likely, though Nameless wasn't well-learned in biology.

Nameless paced around his dark apartment, lit only by the glow of the television in background. In his hand was a nearly empty glass of Jack Daniels, swishing around precariously with each uneven step that the professor took. Progressing around the room for the eleventh time, he paused to look once more at the television, barely audible with the volume turned down low.

"...the deaths of thousands after the biological attack in Washington D.C. earlier today. Following this morning's events, the man seen in this image appeared on television by undisclosed means, taking credit for weapons and stating that there was more to come, including a vague reference to a 'twenty-sixth building.' As we receive more details, we shall keep viewers informed. This is Patri-..."

The television screen flickered and then went dark, leaving the professor alone in pitch blackness with nothing to acSHIELD him but his thoughts and the smell of whiskey. Fumbling for a table lamp next to where he stood, Nameless twisted the knob, allowing for more light in the room.

What was it that he had said to Ireland?

"No. I've had my share of battles.
I've had my victories and defeats.
I've lost all I care to lose.
I'm retired now."

The conversation had only taken place a few days prior and, now, the words were chilling the professor to the bone. He had indeed lost something - the love of his life - and it was only recently that Nameless had begun to feel as if he was overcoming that loss and moving on with his life. He was no longer the boy with wishful thinking and hopeful dreams. Nameless had stood up against evil, stared it in the face. He had been a part of the victory, but he had also experienced the cost of participating.

But here it was again. People were dying - by the thousands - with more promised attacks. What was Nameless to do?

I'm retired now.

He swirled the liquor around in his glass beneath his nose, taking in the smell of the whiskey. In one defining moment, several years prior, Nameless had lost everything that held meaning to him in one swift move, with the death of the woman that he loved.

I've lost all I care to lose.

So what more did he have? Maria had meant everything to him and she was gone. What else could he lose? And, by acting, how much more could be obtained?

Nameless drained the remainder of his glass and, using telekinesis, sent it across the room to land neatly in the kitchen sink.

This was something much bigger than him and what he had lost. Thousands of people had just died and thousands more would join them without intervention. Mothers and fathers; daughters and sons; loved ones - dating, engaged, and married had all lost their lives. And the professor needed to be there to help.

Why? Because he had understood what millions of people would not. Nameless knew what this 'twenty-sixth building' term had actually meant. He knew what was happening. Days before, he had told Ireland that regular people would never accept people with abilities. Likewise, some specials would continue to view such nonacceptance as persecution. That's where these attacks were stemming from:

Us or them.

Nameless moved back to his bedroom, grabbing a duffel bag from his closet. This was it, he decided as he began filling it with clothes and personal effects. "This is it, Maria," Nameless said, picking up his bedside photo of himself and his deceased fiancée, and placing it in the bag as well.

The professor was coming out of his short stay in retirement.
Nameless was back.

Despite it being a requirement - at least five hours dedicated to "office hours" per week, for students' who wished to come and speak - it was rarely put to good use by the students. Sure, there was the once in a blue moon occasion in which a student would show up, begging for extra credit or to be allowed to take a make-up exam; but never to go over lessons, to have their papers commented on, or the like. Never, that is, until this evening, as the professor sat in his chair, attempting to catch up on a stack of ungraded assignments, his mind occupied by what had been consuming it for the past five months: Nemesis.

"Professor?" came a voice, accompanied by a soft knock. Clearing his throat, Nameless replied, "Come in." A young girl - a student from his Thursday evening class - entered, giving the professor a timid smile before she sat down in one of the two leather seats across from the professor's desk. Nameless gave her eyes a moment to scan the room before asking the rarely used question: "Anything I can help you with, Miss Dawson?"

Emily Dawson's eyes returned to the front, looking shyly at the professor's desk as opposed to the man himself. Nameless said nothing about this, waiting simply for Emily to speak her peace. "Today in class you... you spoke about the balancing forces of nature," she began, pausing as if for Nameless to confirm that it was true. The professor simply nodding, waiting. "But you didn't... have very much conviction in it. What is it that you do believe, professor?"

The professor exhaled, leaning back in his chair. Absent-mindedly, he ran his hands across the front of his dress shirt, smoothing out the wrinkles in it. "Professors typically keep their ideals separated from the material, so as to not show bias towards one idea over another," Nameless replied after a moment's consideration. "If you'll keep that in mind - that my answer has no effect on what is said in class - then I'll share with you."

Emily gave an eager nod, her eyes rising up to meet the professor's for the first time.

"Miss Dawson," Nameless began, "I don't believe that there is a balance to the universe. Scientifically, we're in a state of existence that, in a sense, is balanced. The sun is exactly where it needs to be; we have the water and vegetation necessary for survival; cycles continue that allow for the existence of life - all are true. But, from a philosophical standpoint, I have yet to find any evidence of a balance."

Nameless paused, allowing his words to sink in for a moment before he continued. "Nothing, for me, provides a satisfactory answer to the age old questions - why are infants dying, before they ever get a chance at life? Why are criminals capable of living happy lives - even better than some innocent people? Why do bad things happen to good people?"

The professor paused again, reflecting over the final question. Maria had died, fighting to protect innocent people from the clutches of Building 26. The people involved were still at large; Emile Nameless was in charge of yet another group, Rebecca Hudson was President, Nameless Petrelli was in the White House as well. None had met with punishment; sure, their project had failed, but none had lost as much as the professor had... as much as Maria had.

"Do you believe in God, professor?"

Nameless smiled, leaning forward in his chair. Another wise question. "I believe in a high power, Miss Dawson - God, if you wish to call it that. I don't believe God to be a personal one, though. I propose that God is much like a scientist, observing over an ant farm as we - the ants - scurry about on our day to day lives. Occasionally, God shakes the farm; good things happen, bad things happen. We adapt. We carry on. It isn't necessarily fair, but again, I believe in no balance."

The student nodded slowly. "Is there a way to achieve balance?"

Nameless rubbed his unshaven face in thought, making a mental note to shave, lest he soon resemble the man in the picture that Isaac Mendez had painted. "That is a question beyond my knowledge. There are methods of turning the balance, but achieve true balance? I'm not sure.

"For example, take this terrorist group; they act because they believe they were wronged by something they claimed to be called Building 26."

Emily turned her head to the side, quizzically. "You sound like they're not doing the wrong thing, professor," she said softly.

The professor quickly shook his head, but words failed him. What if they were right? Of course - innocent lives were being taken in the process, but Nameless, Hudson, Petrelli - along with numerous Building 26 agents - were still abroad. Untouched. Unaffected. Was it anything but fair to take from them, like they had taken from Nameless?

Emily apparently took his silence for dismissal as, in the midst of his wondering, she stood. "Thank you for your time, professor," she said before hurrying out.

Nameless, consumed by his thoughts, didn't seem to notice her exit.

Will glided forward and through the fence, passing right between the motion detectors without hesitation. While she wasn't opaque, her form was easily seen through by electronic devices and this one proved no different then other ones. Besides, the idea of the government using the top of the line models on a prison wall was laughable. At the main building though she turned and glided along nearly a hundred yards before she chose her entrance spot. The totaly jerkface who had interupted her mission last time had been deftly avoided this time and it was nearly a month later. The public outcry when someone had found out about the prison release (which she actually had nothing to do with) had put the project on total hold for the moment giving her plenty of time for a second attempt. If she had known the police were on the trail vagually, collecting evidence to make a link to some of her past attacks she might not have been so open, but she really didn't have a clue at this moment so it caused no delays in her thinking. She sank into the wall and passed through the four foot thick walls slowly, oozing out into a cell having missed the wall corner by nearly ten feet. Damn. Ah well, too late. Turning to the four bunks in the small cell she noted they were all fast asleep being it was nearly four am; perfect. She stepped out through the bars into the hallway and turned the corner moving slow. She was not on the side with cameras, but in another thirty feet she would enter the hallway for death row. Going solid again, Will took out a hood and slipped it on giving her face the look of a half-zombie half skeleton and pulled out two arm sleeves as well and slipped into them finishing the effect. Ready now for the attack, she turned mist and went through the wall into the main coridor across and almost instantly got picked up on the cameras as she glided straight into the first cell and put her hand directly into the man's face and eyes.

The instant scalding was enough to seer his eyes and throat and as he half-woke starting to scream his lungs seered themselves as well eliminating any sounds except his gut wrenching hiss as he expired rapidly. It was noisy enough to wake up the man across, but not an emrergency alarm. However, the camera had already blinked the image to security central where three officers were staring in horror, paralyzed as to what to do next as she left that cell and went after the man awake as a rolling fog began to form in the cell. That man's horrified scream as the fog began to scorch his skin was enough however to wake most of the rest of death row as the fog cover began rolling past their cells. As the alarms were finally sounded she was on her way to another cell and so on. The response time was fast and only held up by their own lock down doors as the nearest officers had to call in for doors to be opened to allow them access. But by then she had already left three rolling on the floor in death throws. By the time they managed to get into the fog itself they had to back off and try fire extinguishers to get the hot steam away. By that time, half of the twenty-two men on death row were already either on their way to their final destination or dead already. In as little as fifteen minutes she had already saved the state nearly a million and a half for solitary and executed twenty plus men who should not have ever been let free, diseased creatures that they were. When she reached the end of the row she let the fog roll forward and the guards fled behind the protective doors (not that she would have hurt them as they were innocents) and used her power to short out the hallway mains, sending this end of the prison into complete darkness and starting a real panic amongst the prisonors who could clearly hear something was going on on death row, something horrible evil sounding. Going through the wall she made her way down into the far end and started through the wall, the last thing she saw on the inside was a guard shrunk back against the wall arms in front of his face sure she had come to kill him and terrified.

Now for the difficult part, the escape itself.

Unbeknownst to her, the outer perimeter guards had broken the rules and congregated at each tower for communications, trying to find out what was happening inside and getting mostly shouts and panic from inside Ward C. Thus when she exited in the darkness and crossed the field, no one saw her or spotted her misty form till she was nearly at the fence. And watching a ghost glide up to and through the fence without hesitation was not only a jaw dropper, but as she faded into the night she would have been highly amused as one guard turned to the next and said "If you think that's going in the log, you can forget that sh!t. I didn't see a damn thing." The other guard just nodded, pale as paper as the call came through for the warden's car to be sent for even tho it was so early in the morning. The cover up began the next day as the Liuetenant goveneor, three state senators, and the state corenor had a hurried afternoon discussion and then began closing down any stories that were out there. A small news article released a week later reported on an accidental food poisoning and firing of the food service supplier for the deaths of twenty-two inmates following a state investigation. No outsiders were allowed into the suspect investiagtion despite local protests and no more details were released. Long before that, Will had been through two clothing changes, used two taxi's, and ended up in a train leaving for the first run of the morning into the big city. A deep sigh that everything this time had gone better, she drank from a flask as the train barreled into the morning commute and saluted the stations as she passed through, a great feeling of accomplishment in her mind as her brother's spirit celebrated more demons gone from the earth. She would end up calling it an early day later on when her boss noted her looking rather bad and sent her home from work around noon.

But that was just the normal crash, nearly eight hours later then normal. Will lay on her bed, morose and wailing about the travesty of justice that was her brother's killer's trail and how she needed more information to catch him, track him down. Thus she was not in the office when her boss had an order come through from the governor that he was to ask no more information about the situation under direct orders. Her boss would complain about being handled by the politicans for weeks afterwards to her amusement and sympathy. Life continued for the moment as always, with a sudden benefit of extra monies in the system for the reshuffling of prisoners by the new directive. Oddly enough, the story never appeared in the papers again and eventually the prisoner release happened though in other parts of the state then the local scene to avoid publicity. She would be insensed when she found out later as three of the men releassed were on her list. This would require her to expand her search for them and risk some discovery to find out where they had disapeared too...

Will returned to her hide out, carefully sure of no one following her to the apartment. The only person who had been slightly interested in her passage from mid-town was fairly unconscious now, upside down in a trash can, the lecher. Trying to feel her up had been a lesson she was sure he would not forget for a very long time. It was therefore with great satisfaction that she closed the door and did up the locks and multiple chains before slipping off her costume to change into something more comfortable. Within a few minutes she was in her command room, carefully altering her map detail on the wall to match the fact another target was gone off her radar now. A shred of his files and then toss of them in the burn unit removed anything tying him to this place.

Of course, all of the files had been copied at work so nothing was technically missing. A single roll of film she took out of the camera and put it in her bag to drop off on her way to work tomorrow. A fruitful evening, it might be some time before they discovered that particular criminal duo, not that either had the Namelesse ending of course. The two were both pedophiles she had been tracking separately who had somehow turned up at the Namelesse place to work. Although she had found no connection between them (as neither appeared to know the other's background), she had managed to forge a change on the work schedule one night to set them both in the Namelesse place Namelesse time. Tonight had been that night.

Being able to toast both of them one at a time (blinding them with a blast of super-hot steam till they passed out from it), then stuff them each into barrels and cover their unconscious forms with brine solution had been a work of minutes far more difficult had been to try and seal the lids with the machines, finishing one, but only part way through the other before she heard someone returning. It being near the end of the shift she had watched with some amusement as the man who had come looking for one of them had snarled and finished the job, loading the two barrels with the forklift into the storage area to sit for six months aging.

Even now she could imagine the headlines the bad newspapers would write if they were ever found. More likely would be the people in the particular stores wheeling out the barrels and empty them into the New York Harbor quickly so as to not destroy the SHIELD's reputation. "Half pickled Pederast found in Harbor." It was then, sitting back in her chair sipping a glass of wine she remembered one of the men had been hiding under the assumed name of "Robin Tink" and she barely managed to stop from snorting as her mind rearranged the headline to read "One Pickled Tink."

Bad humor and Vengeance. What a fun combination!

Finishing off her drink, she poured another and settled down to work on the next case, her humor disappearing as the hours rolled past and the inevitable depression began again. As it did every night, her brother's influence of anger and impotence worked it's way into her work, turning her search into a depressive and driven search.

There are many ideas brought to mind by the title ‘Ninja’. One, of course is the classic image of the illusive figure, dusky clothes masking their identity and endearing them to shadows. Another, the almost inhuman stealth with which they move, possessing feline elegance and unnatural silence even in motion. There is their uncanny ability to appear as if from nowhere and vanish equally as enigmatically. And the knowledge that each one is capable of delivering a swift and lethal fate to their unsuspecting victims. So far Nameless had accomplished only the costume part, though he was working on the silent but deadly factor. His first step towards that was to acquire something else associated with ninjas, a katana sword.

Unfortunately it wasn’t as easy as walking into the local store; you couldn’t just pick up a good quality katana from anywhere or so Seph had learnt over the last few days. Besides, even if they had been easy to come across they were incredibly expensive for a student living off his sparse savings. He’d turned to his computer and favourite search engine for help and found out that there was an auction house in the city which was selling a large quantity of swords the next day. A visit and some poking around gifted him the knowledge that the swords were being held there overnight. That was how he’d ended up standing in his bedroom dressed as a ninja.

Looking around his room he made out the familiar surroundings from the blur of colours he was seeing. If he squinted he could just about make out the ninja turtles on his bedspread but if he’d not known what they were he might have mistaken them for dinosaurs. It was no good; he was going to have to wear his glasses. Grabbing them from the desk he carefully slid the arms beneath the black headscarf and pushed the spectacles back over his eyes, bringing the world into sharp focus. A glance in the mirror told him it looked lame and resolved him to invest in some contact lenses for next time; he could have a Clark Kent thing going on.

Apparel decided upon he turned towards one of the four walls of his room, from which he had cleared all clutter. He’d even dragged his chest of drawers away from it to clear space; his aim wasn’t quite perfect yet and he needed his escape route to be clear, just in case. Taking a deep breath to clear his head he held a hand up in front of him and walked towards the wall, then through it, emerging the other side in a large room he recognised from only that afternoon before. He had a few moments of peace in which to look around, it was dark, only lit by the amber glow of streetlights through the high windows but once his eyes adjusted it was more than enough to see by. He took a step forward and a scream pierced the air.

Nameless’s heart leapt into his throat as he realised he must have set off some sort of motion detector. He had half expected as much but for some reason he’d not been prepared for how loud it was, it must have been audible from blocks away. His time was limited now and so he broke into a run. The swords were on the other side of the room last time he’d seen them, locked in a glass cabinet. Sure enough he caught the gleam of the transparent surface and inside the swords. Without pausing he skidded to a halt and reached out for the one he favoured, his gloved fists passing through a portal spanning the glass and seizing the sword and sheaf.

A beam of light swept the room. Nameless’s head whipped around in time for his eyes to be dazzled by a flashlight.
”Hey!” The thief grinned, though his getup hid it from the guard, his adrenaline pumping as he ran out of the light towards the wall, jumping and slamming straight into it. He bounced off, hit the floor and leapt up again, too scared to think about the pain. This time he aimed for the right wall and dived through before the torchlight caught up with him. He landed heavily on his bedroom floor. It was a few minutes before he could move, his heart thumping in his chest and his eyes squeezed tightly shut. However the grin stole once more over his face and he looked to one side to where the sword lay gleaming on the carpet.

He realised how lucky he’d been not to be impaled on it but as the thought turned his stomach he pushed it away. Moving up on to his knees he sheathed the sword and then pulled it halfway out again to admire the shining blade. Thin lines engraved it to made
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