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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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 Nameless Training Yeaaaaaaa!

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Posts : 946
Join date : 2012-05-22

PostSubject: Nameless Training Yeaaaaaaa!   Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Y'know, not many people know what it's like to be a vigilante. Everyone always assumes it's 'wake up in the morning, be normal, dress in a costume at night, fight crime until morning, lather, rinse, repeat'. And two years ago, I was right there with 'em. What a lot of people don't realize, what the comics never tell you, is just how thankless and tiresome the job is. Honestly, in all the time I've been doing this, I've gotten maybe four 'Thank you's; not exactly what I'd call 'a lot'.

I don't blame 'em, though. Nah, not the slightest bit. I mean, it's not every day a masked guy holds you up for money, and then another comes in from nowhere and just starts beating the ever-lovin' shit outta the first one! Not to mention give your money back to you! People just aren't equipped to handle that kinda thing! Hell, for all I know, people thank me after I'm already gone from the scene and what just happened finally clicks in their head! S'what I love about the deal. I can help people the way others can't. They'll never know who I am, and they'll always wonder about that night.

It's beautiful, really.

I suppose I should get this out of the way; The name's Cain, but you probably know me best as the (in)famous Vigilante, "Nameless"! My life is pretty much awesome. I get to live in a Carnival - albeit for only a short while longer, but that's another story for another time - every day where the food is okay and the people are cool. Every night I put on my mask and jacket and I head out to keep the streets of Bakersfield, California safe. My biggest problem? Other than the constant stream of petty thugs and wanna be gangstas, the girl of my dreams hates me because I was an idiot.

Not gonna lie; I was. I left on some damned fool idealistic mission to keep the two of us safe, and in doing so completely abandoned her. She has every right to hate me. But I'm working on that. At the moment, my mind needs to be in the present, not the past or the future. And the present calls for immediate attention, so says the fire I can see in the distance.

Odd, actually. Fires don't usually start around here - which in itself is odd, considering I'm in goddamn California - No matter, this would be an easy fix!

"Time to go to work," I mumbled, jumping from the parking garage I'd made into my little nest of badassery.

Okay, so it was just the roof of a parking garage that served as an easy place to change and get started. But that didn't mean it wasn't awesome. Four levels high, not counting the basement levels or the roof, it was pretty tall. Perfect for diving at the Ground, face first.

While the wind flew past and through my mask, I had to smile as the adrenalin started pumping. The Ground kept growing closer and closer as I fell. The wind started to slow as my descent began to come to a nice, smooth stop. But screw nice and smooth; Once it was safe enough, and I'd slowed myself down enough, I reached out, grabbing the closest thing to me - a light post in this cast - and used it to spin myself around and up, hurling my body into the sky. Concentrating, I made my launch grow ever longer as the sun beat down on the black leather of my jacket. The wind started picking up again, pelting me as I tore through the air like some kinda acrobat! People below me looked up in awe at the man who seemed to fly with the greatest of ease to the next post, landing on it like a kitty cat from hell!

From the second post, I leaped to the building in front of me - everyone else's right - snagging the fire escape as I closed the gap. It's times like these that I wished it was night, when I could just simply fly instead of pretend I can't by doing acrobatics. Did it look cool? OH hell yeah, and I enjoyed every second of it! But right now, people needed me, and I couldn't waste time on style!

I pulled with all of my might to get onto the fire escape, taking great care to not do the easy peasy thing and just launch myself into the air to the top of the roof. Climbing over the railing, my feet made contact with the metal grate that made the "floor" of the Fire escape and the irony hit me like a sack of bricks; here I was, on a Fire escape, dressed as Nameless, on my way to a fire. Were I not so busy, I might've laughed a bit. Right now, though, with my feet going on auto pilot and running up the escape as fast as I could, my mind wasn't on the irony, it was on what to do when I got there.

Again, because of the whole "Secrecy" thing, I couldn't just put out the fire. I had to let the Fire Department do that - though that didn't mean I couldn't help after all was said and done. The best bet at the moment would probably be to dive into whatever as on fire and save whoever may or may not be trapped inside of it. I could worry about stopping the fire later.

Once I reached the top level of the fire escape, a new challenge awaited me; Climbing to the roof. Given the fact that there were windows aplenty, it wouldn't be too hard to do it without flying. Besides, I could always use the railing to get a good jump on it. I, of course, being myself, Took a few steps back, to the very edge of the fire escape. In the short distance I had, I ran, straight at the wall, changing my footing to run upwards as best as I could to get a grip on the edge of the roof. My right hand got the best hold on a slight dip in the rooftop. My gloves gave me a bit of an extra grip surface, letting me hold on a bit tighter while I found a new, much better grip with my left hand and pulled.

It was hard, trying to pull myself up using mostly my fingers and not much else, but once I got my elbow over the edge, it was smooth sailing. My elbow led to my knee, and my knee to my leg, which a push with my right leg later meant I was not only up on the rooftops again, it meant I was also up and running a lot faster than if I had simply climbed up and rolled further onto the roof.

Pushing forward with my feet, I drifted off into a sort of trance. I moved without thinking, finding the best way to keep going and never stop for anything. Maybe it was me starting to know this town's layout pretty well, maybe it was the fact that I've been doing this for a few years just kicking in the muscle memory, I don't know. All I was aware of was there was smoke, there were people who needed help, and I was the perfect guy for the job.

The smoke kept growing in size the closer I got. The problem I ran into was the same problem I had from the parking garage; the buildings leading up to it were all too short to see what exactly I was in for. For all I knew it could be a simple car fire or maybe a small one-room fire in an apartment! But then again, that was a lot of smoke rising into the air. Now that I was a short distance away, standing on the roof of a cheesy pizza parlor called “Fred's Fantastic Pizzeria” (which was so eloquently spelled out in Neon lights despite the sun being out), I could see just how much smoke I was in for. From the looks of it, the fire was huge – at least two stories worth of personal belongings and maybe even people burning.

The thought of people stuck in a fire this size hit me like a sack of bricks. I wasn't just the perfect guy for the job - I was the only guy for the job! If there were any people inside, they needed Nameless more than anything right now!

Screwing the rules, I jumped for the tallest building I could see. My legs and arms outstretched, I soared to the nearest light post, landing on it the way I'd done before. I didn't hear them clearly, or if I did I just wasn't that focused on anything but running and flying, but there were a few cameras and gasps as I launched myself from the lamp to the building. I still had to remember to keep my powers a secret, and right now I was cursing whoever gave them to me for it. If I couldn't use them out in the open and help people with them, then what good were they?! Unfortunately, I didn't have time to argue with God about the merits of having powers that I need to keep secret, because my left foot hit the wall of the building next to the alley I was aiming for.

Pushing with the heel of my sneakers, I launched myself again – this time primarily with my powers – to the wall of the building across from me. My right leg extended naturally. With some amount of force, my foot and leg absorbed my momentum and bent low. I pushed again, this time with both my right hand and my foot, towards the previous wall, flying to it with ease. Five times, I repeated this, each time feeling the heat from the fire start to ease its way into the alley, and each time I lowered myself closer to the ground. While not extremely fast, it was certainly faster than simply running if only because of the distance I was covering in each leap.

Once more I leaped, propelling myself even further forward this time. Even behind my shades, the blaze blinded me a bit as the sounds finally reached my ears. I'd been so focused on my charade that I hadn't heard the screams for the sounds of wood falling and crackling with each piece that died in the fire. Hell, even the fire's roar had gone unnoticed! But now it wasn't. Now, as I landed in front of the barricades and police, I saw it and heard it and smelled it. A towering inferno if ever there was one.

An entire apartment complex, easily 4 stories tall, maybe more, was engulfed in the fire. In the back of my head, there was this little voice that just kept whispering 'Oh shit... Oh shit...' over and over again. The rational part of me, I suppose. The part of me that remembered that I wasn't fireproof. The part of me that told me this was a bad idea in the first place.

The part of me I ignored.

Upon seeing me, many crying people called out, asking for help finding their lost dog or retrieving their goldfish – kids mostly. Some asked for me to help find the picture of their long deceased mother – God rest her soul, whoever she was. A few told the police to turn around and arrest me, that I was some kind of burglar. I didn't blame them; no one really knew what Nameless looked like, only what the Rumors told. And now here he was, in front of God and everybody, staring at the blaze.

News Cameras were rolling off to the side, filming the fight against the fire the Fire Department was putting up. The Cameramen were now focused on the stranger with the Red Mask and Leather Jacket. Nameless was getting his news debut, and part of me enjoyed that fact. It meant people would know that he's always watching, always taking care of people. Another part of me would miss the mystique and shadowy nature of being a stalker of night crimes. Sure, I've done Day-Jobs before, but this was the first time I'd been caught on Camera by an actual news crew.

Kind of exciting.

With the Fire Department too busy spraying water at the fire and the surrounding areas, I knew they wouldn't be able to do much for it. But I could, if I could just get inside where no one could see me. Of course, with their impeccable timing, the Police decided that stopping the crazy man in the mask from hurting himself or others would be a good idea. They didn't ask how I got there, or who I was – that wasn't their job, anyways. A few of them tried to 'apprehend' me by talking me down and moving to get in front of me, their hands on their guns, trying to intimidate me back into the crowd. Their voices carried over the crowd and the fire and the jets of water, but one voice stood out in particular to me.

A girl's voice. She couldn't have been any older than ten or eleven. She was crying and calling for her mom with one of the windows on the third floor open. My eyes shot open as wide as they could go. My heart skipped before starting to race. Maybe God hadn't given me these powers to keep a secret? Maybe he'd given them to me for this moment?

I didn't hesitate a single second. I bolted at the police, knocking them aside. Their guns were drawn soon after, and one of them fired, but I didn't care. The bullet ricocheted off of the building and into the balcony above us on the second floor. The firefighters looked on, shocked at the sight of someone running into a burning building. But all I could think about was that girl. That girl and the girls from that night. I wouldn't let it happen again – not with what I could do. Never.

The heat from the fire was intense – more intense than almost anything I've ever felt, even during my own training to get used to heat. The clothes I was wearing weren't helping matters. The mask, however, was acting as a makeshift filter for the smoke inside. Running to each room I saw, I mentally put out fires as I went, checking to find other people, anyone who might need saving. The smoke kept coming at me the further I went and I found myself coughing more and more. I should've stopped and just concentrated on putting out the fires, but I didn't. That little voice in the back of my head started screaming “GET OUT! GET OUT NOW!” but did I listen?

Over my dead body.

Opening one door, I knew there'd be fire on the other side. But I had to keep trying, keep looking with what little time the building had left. I hadn't expected, however, the explosion from the rush of air and the oxygen tank by the door frame. Yes, Oxygen tanks don't explode, but they are flammable and they do take off like a rocket. I found myself on the receiving end of one. When the fire rushed out, I recoiled, blocking it with my jacket, only to be immediately hit with something heavy in the chest. A whistling noise accompanied it. I suppose I was lucky, though; had it hit me straight on, I might've died. But the side of the canister hit my chest and knocked me backwards, into another door that gave way.

For a few moments, I was dazed. Even below the smoke, I could barely breathe from having the wind literally knocked out of me. The small amounts of smoke certainly weren't helping, though. I looked up at the ceiling, clouded and obscured though it was, I could hear the fires around me crackling with life. I saw the wood above me start to splinter and crack from the heat and fire. With the smoke accumulating, I became more determined than ever to save that girl.

Groaning, I rolled over onto my stomach. With my right fist, I pushed up, off of the ground and onto on knee. Standing from there, I could feel my chest starting to bruise. It hurt to breathe, but I didn't care. I went back to my work, checking each room as I went. Once I reached the second floor, I ran into the team of men sent in to do the same thing I was doing. For a moment, I reflected on how similar we were right then. Just a bunch of guys in masks, opening and breaking down doors to make sure people were okay. But behind theirs I could see their faces as they saw a strange man in a bright red mask and black leather jacket watching them work. Some stopped the others and had them look. When they looked at me, all they could've seen was the black soot all over me, the faint outline of a mouth on my red mask, and the reflection of themselves and the fire in my sunglasses.

The fire behind me swirled and raged. If it were a movie, it would've been in slow motion, but It wasn't either case. I stood there for a brief second, watching them work before running off past them. They had this floor covered, it seemed, and I was in a hurry. Hell, we were all in a hurry.

The stairs were a new beast entirely with this floor. Blocked off by burning wood, partially collapsed. There was no way that team would be getting up these any time soon. I, however, could do it. Concentrating, I imagined in an instant the fires extinguishing themselves and leaving just smoking wood. Just as I thought it, the fires went out, leaving their smoke to tell their tale and nothing more. Running on pure adrenalin, I began working on the wooden planks and beams that were blocking the stairs, gripping them with my gloved hands and pulling with all of my might.

One plank.

Two planks.

Three planks.

Each landed with a clatter to the floor behind me. Each made my muscles scream in protest, telling me to stop, to let the firemen do their job. That I'd done a good enough job. That I'd done all I could! I was a hero. And with each Protest, I told that voice and my muscles “No, I need to finish! I need to do this!” In my head, I could still hear the girl crying for her mommy, but I kept seeing those two girls back in Detroit.

I never saw them personally. I just saw their pictures on the news the next day. Two girls, 9 and 11. Died in a fire while playing. A fire caused by me.

This was something I had to do.

I must've been talking without realizing it. Constantly telling the girl I was coming, that I was gonna save her, because the next thing I knew, an Axe landed on a plank of wood I was struggling with, snapping it in two. I looked to my left and saw the shortest of the firefighters going to town on the wood. The other three were behind him, continuing their work. With each swing, I heard him yell, trying to muster more strength each time. More wood splintered and came apart, making it easier to lift and move out of the way. I grabbed the pieces he wasn't aiming for, pulling at them no matter how big, throwing them behind me as best as I could.

A few times, I caught a glimpse of his face behind his mask. He couldn't have been any older than myself.

“You need to get back to your team,” I told him as the stairway became clear enough to at least squeeze through.

“No way, man! I figure you're here to help, so I'm helping ya!”

“Listen! You've got your job, I've got mine! I can get up there easier than you can, and right now there's a girl upstairs who's frightened and needs help!”

We looked at each other for a moment, me trying to show him just how serious I was behind my sunglasses. I knew he couldn't see me, but I had to try. He nodded, and I took note for a second of the nametag on his uniform.

“Johnson?” I wondered to myself. It was a bit weird that two guys with the same name, in a very similar occupation, around the same age would wind up helping each other.


A loud creaking noise followed by a crash told me it was time to go.

“Nothing! Just hurry up and get your guys up there as fast as you can!”

“Ain't got nothing better to do! Get up there, bro! I'll hold the thing steady for you!”


Taking a few steps up the collapsing staircase, I felt Johnson's hands steady the beam I was walking on. I took extra care not to make a mistake and fall – even if I could've rectified the situation by flying. Every moment wasted fixing mistakes was a moment that girl didn't have.

“Say,” I heard him call when I was halfway up plank. “Just who the hell are you, Buddy?”

I could've been dramatic and paused and answered, but now wasn't the time. I finished the trip up the plank, stopping for a split second at the stairwell to get my bearings. From what I could see, the stairs leading to the 3rd floor door were clear, if incredibly draped in smoke.

“Ask me when we get out of this thing!” I hollered before booking it upstairs, holding my breath.

Once up there, I could see through the glass that the entire floor was engulfed in flames – even moreso than the previous two. It looked to me like this floor might've been the starting point of the whole thing, which made it worse, since it was going to weaken the supports for the 4th floor and make it collapse even faster. I didn't have any time to lose. Backing up, I threw my foot at the door as hard as I could, kicking it open. Again, I recoiled from the light and heat of the fires. My eyesight was starting to blur from the sweat and smoke combining on my shades and in my eyes. Not a good combination. Past the door, I let the air out of my lungs, ignoring the pain. Before taking in another breath, I looked around and listened, trying to hear the girl I'd seen and heard before running into this damned building.

Just faintly, I could hear the whimpers of a child. Not too far off, either! My sneakers, scorched, torn, and even somewhat melted, kept me moving forward, checking each door with the utmost haste and urgency. I suppose I was lucky that most of the people left their doors open when they left. Except one, just to the right, almost fifty feet from where the exit was. It was shut, but only just. Clearly, that was the right room. Opening the door, I looked in and saw a room completely filled with smoke and flames.

Pictures were all around, burning and curling up on themselves. The TV had long since been charred to a crisp, and in the corner away from it was a little girl. At one time, this apartment might've been cozy, but now it was a hell on earth for her. She was starting to close her eyes, coughing and crying growing more silent as the seconds ticked by. In her hands, she clutched a brown stuffed puppy and a living, breathing kitten who kept pawing at her blue top and brown hair. The first thought that came to my head was that this fire needed to be gone now so I could get to her. Sure enough, on cue the flames around us vanished as I ran to her and her kitten.

Bending down, I picked her up gently. Cradling her in my arms, my muscles again protested, saying that they couldn't keep this up. I actually believed them, but refused to let them give up on me now. As small as she was, she was still fairly heavy. The kitten pawing at my chest – though cute – wasn't helping me, either. I stood, forcing my arms and my chest to keep up the good work while my legs did the rest of it. Her stuffed puppy tucked safely between the kitten and my chest, I moved as quickly as I dared to the door I entered through. Some of the fire team from before were starting to pour in. One of them offered to take the girl off of my hands, but I didn't answer him. I just kept going for the exit.

At the stairs, I saw Johnson again, preparing the plank for his own ascension upstairs. I set the girl down first before calling to him.

“I'm gonna throw her, you need to catch, you got it?! I can't carry her down that damn thing!”

The kitten hopped off of the girl once I sat her down and cowered in the corner itself. Johnson nodded his understanding and braced himself at the foot of the stairs, ready to catch the girl when I tossed her. Picking her up as gently as I could, I whispered in her ear that it'd all be okay. That I had her and that she'd be going for a plane ride for just a second before I got a hold of her again.

I'm not a very religious guy. I believe in God and all, but I've never really believedy'know? Right then, though, I started praying like I'd never prayed before. Praying that she'd land okay, that Johnson'd catch her, that everything would turn out fine. Just as I got to “Amen”, I grunted, throwing the girl to the man below me, who caught her but ended up falling down anyway. Could've been funny if the situation was different. At the moment, I couldn't afford a laugh or even a chuckle. I grabbed her stuffed puppy and her kitten and jumped down the stairs myself, using my power to slow the fall and land safely. If Johnson saw me, I didn't care. One guy – who'd believe him? We needed to get her outside as soon as possible and I couldn't waste time putting on a mask to hide who I really was.

The Kitten found its way behind my neck and on my shoulder, which was a blessing, since it was in the way and I needed to pick up the girl to make sure she and Johnson were okay. With the girl in my arms, I saw Johnson still breathing and I was thankful to God, whatever God there was, for answering at least that prayer.

“C'mon, I'll need your help getting out of here,” I said as he stood.

“But what about the others?”

“Listen, sometimes you need to help the guy in the mask and sunglasses! Right now, I can't get out of this place without your help! I've kinda got my hands full at the moment!”

Again he stood there, and I could see the gears turning inside his head, clicking into place and adding up the numbers to find out the right decision. Yeah, he needed to be with his team – I understood that – but I also needed an extra pair of hands if something went wrong, and he was the closest pair.

“Alright, I'll help.” he said, taking the kitten from my shoulder and putting it on the girl with the puppy.

The trip back to the entrance of the building was about as basic as you could get. I didn't need Johnson's help with anything, and for that I felt kind of bad. But at the same time, if I hadn't brought him along and something had happened...? What then? What if another oxygen tank decided to pay me a visit and this time hit the girl instead of me?

Every now and then, I had to shake her awake, to make sure she was still breathing. Her coughs and slight murmurs helped to assure me that I hadn't, in fact, been too late to save her. I felt my own sense of accomplishment and pride swell up inside of me as I neared the exit. I almost started to cry! Hell, once I was alone and back at the garage, I probably would! Just to let it all out, y'know? Not sad tears or anything, but happy ones. Ones that let me know she was okay. That I'd done some good.

Outside, I wheezed with each breath and step as I took the girl to the nearest EMT. My mask was covered in soot and scorch marks. My sneakers were hardly anything but scorched rubber by that point, and my red shirt was ripped from the fight with the oxygen tank. But inside, I felt great when he took the girl from me and put her on a stretcher to take care of her. I found the perfect time to find out how to sit down, too. Taking a stretcher out of another Ambulance and using it as my own personal rest spot.

Around me, people were cheering at having seen a masked man walk out of a burning building with a girl who'd been stuck inside. Part of me wanted to get ahold of her mother and shake some sense into the damn woman for leaving her girl behind. But right now, I needed to rest. I coughed and I wheezed louder than I think I ever have before. One EMT came up to me and started trying to treat my wounds. His first order of business was to take off the jacket and mask. The jacket, I could deal with. The mask... no way.

“Listen Bub,” I growled at him. “I just came out of a burning building with a kid in my arms. Let me have my mask, okay? Just gimme some pain killers for my chest and arms and I'll be fine.”

Of course, who was he to argue? Just as he handed me some extra-strength pain killers, Johnson as well as a reporter came up to me, Johnson with water, the reporter with a microphone. I rolled up the mask just enough to take the pills and drink the hell out of the water before rolling it back down and thanking my new friend.

“What possessed you to run into that building?” she asked. I didn't answer her. Why should I? I didn't owe the press anything.

Instead, I extended a gloved hand to Johnson, who'd since taken off his mask. He grasped mine firmly and we shook hands as I stood from the stretcher.

“You did good in there,” I told him. He smiled and thanked me which I kinda enjoyed. “I've gotta go. People to save, crimes to stop, the works.”

“Hold on!” He shouted as I turned away to make my exit.

“You never did tell me who you are!”

I laughed lightly, turning back to face him

“No, I didn't, did I? Heh. The name's Nameless. If you wanna know more, just ask Cainmy the Rat down at the precinct. He'll tell ya everything y'need to know.”

I smiled beneath my mask and jogged to the crowd, many of whom parted to let me through, others tried to get their own personal photos with me, even more others tried to just get a snapshot of me passing through with their phones. I'm sorry to say I didn't give them the time of day either. The first time I'd been properly thanked and even celebrated a bit, and I was moving on like it was nothing! Maybe I was just a lot better at this than I thought? No matter, really. Once I'd gotten past the crowd, I ran up to the fire escape and climbed up until I could repeat my “Jump to each wall” method of getting the hell out of dodge.

Maybe I'd get another day like that soon. Part of me wants to know what'll happen to the girl. Part of me wants to know that cat's name!
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