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Thriller The Reckoning

Discussion in 'Role Playing Forum' started by HanSolo29 , May 25, 2018.

  1. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Layola’s Diner
    Enterprise, Nevada
    Monday, May 11, 2020 – 8:21 a.m.

    [​IMG]
    Atmospheric Music: 'Walkin' After Midnight' by Patsy Cline


    He watched, he learned, he listened. He had time. He had...all the time in the world, as a famous American song said.

    People came and people left.

    People talked, fought, planned…

    And no one seemed to care about the ordinary guy with blonde hair sitting amidst the chaos drinking his coffee. The advantage of having time was you played the long game. Then again, he needed this advantage. He played this game against everyone.

    But time was on his side.

    He had to smile again as he realized that was a song title too.


    * * *

    In this part of the Nevada desert, Layola’s could be considered a roadside attraction in its own right; the quaint diner harkened back to the 1950s rock era with its stainless steel paneling, porcelain enamel, glass blocks, and Formica countertops. There was even a vintage jukebox against the far wall belting out the golden hits of a bygone era. The place was quintessentially American, which made it the perfect draw for tourists who were traveling to and from the Las Vegas strip.

    And on this particular morning, the place was packed for the breakfast rush.

    Among the crowds, Christian Douglas sat stiffly in a corner booth, head bent at a forty-five degree angle and his hands cupped firmly around the cheap glassware of the coffee mug. His eyes were red and puffy and his head pounded in time with the Patsy Cline tune issuing from the jukebox. ‘Walking after midnight?’ He scoffed. If he could only remember what had happened after midnight last night. The entire weekend had been a blur.

    On Friday morning, Christian and a few friends had traveled up from USC’s main campus in Los Angeles to spend their last weekend of freedom in Las Vegas. The plan was to drink, have fun, and hopefully get filthy rich before the rest of their lives began. Come Monday morning, the three of them were set to board a plane for Germany to spend the summer working at some prestigious auditor company on an internship program.

    As usual, the weekend had flown by, and now that Monday morning had finally arrived, Christian was having a tough time connecting all the dots. All he knew was that he must have gone on one hell of a drinking binge the night before to have such a pounding headache. It didn’t help that his allergies had also decided to return to complicate things further; the sneezing had started as soon as he had crawled out of bed.

    No matter. The coffee would break through the fog of his hangover, and once they were on the plane, things would look up. Now, if only Dan and Sean would hurry up and get here so they could get this show on the road. They were supposed to meet him here at 8am for breakfast before catching an Uber to the airport. As if on cue, he reached into his pocket and retrieved his phone to double-check their flight to Frankfurt.

    “Germany?” the voice came from the blonde man who had sidled up to the table unnoticed through the crowds.

    Christian flinched slightly and turned to look up at the stranger. He was hesitant to engage, but he figured if he had to wait for his friends, he might as well make small talk. “Yeah, for a few months,” he said evenly, his eyes narrowing with curiosity. The man looked awfully familiar. “Ever been there?”

    The blonde man stared at him for a moment. “I think I was in Ramstein. I didn’t see much of the country, though. I heard it has bad weather.” He shrugged and flashed a pleasant smile.

    “Ramstein?” Christian reclined back, his brow furrowed in thought. He had done a fair amount of research into the area in preparation for the trip. There was a U.S. Air Force Base in Ramstein that had piqued his interest. “You served?”

    “Sort of,” he laughed. The man parted his lips as if he had something more to add, but movement over Christian’s shoulder drew his attention. He nodded and gestured casually in that direction. “I guess those are for you?”

    Pursing his lips, Christian craned his neck to follow the stranger’s gaze to the door. Dan and Sean were ambling lazily into the diner.

    “About time,” he muttered under his breath with a scoff. This was followed by a short cough and a sneeze. With a frown, he went to wipe his nose on his shirt sleeve, but stopped himself when he remembered his manners in front of his guest. “Excuse me,” he said apologetically and shook his head. “Um, it was nice talking to you...sir…?”

    When he turned back around, the man was gone.

    Christian’s eyes quickly swept the room for any sign of the stranger, but he must have already slipped back into the crowd. Had he ever been there at all? With a sigh, he reclined back in his seat and allowed the natural ambiance to wash over him.

    His friends greeted him a short time later, and soon enough, they were on their way.

    Aside from the late start, the rest of the trip went smoothly. The three boys arrived in Frankfurt about 18 hours after leaving the diner. The airport was one of the biggest in Europe, handling about 200,000 passengers a day and flying them to over 120 destinations. After a short transition period, they began their internship in the auditors firm, which rotated personnel among its 60 offices in 25 countries. Everything seemed perfect...except Christian’s allergies seemed to get worse.

    It reached the point where he could no longer pass it off as seasonal hay fever. A terrible cough had developed, his lungs rattled with every breath he took, and he was delirious with fever. A few days later, he was found dead in his apartment with a yellowish hue to his skin and deep, dark circles under his eyes.

    Dan and Sean were next to succumb to the illness a week later. At first, the local authorities had tried to contain the potential threat by passing it off as just another severe flu strain, but it began to spread far more aggressively than they ever anticipated. Reports began to come in from over a dozen cities across Europe of a strange virus with deadly complications nicknamed ‘The Black Doctor.’

    When the boys had first started out on their journey, they never imagined that they would be the beginning of something far bigger than themselves...

    ____________________________________________

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    ____________________________________________

    Welcome to The Reckoning! This is an action thriller/mystery game set in contemporary times and a sequel to The Crossing; it will take inspiration from the likes of Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code, Deception Point) and the Bourne series. Set in the year 2020, three years after the events of The Crossing, the action will span across the globe as the virus, known as Monarch or The Black Doctor, begins to spread and make its mark upon society. As the concern of a global pandemic continues to grow and governments scramble to contain the threat, an even greater evil is about to reveal itself, and along with it, a mystery that is sure to test the very fabric of time itself.

    ____________________________________________


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    A History of The Crossing


    The phenomenon began in 2004 as an experiment to discover a pollution-free, no-cost energy source. A conspiracy theory to most, but the dream became a reality through the efforts of the late Professor Arthur Mulligan and his team of scientists at the Mansfield Institute, a privately funded organization founded on the basic principle of making the world a better place. In early 2019, Mansfield went public with their discovery.

    They revealed that Professor Mulligan had found a way to manipulate Earth’s space/time axis to generate unlimited energy. They achieved this ability by creating two experimental reactors, one in the Mali desert, and the other in an undisclosed location, to regulate the process. These reactors depended on a highly kinetic isotope to function, which a team of scientists developed specifically for this project using a rare base isotope found only on a very few places on earth. While the idea was very controversial, Mansfield nevertheless found success.

    But success did not come without adverse side effects.

    Trace amounts of the specialized isotope have been seeping into the local ecosystems for decades, contaminating the water supply, fish, air, and animals. Eventually, it found its way into the humans living in the affected areas through farming and other means of cultivation. By consuming the food tainted by the isotope, their lives would be forever changed...particularly when the reactors came online.

    With the reactors running non-stop (and without a means to shut them down safely), the isotopes began to resonate with each other...and the effects were quite extraordinary. Normal people began to develop superhuman powers related to the space/time spectrum, including time travel, foresight, the ability to manipulate objects within their immediate space, etc. The possibilities were endless.

    The Gifted – as they were soon labeled – gained their powers in what has become known as The Crossing. It was a process similar to fusion in which two individuals exposed to the isotope must ‘cross paths’ to activate their powers. In some cases, powers can remain dormant for an entire lifetime.


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    The Gifted


    The U.S. Government was the first entity to have direct contact with The Gifted. As a result, they were also the first to assert control over the situation. After a failed attempt to silence these superhumans through deadly force, which resulted in many casualties, they realized the error of their ways and switched to a more favorable solution – working together.

    Congress passed a bill highlighting the “Roland Initiative,” named after the fallen U.S. President who died tragically in a helicopter crash while handling the initial crisis. It was a mandate outlining the formation of a new government agency designed to conduct specialized research, track down, and integrate The Gifted into the U.S. intelligence network. The goal was to build mutual relations between The Gifted and U.S. officials on the quest for the common good. The agency became known as Temporal Anomaly Research and Containment, or TARC.

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    Due to the nature of The Gifted themselves, this information remains classified. Not even the American public knows of their existence.

    As of right now, the U.S. is the only country actively recruiting The Gifted to work under their wing. The rest of the world is either skeptical of the concept of superpowers, or are using the opportunity to advocate extremism, such as hatred and terroristic threats.

    ____________________________________________


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    The Characters


    Character options are pretty limitless, but they must make sense within the context of the story. For example, you could be a world health official, scientist, U.S. Government official, law enforcement or government agent (TARC, Europol, FBI, CIA), or even a tourist caught up in the chaos. If you would like to discuss character ideas, please feel free to send me a PM or simply submit a Character Sheet.

    *NOTE: I will not be accepting any Gifted CSes from the start unless your character is returning from The Crossing and their powers have already materialized. Powers will develop over the course of the game, but are not guaranteed. It’s the luck of the draw.

    ____________________________________________

    Character Sheet

    Name:
    Age:
    Appearance:
    Nationality:
    Occupation:
    Equipment:
    Biography:

    ____________________________________________


    The Rules
    1. All Character Sheets must be sent to the GM for approval
    2. GM word is law
    3. No Godmoding, including metagaming or powerplaying
    4. All posts must follow the TOS
    5. Please let the GM know if you plan to be gone for an extended period of time. If a player fails to respond to updates, I reserve the right to take over their character to move the plot along
    6. I will update the game once a week, unless otherwise noted
    7. Have fun!
    ____________________________________________

    A special shoutout to my co-GM, DarkLordoftheFins, who will be joining us on this journey! He has been an invaluable source of knowledge in putting this game together! Thank you for all of your help!

    Also, I would like to thank LordTroepfchen for creating this universe and allowing me to play in his sandbox! This wouldn’t have been possible without him!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    (She's back, and GM Approved)

    Name: Jane

    Age: 29

    Appearance:5'3" with a lithe frame, her black hair is cut short to fit under a helmet, her brown eyes betray nothing of her true emotions. Her facial features are average, forgettable, she doesn't stand out in a crowd, she disappears into them. If you ever seen under her clothes you'll find a body littered with scars, a prominent running down the center of her back.

    Nationality: American

    Occupation: Freelancer

    Equipment: Comfortable rugged pants comfortable military style shirt, heavy boots, and a beaten up jacket with bullet holes in it and a cut along the back, if the weather allows. The rest of her gear changes with the mission, if she needs a pistol she has a pistol (she prefers glocks) is she needs an assault rifle she has an assault rifle. If she is going into a shoot out she'll usually have a tactical bulletproof vest handy.

    Biography: No one's quite sure where she came from or who trained her but, given her abilities some think US Army Special Forces (Green Berets) however she has demonstrated elements of Israeli hand to hand combat, and British entry tactics. However she was trained, she is very good and has been selling her services to governments around the world. She does things they can't be seen doing. If she gets caught, which to this point she never has, they have deniability and she knows how to keep her mouth shut.

    Three years ago everything changed for her. She took a job stateside, a rarity for her but, the money was good, and paid upfront. It was just a simple job, kill a list of people all of them were civilians. She thought it was going to be easy, that it would be over and done with in a night. Well she was right about one thing...It was over an a night, a night she died three times. She gain a few more scars that night, lost her closest confidant, and found she was one of the gifted.

    She survived that night, though the help of another gifted, and walked away from it all. Now she wanders the earth still taking contracts and making more money than she did before. Having the power to slow time had its upsides.

    TAG: @HanSolo29
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2018
  3. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Solo-approved

    Name: Laura Changte
    Age: 28 years
    Appearance:
    [​IMG]
    Nationality: US American (Indian)
    Occupation: Special Agent TARC
    Equipment: Glock 16 with a silencer and mobile phone, kevlar vest, Uniform and a more ordinary dress
    Biography:
    Laura comes from a family of Muslim Indian immigrants and was the first of her family to become a citizen of the USA. The events of 9/11 and the scrutiny she and her family faced afterwards gave birth to her desire to proof she is a good American and serve her country. But that was harder than expected. Upon joining the US navy she found it difficult to become a marine and after she achieved this and served two tours-of-duty overseas she still found it impossible to join the Navy SEALs. She tried again and again. She never was accepted. But it brought her the attention of someone else and she was recruited by the CIA. There she was trained as an "field operative". A training going far beyond physical and mental training. Martial Arts, combat, advanced interrogation and sharpshooting were a given. She also learned social skills, languages and tactics. Intelligence soon was her new home. She felt she could make a real difference here, also this meant to get her hands dirty. She did not mind that. After showing her abilities in the field in the Berlin and Islamabad stations she was finally recruited into the Shadow Network. In the years after that she served everywhere around the globe.

    In 2017 a man called Adrian Simmons tried to recruit her for a so-called Antville operation. Simmons was a legend in the community. But he had underestimated Laura's morale standards and she thankfully declined. She believes in democracy and control of the intelligence community. An operation designed to by-pass these was nothing she was interested in. Surprisingly this denial was a smart career move, as it brought her a position on the new TARC force, that was created to deal with an apparent phenomenon of people with ... power over time. Hard to believe at first, she witnessed these powers with her own eyes. Also she is not totally supportive of the idea to recruit untrained civilians to work as operatives she respects the chain of command and has done her very best to fulfill her new role.

    She is a long time friend of Maria Liang, who she has worked with in the past several times. The women respect each other in a way only those who knew what they were doing could and they have had a drink from time to time. Never talk work is the basic rules of this meetings and the evenings have been full of delightful chatter about boys and fashion and their favourite TV shows. A break from their often dark work. She knows Maria was part of Antville, but to this day she has not asked her about the events that spawned the creation of TARC and her friend hasn't been eager to share anything. Not surprising considering the high level of classification the Antville-Operation has been given. The events have changed her friend though. Laura sees something in the eyes of Maria now she knows too well. The eyes of someone who had taken lives. A look she sees every morning when she looks into the mirror.
     
  4. MandoA101

    MandoA101 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 2, 2016
    DM Approved, I reckon

    Name: Jason Clark

    Age: 29

    Nationality: American

    Occupation: Defense/Security Contractor

    Equipment: SOCOM Mk23 (Pistol), H&K MP7 (SMG)

    Appearance: Tanned skin, about 6'3. He wears either cargo shorts or jeans, depending on the weather, and wears a hoodie. He also tends to wear baseball caps as well. He has a black backpack in which he stores the folding stock MP7.

    Bio: Jason grew up in Oregon, in the mountains and woods. His father was ex-Marine, so Jason was in constant contact with firearms. He grew up to be an excellent shot. After a tour in Afghanistan, He found it impossible to live normal civilian life. He got involved in Blackwater Co, a Security Contracting business. He has traveled to many places as a bodyguard.
     
  5. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Approved by HanSolo29


    Name: Annabelle "Anna" Talbott
    Age: 21
    Appearance:

    [​IMG]

    Nationality: US American
    Occupation: DJane, Instagram Influencer
    Equipment:
    A lot of sharp dresses, really a lot of vinyl and every cool gadget and accessories imaginable.
    Biography: Annabelle, she hates the name and usually goes by Anna, is a twenty something as Hollywood imagines them in horror movies. Irresponsible, light-hearted and fun-loving. She still lives with her parents, who are travelling a lot and keeps on promising them she begins to study soon. She never does. She doesn't really want to. Making money as a DJane and Instagram influencer (150k followers) and occasional photo model (actually too small for modeling).

    Her live goes nowhere. She likes it like that. An endless chain of parties, boys and cool people talking cool stuff. Lately this cascade has begun to get it's breaks ... as she always knew it would eventually happen. She met the really rich and the really cool people and got into art, understanding a fundamental truth about herself. There is an absolute lack of depth and dedication. Secretly she is struggling with this feeling now. To the outside she maintains the masquerade, but internally she wonders for how long she can do this.
     
  6. TheSithGirly

    TheSithGirly Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2007
    GM re-approved

    Name: Maria Liang
    Age
    : 27
    Nationality: US (Chinese origins)
    Appearance:

    [​IMG]
    Occupation: She finds people for a top-secret government agency. What do you call that? A spy?
    Equipment: state of the art laptop, designer clothes, self-designed pad that is connected to her own set of shadow servers.
    Bio: Maria has been what people call a "hacker" since her 14th birthday. When other kids tried to be good at school, she hacked the schools computer. Over the years she build up a reputation in the scene hacking harder targets and becoming a legend among her peers. Then she found the holy grail of networks. A shadow network, coordinating operations by the Government so secret not even the Government knew about. It was a frightening and dark treasure she had stumbled on. Technology not even introduced to the market, programs of the CIA and NSA that were violating the constitution of the country and access to servers all over the world that were considered safe that nobody could ever know about.

    It took her a year to gain access and what she found in the network shocked her so deeply, she never was the same.

    A week later she walked into one of the secret bases of the NSA and showed them what she had done. To the amusement (and delight) of the NSA she did ask them to join. Over the next years she was out to good use and developed a talent to find those individuals who were "off the grid". She did not mind most of these people did not survive long once she located them. She even asked to be present at some executions, when they were especially impressive in hiding. She enjoyed the hunt and she began enjoying the kill. She even underwent basic training by the "experts" ...

    The game changed, when she met Mr. Adrian Simmons. A man deeply routed in the shadow network and with access to all intelligence services he put her to good use. His tactics were superior and creative, the tasks challenging, the missions thrilling. In time she grew closer to the cold and smart man and eventually they became lovers. They could never trust each other, but who else in the world understood their reality?

    Then Antville came and with Antville her world changed. She rarely speaks about what she did and how's he survived these fateful 48 hours, but whatever she did made her a mayor candidate and first recruit of TARC. TARC is only another name for the same players playing their game. The game. And the game ... would always be the game.

    So she played, made a first move by bringing in people she could trust to some degree. Among them Laura Changte, one of her friends from the business
     
  7. Master Vo'Un'Var

    Master Vo'Un'Var Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Name: Angus Hyde
    Age: 38
    Appearance:
    [​IMG]
    Nationality: Scottish
    Occupation: Former Marine, Currently Unemployed
    Equipment: Glock, Suit, Smartphone, Normally seen with an Attaché case filled with notes and documents
    Biography:
    Angus Hyde was born in Edinburgh, Scotland to Arthur and Sheila Hyde, at the age of 25 he joined the marines. His life as a marine shortly ended after he was shot in the left leg twice.

    His wound recovered but ever since his leg has been in pain.
    Angus moved to America after earning enough money at his small desk job in Scotland.
    While in America, Angus started to work for a man called Ambrose who was in charge of a paramilitary group, hopefully this job would cause no trouble for him...
     
  8. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    GM Approved


    Name: Matthew "Matt" Andrews
    Age:
    52
    Appearance:

    [​IMG]

    Nationality:
    US Citizen
    Occupation: Vice President of the United States of America
    Equipment: Encrypted mobile, whatever he needs really
    Biography: Matt Andrews has been in politics since his father introduced him to them as a boy. He began handing flyers out before the supermarket, ran for speaker at his high school and later worked for the Senator of Louisiana and the Governor of Michigan. Then one day he met Kurt Roland, a charismatic and ambitious former banker and junior politician who shared many of his ideas. They became close friends and Matt took a leap of faith and became his campaign manager for his run in Pennsylvania. He served as his advisor the following years after winning the election (and many afterwards) and the rest ... as they say ... was history.

    Kurt Rolands final campaign was for presidency and Matt was there when he won and became his friends trusted Chief-of-Staff. He wasn't long in office when the crisis appeared that would define the rest of his life. A so-called Antville operation was unearthed. A killer commando was hunting down people obviously possessing ... power of Time and Space ... without the knowledge of the President. He and Kurt followed the lead to a secret installation in Alaska and Matt lost a friend this day, in more than one way.

    When he left, he was the sole possessor of the worlds best guarded secret. The existence of people with powers over time. He stopped all hunting activities, made sure all traitors were held responsible and through this act and his intimate knowledge of this new powers he was appointed Vice-President by President Harris, who followed his friend into the office.

    Since then Matt has been a rather silent Vice President, but secretly he has established TARC, a new agency dealing with this phenomenon and has contacted The Mansfield Institute, the organisation whose research was responsible for the creation of this people. Having witnessed their power first hand he believes in peaceful co-existence and defends this vision with all the power his office gives him.
     
  9. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    GM Approved

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Name: Deklan Casey
    Age: 35
    Appearance: Tall and lean. Has a standoffish, brooding air about him. Most often wears jeans, combat boots, an old olive drab military shirt, and a long worn leather overcoat.
    Nationality: Irish American
    Occupation: Ex-Military (Army Division); currently homeless
    Equipment: SIG Sauer P320 sidearm, a Swiss Army knife, and an old military rucksack full of "stuff".
    Biography: All my life, I wanted to be a hero. It was either be a hero or die trying. The army seemed like a good place to take a surefire shot at one of the two goals, but Murphy's law follows me. I'm not a hero and I'm not dead. I did my best out there in the deserts of Iraq, but my best just wasn't good enough. We were pinned down, me and my buddy inside some ransacked building that had already been blown up a couple times before. The shelling wouldn't stop. My partner was killed and there was nothing I could do to save him. PTSD got the better of me in the field and I was sent home for rehab that I never got. The VA isn't all it's cracked up to be. Besides, you can kind of tell when a shrink is only listening to you for the paycheck and not because they care. I got sick of it after a while, so I didn't go back and now I live under a bridge on a back road close to the train tracks where I can hop a train if I need to go any real distance. I have a little dog that keeps me company. I call her Static because she's like static cling, almost permanently attached like my shadow. I don't know what's going to become of either of us at this point.
     
  10. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    GM Approved!

    Name: Kawin Muthurangu
    Age: 35
    Looks: See Movie Poster ;)
    Nationality: Canadian
    Occupation: Ex-Claims Associate at Suncor INC. or Corporate Cog #269, Now CIA/TARC Handler and Recruitment Officer
    Short Bio: Born in Red Deer, Alberta, he has had a rather calm life. Not without turmoil of course, he did have that failed marriage to an emigrant that ended after her citizenship came through. Lived in BC when at Suncor INC, as for personal life without further ado, single, no children, and a little gun shy when it comes to the fairer of the species. Also, a bit nerdy, seeing Star Wars and Star Trek shows like nobodies business as well as going on hunting trips up through the Territories and fishing wherever and whenever he can work around to it.

    Worked basically in a glorified customer service / hand holding service for the company had become something he feels he could do in his sleep. Overall a good if lonely life. That is until the day it all changed with a little brown and the voice of a woman he never would meet. He survived those two days, or rather he eventually survived them. After having visions of New York City in flames he died, a lot. But he got better until that last time, where he had to choose between his health or ending a man that seemed bent on death and mayhem. He chose peace at the cost of his legs as he 'allowed' his spinal cord to remain severed.

    After that day he was taken into 'protective custody' by the CIA and shortly thereafter while laying in a NY hospital bed after getting a rod placed in his back to get it over with for 'quality of life' as a cripple, he was offered a job. A job with some interesting connections to medical specialists. He accepted and three years, five surgeries with nothing but spinal blocks for pain and physical therapy for nearly all of it he is now able to walk, 'like a survivor of polio' as he tries to joke about it. He has spent many an hour with Professor Cale, going over his powers, practicing and seeing what they could do with his resetting of time and trying to see into the future. Also known as 'Life & Death Studies 101'.

    With leg braces, single or double cane depending on the day, and a stiff back from the 'rod up his rear' he does his job gladly. Trying to give the new Gifted what he never had. A chance.
     
  11. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Prologue

    Mansfield Facility, Berlin, Germany

    Tuesday, June 2, 2020; 10:58 a.m.

    The old-fashioned analog clock ticked away on the desk, cutting through the silence of the pressurized lab.

    Tick. Tick. Tick.

    After spending the past week studying the intricacies of the virus known as H8N1, or Black Doctor, it was no wonder many believed the world was coming to an end. The illness had ravaged through Europe with surprising speed, leaving a momentous death toll in its wake. Mansfield, alongside the World Health Administration, had quickly taken to task in an effort to identify and stop the spread of the deadly virus. The results they found so far were quite startling, to say the least.

    Dr. Dennis Huber, still cramped over his desk, unleashed a wary sigh and removed his glasses. He had just finished reading the yellow flimsy the computer had just deposited into his lap. Shaking his head, he spread it out on the desk and allowed his partner, Hannah Schulz, to analyze it for herself:

    OT CONFIRMED
    STRAIN CODED H8-N1 - AB
    ANTIGEN SHIFT AND MUTATION
    HIGH RISK/EXCESS MORTALITY AND COMMUNICABILITY ESTIMATED
    REPEAT 97.7%
    TOP SECRET KRONOS

    ENDS
    P-T-02061985

    A 97.7% mortality rate. That was the first item to jump off the page, but then…

    Narrowing her eyes, Hannah placed a hand on Dr. Huber’s shoulder and leaned forward, pointing to the last line of the communiqué. “Kronos,” she repeated softly, her voice suddenly retaining some shred of hope. “You don’t suppose they mean…?”

    Glancing over his shoulder, Dr. Huber’s eyes lit up with understanding. “Hannah, you’re a genius.” He was smiling now, something he hadn’t done in days, ever since he had been locked up in this room to find a cure. Suddenly, the future didn’t seem so bleak. If Hannah was right about Kronos…

    "Get Geiger on the line. Tell him we might've cracked it." He sighed and shook his head, hardly able to contain his excitement. "I'll see if I can bring up the files."

    Tick. Tick. Tick.

    Unfortunately, they never had the chance to confirm their findings. As Dr. Huber wheeled away from his desk to access the mainframe computer, a high-pitched whine emitted from somewhere above.

    And that’s when their world went up in flames.

    Tick. Tick. Ti...

    TAG: Nobody

     
  12. HanSolo29

    HanSolo29 Manager Emeritus + Official Star Wars Artist star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Apr 13, 2001
    Black Rock Desert, near Empire, Nevada

    [​IMG]

    The windswept plain stretched on for miles in every direction, the scorching sun reflecting on the desert sand and creating a rippled mirage on the horizon. The Black Rock Desert was essentially a no-man’s land; a semi-arid region about 100 miles north of Reno, Nevada. The only sign of civilization this far out comprised of the occasional adventure seeker and the desolate town of Empire, which was nestled in the shadow of the Cocalico Hills Mountains.

    Once the site of a U.S. military base, the government had since pulled out of the region, leaving everything behind to rot and fade away under the oppressive heat. While the framework remained, the purpose of the facility remained a mystery...a mystery that many hoped would be lost with time.

    And so, without a means to sustain itself, Empire had become a virtual ghost town...which made it a perfect base of operations for the small paramilitary group known as the New Alliance of American Patriots, or NAAP.

    Hidden up in the narrow passages along the base of the mountain range, two men belonging to this group watched and waited. Below them, a dusty road led to the edge of town, snaking in from some distant location. It was from this watch post that they were supposed to observe and eventually meet their contact – an elusive mercenary known as the Freelancer. According to their intel reports, this stranger was looking to join their little operation as a new recruit...and the dossier was impressive, to say the least.

    The first man, Davis, lifted the binoculars to his eyes, frowned for a moment, and then handed them off to his partner, Angus Hyde. “I got a visual...coming in hot.” He pressed his lips together and glanced sidelong at Hyde. “You ready for this?”

    There was a hint of doubt in Davis’ tone, and rightfully so...this was Hyde’s first real test since joining NAAP. This meeting would either make him or break him; the boss was not a very forgiving soul.

    As Hyde lifted the binoculars to his face, he would see a granite-colored pick-up truck accelerating down the road, a large plume of dust kicking up in its wake.

    “It’s showtime,” Davis smiled and clapped Hyde on the back. Without waiting for a response, he rose from his spot and started to move.

    * * *

    Behind the wheel of the truck, Jane approached the checkpoint on the outskirts of Empire. This was where the coordinates had led her; this was where she was to make contact.

    NAAP awaited her.

    TAG: @Master Vo'Un'Var; @galactic-vagabond422



    Office of the Vice President, Eisenhower Executive Office Building, Washington, D.C.


    Standing with his back toward the center of the room and his hands shoved deeply in his pockets, Professor John Cale stared out the long window at the White House glistening in the midday sun. It was odd to think of the strange journey that had first landed him in the coveted halls of the famous building across the street, and then to his current position with TARC as the chief liaison to the current administration. It almost seemed surreal.

    [​IMG]
    Professor John Cale

    As part of his new role, in addition to his scientific studies, Cale had sat in on countless NSC and official cabinet meetings, most of them mundane and pointless, but none of them were quite as thrilling as his private sessions with the Vice President. Matt Andrews had become a close confidant after their unfortunate encounter together in Alaska, and through their mutual experience, they had forged a working relationship. They weren’t exactly friends, but it was tolerable; they could get things accomplished, which is what really mattered in the grand scheme of things.

    Plus, if the rumors were true, the Vice President needed someone like him for support; there were certain parties within the President’s inner circle who were applying quite a bit of pressure to poor Andrews over the new TARC program, particularly the Chief of Staff, Benjamin Gates. As the sole proprietor of TARC and its faculties, including the public spectacle surrounding the Mansfield Institute, the Vice President had a lot riding on its success...perhaps even his career. As a result, he had to ensure that his critics remained silent and the machine remained well oiled…

    That was the purpose of this meeting here today – a squeaky wheel had appeared in the machine, and it now threatened to throw the whole system off track...

    “I assume you’ve seen the report, Mr. Vice President?” Cale asked suddenly, his voice breaking through the silence. He turned marginally, his eyes resting on the room’s only other occupant besides himself and Andrews – Maria Liang.

    Cale had not asked permission to bring her here; he simply took the initiative after learning about her connections to the Antville campaign and her personal experiences with the person of interest in this matter. In that respect, her knowledge was invaluable. If Andrews didn’t like it, that was too damn bad.

    “It looks like your little pet project is having more growing pains,” he continued as he reached into his suit coat and produced a manila folder. He threw it hastily down on the desk. “A Mansfield facility in Berlin was attacked this morning at 5 am local time – the hit wiped out all essential personnel and eradicated their computer systems. All pertinent information on current projects was lost.” He shrugged. “Doesn’t sound like it should really pertain to us, right? But get this...when the authorities questioned the witnesses about the suspect, they described him as… ‘moving faster than light.’” This time, Cale couldn’t help but smile. “Now, what do you suppose that means?”

    Lowering himself into one of the chairs facing the desk, he raised his brow curiously. “One of ours, perhaps? Or…” He leaned forward, holding Maria’s gaze for a long moment before returning his attention to Andrews. “You don’t think he’s back, do you?”

    He didn’t need to say the name out loud; they all knew he was talking about Sebastian Klein, or LEGO.

    TAG: @LordTroepfchen; @TheSithGirly



    Talbott Residence, Alexandria, Virginia


    [​IMG]

    The house was located in a small suburban neighborhood outside of Alexandria, Virginia, a quaint little home that resembled a small cottage and conformed with the more historical buildings located within this district. There was nothing out of the ordinary about the place...except for the strange message the TARC members had received a week earlier about its occupant.

    The usual means of identifying the privileged individuals with extraordinary powers, known as The Gifted, involved extensive research, field tests conducted by TARC’s own team of highly-trained Gifted, and a final face-to-face interview to initiate The Crossing – the process which allowed these abilities to fully materialize.

    But today, TARC Director Paul Kendrick and Laura Changte, who served under Kendrick as his second-in-command and head of his field teams, decided to cut right to the chase by skipping to the final step. The graffiti of a dystopian figure standing against the empty backdrop of a ruined city with the following message blazoned across the top had certainly caught their attention:

    Fix this?

    Below the message, scrawled in a different font from the rest, had been a strange name with no other explanation.

    TARC had immediately gotten to work to identify the source of the graffiti and the mysterious moniker highlighted at the bottom of the piece. While the source remained elusive – they had their obvious suspicions about LEGO, which is why the decision was made to forgo the usual protocol – they did manage to tag a name and a picture to the mysterious writing: Annabelle Talbott, a young woman in her early 20s living in the D.C. suburbs; the nickname was apparently the one she used for her Instagram profile.

    And so, they had decided to pay Ms. Talbott a visit.

    With Director Kendrick currently occupied with an urgent manner, he had turned control of the operation over to Laura. As she walked up the stone pathway to the front door, she was accompanied by Kawin Muthurangu, who was supporting himself on leg braces after his unfortunate accident with a rogue Gifted several years ago. Despite his clear ailment, Kawin had grown into a valuable asset for TARC – with his amiable personality, he became a mentor for the new Gifted recruits, acting as their guide and helping to integrate them into the system. He was usually the first one to make contact with them on assignments like this...to put them at ease.

    And finally, Chad Bessinger brought up the rear. The former police officer acted as the muscle in this instance; he was another Gifted with the power to ‘cancel-out’ the abilities of others of his kind while in their presence. He was there just in case things turned south. Plus, he doubled as their driver.

    [​IMG]
    Chad Bessinger

    Under Bessinger’s watchful eye, Laura and Kawin stopped on the front porch and rang the bell.

    * * *

    Inside the home, Anna Talbott was alone. As usual, her parents were away on some ‘business trip’ and would not be home until the weekend, which granted her plenty of time to mess around and build up her career as an Instagram influencer.

    To carry out her task, she had ended up at her computer at some point; she was just about to shutdown when the email came through. The account was just a random jumble of letters and numbers, seemingly gibberish, but the message itself was quite extraordinary. It contained a single image of a strange graffiti reminiscent of the LEGO pieces that had taken the media by storm. The infamous street artist had disappeared after his highly controversial U.S. tour three years ago, but now it appeared as if he was stepping back into the spotlight...if this piece proved authentic.

    Unbeknownst to Anna, it was the same graffiti the TARC operatives had received a week ago with the same clandestine message. The only difference was there was an additional entry directly below the first. It was a single text:

    Good luck, Anna Talbott

    In that instant, the doorbell chimed.

    TAG: @SirakRomar; @Mitth_Fisto; @RachelTyrell



    Streets, Los Angeles, California


    The stretch of tents, folding chairs, garbage, and other assortment of junk that littered the streets beneath the overpass of one of Los Angeles’ busiest highways had become known as ‘Skid Row.’ It wasn’t an official title by any means; apparently some humanitarian had become so disillusioned with the homeless problem within the city that they had taken it upon themselves to paint the brash mural on the side of an abandoned warehouse to grab national attention. The stunt worked, but as usual...the problem persisted.

    [​IMG]

    Deklan Casey, and his canine companion, Static, had arrived to Skid Row several months ago after moving from place to place, stopping occasionally in homeless shelters all along the Southern California coast. While it wasn’t the most luxurious place to settle down, Skid Row did have one thing going for it – it happened to be one of the most stable populations of homeless people in the United States. One could remain quite comfortable here.

    And that’s all Deklan could ask for. Shortly after his arrival, he had befriended an older man in his fifties with a narrow face and a scruffy goatee known only as Bill. He either did not have a last name, or he preferred not to share it. Nevertheless, the man was accommodating and liked to tell stories of what life was like before his world had spiraled out of control and landed him among the homeless. He also spoke highly of his three grandchildren and how he would love to see them again someday.

    [​IMG]
    Homeless Bill

    For the moment, however, he was preoccupied with the cover story of the latest LA Times. His dark eyes were narrowed with consternation, one grimy hand pointing incredulously at the headline that covered the left column of the front page: "Black Doctor Spreads in Europe.”

    “Hey, Casey,” he called in his usual, slow drawl, “did you see this? I dunno where they come up with these names, but maybe this will be our salvation!”

    A bitter laugh issued from the old man’s throat before he leaned forward with some effort and passed the paper off to his companion. “Think it could ever come here? Sure does seem to be spreading fast…I pity them Europeans…”

    He shook his head slowly and reached into his jacket for a cigarette.

    TAG: @Kaleesh-Cyborg



    Four Seasons Hotel, Los Angeles, California


    [​IMG]

    The tour had brought them to downtown Los Angeles, the culmination of Mansfield’s directive.

    After going public with their discovery about a source of unlimited energy and the process used in which to harvest it, the whole Mansfield organization had been under public scrutiny. Left-wing environmentalists and other activist groups had made it their mission to uncover as much dirt as possible and to shut them down. As a result, Mansfield had lost funding, sponsors, and other precious resources to keep themselves afloat. It had reached a point where extreme measures were needed to stop the bleeding.

    That was the purpose of Dr. Arhan Bhandari’s trip to the Los Angeles area. Heralded as one of their top researchers and a profound scientist, he had been recruited by the Executive Board to ‘spread the good news.’ Basically, he was to travel around the country and sell them on the benefits of Mansfield’s labor and to win the public over.

    [​IMG]
    Dr. Arhan Bhandari

    Today, he was scheduled to talk at the nearby California Institute of Technology. But the public exposure did not come without its own dangers.

    With the volatile environment currently surrounding Mansfield, the Executive Board had also taken certain precautions to ensure the safety of its employees while on their ‘goodwill’ tour. Working closely with Blackwater Co., a private security firm, they had hired bodyguards and personal escorts for all of their scientists out on the road. That is how Jason Clark found himself teamed up with Dr. Bhandari.

    At the moment, Clark stood quietly in the foyer of the lavish hotel suite, waiting patiently for the ‘package’ to finish up in the private bedroom in preparation for his speech this afternoon. They needed to be on the road in 10 minutes if they wanted to beat the traffic on the 405. They were cutting it close…

    Before he could raise these concerns, his cellular phone vibrated from inside his pocket. The message was short and simple:

    Mansfield facility attacked in Berlin; could be more, stay alert – BC

    The text came from headquarters, who continually monitored for possible threats for all of their clients. While they diligently passed the information along as it became available, it was personally up to Clark on how to best handle the situation.

    TAG: @MandoA101
     
  13. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Laura Changte
    House of the Talbott's, D.C.

    Laura did not like how this was presented on a plate. She had studied strategies and tactics long enough to know anything too good usually was a trap. This woman felt like a wooden horse left before the gates. But if she was hiding something, she had one hell of a cover story.

    Laura sighed and looked back to Chaz, to signal him to wait and isolate them from anyone approaching from the street. Then she turned to Kawin. The two were her favourite among the so-called Gifted. Paul and his higher ups liked to tell themselves they had highly trained operatives with powers at TARC, but truth was these people were amateurs. Not because they were not trained good, but because most of them never wanted the job. Being "highly trained" was about dedication. Someone who wanted to become a baker or a banker on Wall Street could not be expected to dive into the world of intelligence work just because he was a mutant. Or whatever these people exactly were ...

    These two here were useful, though. Chaz was not an amateur. He was a cop. He had wanted to serve the public before his "Crossing" and now only had to adjust to the different job profile ...

    Kawin on the other hand was tactically highly useful and he was one of the originals. He had been in New York. Also he did not think of himself to be James Bond, she assumed. He simply did not look the part with his walking stick and physical disadvantage. The wound had been inflicted by another Gifted, she knew that and that meant he had seen combat. It was probably more valuable than the ability to run.

    "Okay, Anna here comes with warm recommendations by our anonymous graffiti artist everyone is so hyped about. So we need to be careful. This is not or standard job, this was something we were pushed to do. Anyway, Annabelle Talbott seems pretty harmless herself. I studied her all night and man she left quite a bit material to study. Her Facebook profile basically reads like a protocol of her live, her Instagram page is even worse. Parties and dresses are her poison. I am pretty sure she got no idea what she is or she would probably have made it a video blog about it. She is young, pretty hot and intelligent. She also is a lost little girl we will make even more lost, so I will let the sensible part be handled by you, Kawin. Be gentle when you explain to her, that her life as she knew it is over. Chaz, you stay out here and make sure we got our privacy. If she shows any signs of powers, I call you in." Laura sighed. "I kinda dig her make-up tips, so let us try not to get her killed, alright?" It was meant as a joke, but she was not good at making jokes to lift the spirit of her team. She knew that. Team leading was something she was still learning.

    "Rock and roll." She winked, checked her gun was ready and hidden under her leather jacket and walked up the door to ring the doorbell. She tried not to be too fast, so Kawin could follow.

    Tag: @HanSolo29, @Mitth_Fisto, @RachelTyrell
     
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  14. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Matt Andrews
    Office in the The White House, Washington D.C.

    Matt Andrews still felt he was out of place in this huge office in the West Wing. Three years ago he had assumed to have climbed the highest ladder of his political career when he had been the Chief-of-staff for Kurt Roland. Now he was the Vice President of the United States of America and fighting to establish a new world order in secrecy. He was not the best man for the job, he knew that. He was simply the only one who could do it.

    Looking at Professor Cale he leaned back in the large chair of his and his eyes wandered to Maria Liang, the woman who had all those years ago given them the unfateful hint at Antville and started the chain of events that had ended in a dead President. She was a spook, as the Brits called him. Matt knew everything about her. One of the blessings of his security clearing. Her recruitment, her time in NSA and especially about her connections to the now mostly dismantled Shadow Network, that two corrupt General's had used so effectively to betray everything they should have protected. He knew about her affair with a certain Adrian Simmons and how she had betrayed him. In the end she had served her President faithfully. If this was out of conviction or if she had calculated her chances of survival was something he did not know. The files did not tell him that. Nevertheless she was with TARC now and TARC were his people.

    Matt looked at the report on his table and waited for a long moment, before he answered the witty Professor. A Gifted was possibly involved in an attack on Mansfield. On Mansfield of all potential targets.

    "Professor," Matt began and he had never got rid of calling him by his academic title. "This was to be expected. The Europeans do nothing to control these people. It was only a matter of time before something went wrong." Indeed he had hoped that there wouldn't be any more Gifted in Europe. But Sebastian Klein had come from Germany, so this was not a surprise. Berlin. He had visited Berlin last summer. "The target is what concerns me. Do we know the purpose of the facility that was attacked?" He folded his hands on himself and looked at Maria.

    "And concerning our friend ... if you suspect Sebastian Klein of the attack, you have not paid attention. With his specific set of skills, there would not have been any witnesses. Don't you agree, Ms. Liang?" He looked at the woman who had once killed the infamous LEGO. That had been an hour before Matt had met him for the first and only time.

    Tag: @HanSolo29, @TheSithGirly
     
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  15. galactic-vagabond422

    galactic-vagabond422 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 11, 2009
    IC: Jane
    Black Rock Desert, near Empire, Nevada

    The battered pickup rattled down the road as nothing but desert surrounded her. The AC was working, mostly, keeping her from sweating too much. How long had she been driving a few hours, more than a few hours, hard to tell when one stretch of desert looked like the next. It made it easier to think she was somewhere else, somewhere not in the states. This country held a lot of memories for her, not any of them good.

    She was the idiot that opened up old wounds, paying a visit to the grave of her uncle. It was a mistake, coming into Dulles on an international flight and using the layover before her next flight to visit Arlington, cup of coffee in hand, a dash of whisky adding a bit of burn.

    She ran her fingers over the name,

    'Sgt. Owen Garand'

    There were some flowers there, maybe left by some well wishers, possibly his widow, or daughter. He wouldn't get much from Jane, she wasn't usually the sentimental type...usually. She just stood there for a moment seeing his body slumped over the steering wheel, then her dumping him unceremoniously onto the concrete. It was a desperate act to save her and another's life. It didn't make it right, just understandable.

    Then there was Kawin...the poor man, he survived that night, in fact he was the only reason they survived. However it didn't end well for him, a knife in the back, leaving him crippled. She didn't know how he was doing, or what he was doing. This was the first time she'd been in the states since that night. She still bore the scars, not covering them over with tattoos like some soldiers did. She had no shame about them, she was a mercenary, a killer for hire you don't get through that life unscathed.

    She looked out to the distant horizon of low mountains that almost looked like Afghanistan. The place she first put her skills to use. The place she returned to when she needed some distance from things. The place she went to right after everything changed for her. Maybe it was nostalgia or just the feeling she could disappear in the still troubled nation but, she felt oddly secure there. It was there that she honed her skill, the one brought to the fore by the 'Crossing' or whatever they bigwigs called it. She had more focus, could control it better and for longer. All thanks to some time alone in the wilderness. If she was being honest she'd much rather be there than here but, needs must.

    Another breath left her as she continued down the road, checking her burner cell. The simple gps was guiding her down the right path it was just taking a while to get there.

    Not like paramilitaries operated in the most accessible of places. She was closing on the spot she was to meet the representatives for the Alliance of American Patriots. She'd done her homework, she knew what to expect, paranoia, distrust, and a dose of mystery. It was the mystery that drew her to this group, made her reach out from the shadows to contact them.

    As the flew down the road eager to get out of this heat. When she saw the two men stepping out into the road she started to slow down. She'd been in enough war torn countries to recognize a checkpoint. Just didn't expect them to be in a democratic country. Coming to a stop she removed her pistol from its holster on her hip setting the weapon on the center right in easy reach should things go south. If they went even worse she still had her knife in the small of her back. She'd learn from that night, knives move with you, bullets do not.

    She sized up the two coming closer from behind her sunglasses and from under the brim of her black baseball cap. This being the desert she brought along the appropriate camouflage. A light tan shirt slightly stained by sweat, comfortable pants, made with US Army desert camo pattern, that were loose around her legs.

    She wasn't too interested in small talk just letting the guards do their walk around, check for bombs, tracking devices, or if she was carrying anyone else. All they would find in the bed was a black duffle bag stuffed with her gear, a bulletproof tactical vest, a M4 carbine, enough rounds to supply herself, and a couple changes of clothes, nothing special, just functional. It was everything she thought she was going to need to make an impression.

    Her right hand rested casually on her thigh, within easy reach of her weapon but, not threatening to move to it.

    She was content to wait for them to speak to her, no sense seeming too eager to join their little group.

    TAG: @Master Vo'Un'Var @HanSolo29
     
  16. TheSithGirly

    TheSithGirly Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Maria Liang
    White House, Office of Matthew Andrews

    She was in the White House. How had that happened? Maria could imagine how amused Adrian would have been about this. But she had got rid of her nervousness pretty quickly, once the problem presented itself.

    "I agree." She simply said and nodded.

    Mansfield Institute had been attacked. This was the second time Mansfield was targeted. The first time had been the murder of Professor Arthur Mulligan three years ago. He had been killed by another faction of Gifted, she knew that much. Sebastian had not been involved in that murder. Yet, Sebastian was the first name Cale came up with. LEGO had become a boogeyman, she assumed. A man with his powers, it must have been frightening to these people ... and when she talked about these people she meant men like Matthew Andrews, the godfather of TARC and Vice President of the United States. A man of great power. He also seemed to be a man of great integrity. Easily he could have used his access to the Gifted to solve all kind of problems. Yet he didn't. Maria was not sure if she liked that. Corruption was predictable, morality wasn't.

    "Sebastian Klein, or LEGO as we refer to him is a highly intelligent and well organized man. He also is immensely powerful. If he had wanted to get rid of someone of something he could easily have arranged it to look like a totally random chain of events or a desaster. Personally I think he does not enjoy killing at all. He seemed to be a peaceful man, forced into conflict with us by our actions. So based on our knowledge this isn't his style. But ..." She paused and folded her arms. "We have no idea what he has done for the last three years. We do not know his agenda or capabilities. We do not know anything about him, so we can hardly rule him out. People change. May I suggest another potential suspect, though?" She looked at the Professor and then at the Vice President.

    "Three years ago a member of Mansfield was killed by what I assume was another faction of Gifted. As we have not conducted any hunt for this other faction I think it is safe to assume they didn't survive the events of New York." She kept her eyes on the Vice President now. She was not good at reading people ... at least not if she had not access to their private data. "Are we certain this attack is not a continuation of this event? Is it possible one of them survived and is now ending what they started with Mulligan's murder? After all on of them escaped, didn't he?" Obviously she knew only two of three prisoners of Antville were accounted for. The third had vanished, after awakening from a coma. If this was any indication of the threat level he posed t was surprising he did not come up first. Civilians. They always acted outbid fear and always feared what they were told to. Even Vice Presidents and Professors seemed to be no exception from this.

    Maria sighed deeply. She knew this was thin ice. If there was something she was not supposed to know, she had just made herself a security risk.

    "Anyway, I could access the investigation and have a look ..." She smiled mildly and was fully aware she suggested hacking a foreign powers security network. Nothing she had not done before.

    Tag: @LordTroepfchen, @HanSolo29
     
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  17. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Anna Talbott
    At home, Washington D.C.

    "So everybody: Hello again. This is Anna, your under-appreciated and over-rewarded weapon of choice against boredom! Why over-rewarded? Because you watching is all the reward I need and viewer numbers have been rising last month to new heights! Thanks to all of you guys and gals! Yes, I just called you gals, like a British, which is because I recently started to dig everything British. My German period is over and it came to an abrupt end when I recently stumbled over the pure elegance and beauty of Karen Millen! Karen knows how to dress a girl like a lady and keep her sexy while doing it! So hang out with me for a week of gorgeous Karen Millen dresses I recently got in their awesome online sale. If you like anything, just use my link below and add an extra 10% discount to your already discounted buy. What can I say, Karen loves me as much as I love you! Kiss kiss!" Hitting the remote control of her mobile she ended the record and took her iPhone from the tripod she used. Anna wondered when all of this had begun feeling like work? The link would make her money, she knew that. Good money, as fashion was what her crowd wanted ... but she felt cheap for it anyway. Every time she had tried one of the fine and elegant dresses, she had felt she did not belong in them. These were for sophisticated, smart and sexy ladies with education and purpose and a job and ... not for her. She was dressing up like a little girl trying a princess gown.

    A deep sigh escaped her and she laughed at herself. "So moody today?" She asked herself and looked around in the large and empty house. Empty it felt because her parents were away again. "Or is it my inner emptiness reflected by my emotions?" She said out loud and laughed. She should write novels. Although her take would be pretty pulpy probably. Her crowd would buy an eBook detailing her adventures in the cities nightlife! Although she would need to exaggerate things a lot. Parties were more boring than people expected them to be. Music was usually lousy and guys were dumb.

    With a yawn she sat down at her laptop and connected her mobile. Bored she went through her mails, which were as usually a mix of "fans" and molesting guys hiding in the anonymity of the web. And commercials. Oh and there was one message with a picture. She braced herself, checked it for viruses and expected anther pervert's pic of God knows what and opened it and ... it was a Lego. She recognized it immediately. Apocalyptic of sorts. Nice piece. She loved Lego, preferring him to Banksy actually as he seemed less political and more philosophical lately. Also his US President tour was legend, of course. She had even the book with all the pictures somewhere. Smiling, she suddenly fell a tremble go through her as she saw the writing.
    "Good luck Anna Talbot."

    She froze. Was this some kind of joke? None of her friends knew about her recent interest in street art. Nobody who knew about it knew her name. She had posted in forums, but she knew how to not leave a trace ... or so she had thought. Was this a prank? It had to be. Why would Lego address her personally ...

    The door rang and she scared so badly, she almost fell off the chair. Looking up, she decided it was probably the postman bringing her new tripod. Still thinking about the jpeg of the Lego, she opened the door.

    Hopefully it wasn't Scientology again. These guys creeped her out.

    This would have to be quick, because she was not even at the door when she felt the urge to return and make sure she had really seen what she had seen.

    She opened the door and smiled. The friendly smile people loved her for. "Sorry guys I don't wanna expand my mind, really." Looking at them she really though this was a strange bunch of people. She thought it was really shady of people to send a cripple on something like this.

    Tag: @SirakRomar, @Mitth_Fisto, @HanSolo29
     
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  18. Kaleesh-Cyborg

    Kaleesh-Cyborg Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 4, 2017
    Journal Entry by Deklan Casey
    June 2, 2020
    Skid Row - Los Angeles, California

    After spending nights huddled near burn barrels and sleeping under bridges in the northeast where the cold was cruel and unforgiving, if one has to be homeless, California is definitely a more favorable climate for it. I don't even remember what possessed me to hop all those trains to the west coast. Static looked at me like I was nuts on more than one occasion, but we're here anyway, safe and sound at Skid Row. It's kind of nice to not be alone anymore. I have a sense of duty again. I know homeless people are victims of opportunity to sickos out there, so I do a head count every morning and evening of the others who stay here as well, just to make sure everybody is okay. So far, no one has been missing for any length of time to cause concern.

    Static is in her glory. No matter how hungry these people are, they always seem to have enough food to share a bite with a sad-eyed begging dog. She's getting to be quite the porker. I might have to take up jogging with her just to keep her weight down. It's nice to see her make others smile though and she's so cuddly, she might as well wear a sign that says "free hugs".

    And then there's Bill. He's like the dad I never had. It doesn't matter that I'm white and he's black. We both bleed red; we're both homeless; and we both have seen how beautiful and how ugly the world can be. Just like me and my buddy Cody. Cody had enlisted in the army to escape the mean streets of Chicago. Guns and violence were a part of everyday life where he came from, but there were no heroes and he wanted to be a hero; same thing I wanted. The problem was, Cody was only fifteen when he joined the army. He faked his age. We met up in boot camp and I kind of saw him as being my little brother.

    When we ended up in Iraq, he was scared. I was scared too, but I was older. I had to help him be brave. He was a Star Wars freak, so to cope with being in the line of fire, we used to pretend we were heroes from the films. Most of the time, I was Han Solo and he was Lando Calrissian and we'd make stupid smart-aleck remarks to each other just to ease the tension while we were pinned down by enemy fire. It didn't work much; we still felt like we should have brought along a change of BDU pants.

    Anyway, back to Bill. I wasn't the friendliest vagrant to wander into the Skids. I kept to myself and avoided everybody. One day, there was a demolition project going down a couple blocks from Skid Row. The demolition crew set off the TNT and I hit the ceiling. In my mind, I was back on the front under heavy shelling. I crammed myself under a dumpster and I don't remember much after that accept for being terrified. And Bill. He came and crawled under that dumpster and pulled me out kicking and screaming. He held on to me and talked me back to reality. He might as well have pulled me out of a mine field that day; that's how much of a hero he is to me. He told me I needed to start writing stuff down as an outlet. The man should go for a job as a therapist. He's done a hell of a lot better job than any of the VA shrinks out there.


    Deklan Casey
    Skid Row - Los Angeles, California


    Deklan looks up from tying his boots as Bill beckons to him. He only pauses to finish tying his second boot before rising to move closer to the older man. He takes the paper as Bill holds it out to him, glimpsing the headlines before giving a slight scoff.


    "Leave it to the media to create another boogie man for everybody to be afraid of," he mutters, scanning the article, his brow furrowed in a look of concern and possible skepticism, "Crap, Bill. If this were to hit here, it'd wipe us out faster than you could say diddly. And when I say this, I mean Skid Row. We live in pretty close quarters around here. If your idea of salvation is death, indeed, that would be the ticket."

    Though outwardly, Deklan remains calm and indifferent, a sliver of concern is working its way in. These people are all the family he has right now. If a disease of epidemic proportions were to hit the States, they are in the perfect position to be exterminated. Wouldn't that be a hell of a way to cut down on the population of those deemed as "worthless" to society?

    "You thinking it could come here?" he asks at length, passing the paper back to his friend. The question is pretty much a rhetorical one. It doesn't matter if Bill thinks it could come here; Deklan already knows it could come here. Worse yet, he knows it could be unleashed here intentionally. Having spent enough time in the army, he is not ignorant of how the government could sometimes stage things to cause panic and use it to gain control of people. Deklan is just talking for talking's sake so he doesn't spout off what his mind is really thinking.

    Tag: @HanSolo29
     
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  19. LordTroepfchen

    LordTroepfchen Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Matt Andrews
    Office in the The White House, Washington D.C.

    Matt smiled at her. "That won't be necessary, we can go through official channels. It is terrorism. We have communication lines established there."

    Leaning back he looked at Professor Cale. Maria had a point. Sebastian Klein was not the only one vanishing for three years and the other candidate had a history in terrorism. Had Alpha found out about Mansfield? But why attack them?

    The President would want answers and he could not use TARC on foreign territories without explicit consent of the German government. Even if he could, were they ready for something like that? If the Germans knew about TARC - and they probably did - would they suspect them? The US Government and Matt especially had never been a fan of how secretly the privately owned and financed Mansfield Institute had dealt with something like solving the worlds energy problem.

    They would have other options to pressure them, though. Media, tax reviews, working permits ... he had never pushed too hard. They were sitting on the most advanced technology the world had ever seen. Destroying them could have unforeseen consequences for all of mankind.

    "I want an evaluation from TARC on this as soon as we got access to the files. Please push Paul to hand this one in ASAP."
    He sighed. "I will ask my Chief-of-staff to arrange calls with the German chancellor's office to offer our assistance and a separate call with Mansfield." He sighed. "Let us see how far their investigation is and what this Mansfield facility was really about." Looking at Professor Cale he sighed. "We will need to talk to the President about this. I would like to have you present."

    Standing up he silently declared this discussion over. "Ms. Liang, thank you for your insight. If the Europeans want our help on the ground I would send you to lead the team. So think about who you wanna take and prepare to leave on short notice." He smiled his Vice-presidential smile always criticized to be too cold. "You will get everything you need."

    He walked around the desk and offered his hand for a Vice-Presidential handshake. He had practiced that one a lot.

    Only then he commented on her idea about the potential suspect. "The other faction indeed had one survivor. He was codenamed Alpha. A Brit with a terrorist background. Please keep an eye open for him in all incoming material."

    He needed to discuss options with the Professor now and not all were meant for the ears of Ms. Liang. He reminded himself to heighten security on his computer, just in case she tried to hack him. After all, people could not act against their nature.

    Tag: @HanSolo29, @TheSithGirly
     
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  20. QueenSabe7

    QueenSabe7 Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Late addition! And GM Approved! (Thanks, 29. :) )

    ---

    [​IMG]

    Name: Mira Morton-Kai
    Age: 19
    Appearance:
    Hair Color: Naturally midnight-black but has been bleached repeatedly for years, worn short.
    Eye Color: Crystal-green
    Height & Build: 5’2”, very thin and lanky. Her body is without many curves, almost gaunt.
    Skin: Covered with various tattoos and several piercings: 3 nose, 2 lip and multiple body.

    Nationality: English-American (US Citizen)
    Occupation: Dancer/Cocktail waitress
    Equipment: Ruger LC9s pistol, smartphone w/cracked screen, large black purse with assorted makeup and baby things

    Biography:

    Mira Morton was born into a wealthy and influential family. Both parents – hailing from London, England, relocating to the U.S. shortly after their marriage – successfully climbed the ranks of the Washington political sphere and her sister, a twin, was as ambitious and intelligent as she. She led a privileged childhood, her future surely taking her into the same professional realm as her mother and father or at least something just as prestigious. In fact it was expected, her entire life practically planned out for her and no cause to worry – she was safe.

    But the older and more aware she became, it was clear that was not what she wanted.

    In her early teens, Mira rebelled with fervor. Falling in with a rough crowd at school and frequently running away from home, she thrived on the thrill of the unexpected life. She felt increasingly stifled the longer she stayed with her family and worked relentlessly at damaging her connection to them. Eventually expelled for her impulsive and oft times hostile behavior, her parents attempted to “home-school” her in order to keep Mira out of public view. Knowing they meant to send – lock - her away, this was her last straw.

    Making one final attempt at fleeing the confines of her parents, she managed to break free of the D.C. city limits and began a year-long journey across the country at just 16 years old. She hitchhiked and wandered, meeting many people that her family would have dismissed as sordid and beneath their attentions. Mira saw them as beautiful and intriguing, more her kin than those whose blood ran through her veins. Early on her way, she entered the world of drug-running, becoming a small part of a group of vagabonds she picked up with out in the mid-west. It was something it turned out she had a serious knack for, making a healthy living and catching the attentions of a Las Vegas king pin named Damian Kai through word of mouth and connections she had made. Once arriving in Sin City he took her under his wing, entrusting her with increased responsibility and using the teenager for his more high-powered clientele, getting her off the streets and cleaning up her attitude.

    Through this close partnership, they formed a romantic bond more out of necessity than actual desire; just over a year after setting off on her own Mira had given birth to a baby girl, the father remaining unknown. Her child, Ava Jean, became her everything, the only reason she did what she had to in order to survive. She knew the increasing dangers of her position and understood that her close proximity to Damian was the only protection she could offer herself and her baby. This was the sole reason she accepted his proposal after her daughter’s 2nd birthday, marrying and living in modest comfort just off the Vegas Strip.

    Currently working at her husband’s small nightclub Black Star, a front for his illegal activates, Mira is beginning to grow wary of her lifestyle. Too many threats, too many drugs, wondering if she is truly doing all she can for her daughter, or if she is merely coasting by in life and letting the pieces fall where they may. If the latter was the case, she knew it wouldn’t be enough.
     
  21. Mitth_Fisto

    Mitth_Fisto Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 29, 2005
    IC: Kawin Muthurangu
    Facing his old nemesis, stairs.

    Trying to look less like a cripple he had merely worn the metal leg braces and was walking with his simple wooden cane. The downside was without the extra leverage stairs, well they were literally a pain in the. . ."Okay, Anna here comes with warm recommendations by our anonymous graffiti artist everyone is so hyped about. So we need to be careful. This is not or standard job, this was something we were pushed to do. Anyway, Annabelle Talbott seems pretty harmless herself. I studied her all night and man she left quite a bit material to study. Her Facebook profile basically reads like a protocol of her live, her Instagram page is even worse. Parties and dresses are her poison. I am pretty sure she got no idea what she is or she would probably have made it a video blog about it. She is young, pretty hot and intelligent. She also is a lost little girl we will make even more lost, so I will let the sensible part be handled by you, Kawin. Be gentle when you explain to her, that her life as she knew it is over. Chaz, you stay out here and make sure we got our privacy. If she shows any signs of powers, I call you in." Laura sighed. "I kinda dig her make-up tips, so let us try not to get her killed, alright?" It was meant as a joke, and Kawin had even smile at it.

    "Dieing is my job, eh, remember?" he tried to joke back. He knew it came out lame but bending down to pop each joint loose on the metal braces before doing the four steps up threw his momentum. That or else he just wasn't good at jokes, so thankfully that is not why he was around. The mention of the graffiti artist comment though had shaking his head with more of grin then either of their jokes had, perhaps it was just because she had never met the man?

    "Rock and roll." She winked as she checked her gun was ready properly tucked under her leather jacket as she walked up the door to ring the doorbell. She tried not to be too fast, so Kawin could follow and he was grateful for that.

    Standing there, leaning heavily on his cane he smiled and adjusted his glasses as the young woman answered the door beaming a brite smile. Almost reminded him of that young intern that had shown up that fateful day he was supposed to have trained. "Sorry guys I don't wanna expand my mind, really." Looking at them she probably thought this was a strange bunch of people. Then again any odd group of them showing up would be.

    Smiling a bit of a tired and weary smile he nodded, "Yes Miss Talbott. I am sorry but a mutual friend believes otherwise." he simply said as he pulled out an 8x10 copy of the LEGO art that had drawn them to her and held it up with his free hand. "Would it be alright if we came in to talk?" Worst came to worst they could always try this introduction again. That tended to get people to want to listen.

    TAG: : @SirakRomar, @RachelTyrell , @HanSolo29
     
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  22. SirakRomar

    SirakRomar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Laura Changte
    House of the Talbott's, D.C.

    Laura had to smile as Kawin drew out the poster like a secret joker. Nevertheless she felt that might not do the trick, so she drew her joker in form of the brand new shiny TARC badge they had got a few months ago.

    "Please." She added with a smile.

    The girl seemed so relaxed. She was confident, but at that age she was probably faking it ... aren't we all? .

    Laura had one last look around to make sure they were not watched. Just professional habit. The good thing about these jobs were, there targets were totally random to any outsider. Impossible to predict.

    What she was worried about were the targets. One day they would face the wrong one and that was what she and Chaz here were for.

    Tag: @HanSolo29, @Mitth_Fisto, @RachelTyrell
     
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  23. RachelTyrell

    RachelTyrell Jedi Master star 1

    Registered:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Anna Talbott
    At home

    The poster got her off guard. How the hell did these guys know, if she had no idea about it?

    But it wasn't the same. Not really. There was a different message revealing her username on Instagram. Also a question. Fix it? So how did they find out about her then? The username of her. Fix what? Her thoughts started a race.

    "Yes Miss Talbott. I am sorry but a mutual friend believes otherwise." She looked at the man with the glasses and realized her smile was probably gone now. He asked if they could come in and the exotic looking woman in that fancy leather jacket held up a badge. Anna was almost surprised it wasn't a FBI one like Fox Mulder always had. She was beautiful. Anna wondered if she was in Instagram. She would follow a hot Government agent with a sense of style. She totally would! Focus, you might be in trouble

    Anna probably gave the two a long and probably stupid stare. Then she understood! Everything!

    "Oh so it is right! The Government is hunting LEGO because you are afraid of what he is doing! Oh my, that is ..." Awesome? "... terrible! I don't know where he is! If I knew I would never tell you! Am I arrested? I want a lawyer!"

    She had the feeling she wasn't arrested. But she wanted to behave appropriately. After all, she had seen how these things turned out ... a million times ... in a million TV shows!

    She was surprised she stepped aside to let them enter anyway. "I am Anna, by the way." She said and thought that was stupid. They knew who she was. Of course they did. Silently she was wondering if the higher click ration of her Instagram profile was from NSA checking her. "Coffee? Shall I pack a bag?" Should she think about fleeing? She could probably sleep at Maria's place. But they would know about Maria. They knew everything. They were the US Government. Holy, did she feel stupid and small.

    I am over-reacting, am I?

    Yes, she totally was. Only now she saw the one of them had a problem with his leg. The one with the poster. "You can sit down in the living room if you want." She sighed then. "Am I talking too much?"

    Tag: @SirakRomar, @Mitth_Fisto, @HanSolo29
     
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  24. MandoA101

    MandoA101 Jedi Padawan star 1

    Registered:
    Oct 2, 2016
    IC: Jason Clark

    They were definitely cutting it close, and Jason was getting anxious.

    He wanted to get the Doc to the Institute immediately, not only to avoid the ridiculous traffic in Los Angeles, but also so he could get paid and get out of the area. These eggheads and their "Special Departments" always got him on edge, he knew enough history for that at least.

    He had felt pretty unsure about his clientele, but funnily enough, not about the actual job itself. He thought it would be easy; in and out, just get him to the campus, and he'd be done. Now he wasn't so confident. These environmentalists were crazy, protesting right in the streets, setting up massive protests of the Mansfield Organization. But still, they weren't radicals, and they weren't armed; unlike Jason.

    However, his lackadaisical approach was shattered with the text he had just received. The Mansfield site in Germany was attacked. To breach a defended compound took ordnance, and more importantly, some sort of organization. If they were radical tree-huggers, which Jason suspected, they were dangerous.

    He wasn't taught about anti-terror ops in the Marines, or any of that special agent stuff. All he knew about that was a collection of Tom Clancy books, and a few spy movies. But if the Marines Corps taught him anything, it's that you always trust your gut. And what worried Jason was that his wasn't sitting well with any of this.

    He checked his watch. The Doctor had better hurry up if they were going to make it.

    TAG: @HanSolo29
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018
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  25. TheSithGirly

    TheSithGirly Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Maria Liang
    White House, Office of Matthew Andrews

    Maria Liang knew he wanted to get rid of her, but she was not yet ready to go.

    "One question, if I may. What if it is LEGO?" She looked at the Vice President and inhaled sharply. "What if he is back and turning against us? How do you want to fight him?" Truth was, what chance did they have? "How could we hope to win?"

    That was the question that she had not found an answer to all those years. She had killed LEGO. He was still alive. All of the US Government had hunted him with the help of three immensely powerful Gifted and yet the President and the Gifted died. All that had been him not trying to wage war against them. What could they do to stop him if he ever decided to settle the score? He had every reason to feel threatened by them.

    Tag: @LordTroepfchen, @HanSolo29
     
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