Batch 9: Wicked Witch of the West [IC]

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Batch 9: Wicked Witch of the West [IC]

Post by Millennium » Thu Aug 16, 2012 3:22 pm

A nameless grey facility, Then
thump... thump... thump thump... thump... thump thump... thump... thump

The rhythmic sounds of a lone figure's footfalls almost match the pound of his heart as he barrels down the corridor, a lab-coat swirling around his frame like a cape. He reaches the box and smashes it with his fist, not registering the siren wail of the klaxon as it starts. All he can hear is the noise coming down the hall.

THUD...THUD...THUD...THUD...

It echoes all the way from down there. From behind the door. The door that leads to Batch 9

THUD... THUD... THUD... THUD....

Another facility, another Then

THUD... THUD... SMACK...

The last blow feels wet, warm and harsh. The figure in the chair, bleeding from the beating, is pretty sure something's broken. His captor looks bored with his work, as if the outcome isn't what he expected.

"You may as well talk you know. That way it'll be quick. If you keep your rat mouth shut then it's going to end very badly for you", says our prisoner's captor as he wipes the blood from his fist. "Trust Me".

Lifting his one good eye open, the prisoner lets out a rasping chuckle. "This ends for me as it should. My end begins yours. I'm not a hero, but this right here? It's a start. It's going to end very badly for you".

"For me? You've got to be joking. What are you going to do? Shout some sums at me? You're nothing without a computer you little s**t. What makes you think you can do anything to us?" The satisfaction on the captor's face is clear, smug with power.

"Who is Bernard Sharp?". The smile on the face of the standing man vanishes in an instant, snapping into a tight grimace. A glint appears in the eye of the man in the chair. "I know some of these things. I know what you did in '54, or at least some of it, and I know there's a man called Bernard Sharp. It's why you found me". A cough brings up a throat-full of phlegm and blood. "I die here tonight? I'm at peace. The deck of cards is coming down and it's going to hit you hardest. Why? The American lives".

SMACK
GM wrote:A teaser of sorts, until I can get the proper intro up on Monday :-)
Last edited by Millennium on Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Millennium » Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:17 pm

The Here and Now

You snap the disc and then there's... well, you don't know really. In the future when you're asked to describe it you'll give 5 different answers to 3 different questions. It's like being asleep but aware the whole time, or standing still at a full sprint. The world spins around you and suddenly you find yourself here.

Here appears to be a library of some kind. Every wall is filled with books. If you care to take a look you can see that they're largely concerned with mechanical and electrical engineering, computing, military history and hardware, and almost every book on any conspiracy theory you can think of. The room looks like money, with oak shelving and lush carpet, but feels oddly sterile. In the centre of the room is a long coffee table, standing on which there is a metal globe of the world. Dominating one wall is what you first assume to be a picture of a country house, but closer inspection reveals it be a monitor of some kind which is not only displaying the house but also has a bright green horizontal line running across the middle of the picture. There are several chairs in the room, occupied by five other people who all look as perplexed and worried as you feel.

What you can't see, is a door.

Before you can really do anything a voice wrings out from some speakers that you also can't locate. "Well that was... unexpected. There's no way on earth you could have all come at once. It's impossible". There's the briefest of pauses, in which the mysterious voice may have uttered something like '...could he plan this?', but it quickly cuts back in with a more commanding tone. "I'm sure you're wondering what the hell is going on. I will be with you in a few moments. Please make yourself comfortable".

At the last message a small light comes in near one wall, illuminating an oak drinks cabinet.
ooc wrote: All 6 of you are here at once. An odd coincidence that WildCard will fully appreciate in the future. You have 'a few minutes' to mingle before your host arrives"

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by timothy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:52 pm

Speed
Condition- amazed, but trying to go with the flow...
HP- 1

A tall, dark-haired young man clad in sneakers, sweat pants and a grey t-shirt with purple lettering identifying itself as the property of the K-State Veterinary School appears simultaneously with the rest of the group. Before anyone can react he is examining the room, a blur of movement that covers every inch of the room in the blink of an eye.

A moment later he is seated again.

"Um, hi, how you all doin'?"

"I'm Bo-, um, I mean Speed. Sorry about the runnin' around, guess I got a little jumpy."


He stands again, moving at a more measured pace to the drink cabinet. He explores it's contents for a moment, then returns to the table with a bottle of some imported beer. He takes a long drink and then looks at the rest of the group.

"Sorry about the clothes. If I'd known there was going to be a get-together, I'd have put on something nicer."
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The day he will save!

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Zen_Gypsy » Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:16 pm

Vector
Hero Points: 1
Condition: Cautiously Paranoid

Ok, seriously this thing has got to have some sort of sensor in it or something. I mean just snap it ... no way. Probably some hologram or something. Seriously. Marlon Brando is going to pop out ... 'Your name is Kal El, you are the ...'

SNAP!

Shaking his head to ward off the disorientation, Jesse gets to his feet, warily eying the others in the room. Slowly walking towards the painting of the cottage that seems to be the focal point of the room.

Ok, Jesse, think. THINK! These people look like they were picked at random, couple students, a cop, that one's definitely a cop. Oh wait! How long had they been waiting for him. Maybe they were here all along. Wait, there's no doors. Whoa. Mental Illusion? Teleportation?

So ... uhhh .... who the hell knows what's going on, because it sure isn't me.
OOC: Insight check to determine general mood of the others in the room. Specifically if any of them seem calmer, or more 'in control' of the situation. 1d20+6=22
"If sacred spaces are spared the ravages of war -- make all places sacred. And if the holy people are to be kept harmless from war -- make all peoples holy." -- Norrin Radd (Silver Surfer: Requiem; J. Michael Straczynski)

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Bluecross » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:37 pm

Crusher

HP:1 ……………. CND:Fine


Helen blinked a couple of times, and shook her head as if to clear it. Looking round the room at the other people there she asked:

”Uh, I guess you all broke the DVD too, huh? At least I’m not going nutso all on my own…

Seeing Speed get a drink she gets up and walks over to the cabinet, after some thought pouring herself a small brandy with a lot of ginger ale. Turning back to the room, you can get a good look at her. Helen is shorter than average height for a woman, with long straight brunette hair and small glasses. In her early twenties, her career hasn’t yet made her too cynical.

She sips her drink and gives everyone an appraising look. Something about her manner suggests intelligence and a certain ‘feistyness’. Helen may be small, but she’s used to pushing hard for what she wants, and not taking ‘No’ for an answer.

”Hi everyone. I’m Helen. I suppose since we’re going to use hero names, you can call me Crusher, a name I’ve chosen for reasons that will be obvious later. I’ve got no idea how we got here, or why there’s no door. I guess none of us fancied working for the Feds, and probably like me you’re wondering who brought us here. My best guess is that it’s a super-person – maybe even a group of supers. It’s pretty obvious the government isn’t being completely straight about the supers, what with doctoring photos of Archangel and so on. Anyway, based on past experience, I don’t trust the people in power to do the right thing unless everyone’s watching over their shoulders. Maybe that’s our job – watching over their shoulders.

Having said quite a piece, she sits down, taking another sip of her drink.
"I know gun fu"
______________________________

Crusher - Batch 9

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Connor MacLeod - LoEP

Minos - Wild Cards

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by sweetja713 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 8:44 pm

Wildcard
Status: Bewildered
HP 1

A tired look haunts Ross's eyes as he begins speaking, "More than believing the government isn't telling the whole truth. The fact that we're here represents something greater". He speaks with his voice projecting a, well there's no other word for it, a belief, a passion. His eyes are a piercing light blue, almost silver, taking in each of the people there one by one. "It means we are willing to do what is needed to help others. That we will not turn our back in the hour of need."
Insight to detect general mood of the others, that sort of thing 1d20+6=21 Persuasion to put across a general mood of trustworthiness 1d20+15=33

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Millennium » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:24 pm

GM wrote:Those that make Insight rolls come up with the same view - your fellow room-mates are as stunned as you. It's hard to determine whether anyone is trustworthy yet"
Your stunned fumbling is interrupted when you hear a loud ‘clunk’ from one wall. As you turn to see what caused the noise a set of shelves move aside and a sharply dressed man steps into the room.
“Good Afternoon. My name is Raymond Harcourt and…” he straightens his tie, looking a little lost “… and I don’t know how to start this. I have something to ask of you, something that I have no right to”. Harcourt stops and walks to the drink cabinet, pouring himself a large whisky. “I have no idea who any of you are, really, and I’m about to put my life in your hands”. He lets out a long sigh, and a sad smile spreads across his face. “You’re currently in a sub-basement of one of my homes. This particular house happens to be in Alamosa Colorado. You are not prisoners, and I have no means of keeping you here even if I wanted to. All I’m asking is some of your time to listen to a story. If at the end of that story you want to leave, if you feel the need to call the police, I won’t hold it against you”.

At your silent assent, he moves to sit on one of the chairs in the middle of the room. “That disc you watched was put together by my son, Nathaniel. This whole thing was his idea”. He sighs again, pulling his gaze away from yours, clearly reluctant to look anyone in the eye. While he stares at his feet he continues talking. “He was never really a bright kid. Dumb as a post in fact. I tried to give him a good education, throwing god knows how many dollars at tutors in the hope that he’d improve his grades but… let’s just say I let go of the idea that he’d take over the family business. He finished High School with the worst SAT scores you can possibly imagine. All he was really good for was smoking pot and playing computer games all damn day.”

“That was until about 4 years ago. He’d just turned 21 and he came to me one night, said he wanted to get his GED and make something of his life. I gave all the support I could and he sat the test. Scored 4000; 800 in all 5 sections of the test. Top 1% of the country, can you believe that? The education board accused him of cheating, and I can’t say I blamed them, but he took a new test under controlled conditions and got the exact same score”. A smile, warmer than previously, dances across Harcourt’s lips. “We had a talk that night. Nathaniel told me he’d have been able to pass the test at school but he’d always felt over-pressured by me, so he rebelled the only way he could. He decided not to be me”.

“I was proud of him that day, for his success and his honesty. I was angry too of course, that he’d wasted so many years, but a man that can look you in the eye and take hold of his mistakes? He’s a man you’re proud to call son”. He takes another swig of his whisky. “So I told him that I wanted to give him a gift, anything he wanted as a symbol of the new start to his life. He chose this house and a position in my company, and I gave him both. This place became his workshop. In the space of 3 years he patented technology that made my company more money than it would have in 15 years without him”. Harcourt finally looks up and meets the some of your gaze’s. “I guess some of you might know part of what’s coming next. It only seemed obvious to me in hindsight”.

“3 months ago two federal agents appeared at my front door in New York. They informed me that my son had been arrested and charged with three federal crimes. The first was the illegal access of government computer systems. The others, and the most serious thanks to 2001’s Patriot Act, were the charge of being an unregistered Superhuman, and the use of Superhuman abilities against the US government. My son had been accused of Treason. I wasn’t officially entitled to see him at all but, due to my position, the agents took me to him. He wouldn’t speak to me. He just told me to go home. Something about his tone made me think of here, so it’s here I came looking for answers”.

“When I got here I heard the most damned thing; I could hear ‘Follow The Yellow Brick Road’ playing throughout the house. You see, the room we’re in is part of a sub-structure to the house above. A safe-house if you will. I had it built when Nathaniel was very young. He was scared of it though, said he’d never use it. I told him it was a safe place, said to think it was like the Yellow Brick Road…” His voice cracks a little here and he pulls his eyes away from all of you again, choosing to stare at the monitor on the wall. “I followed that sound down here, and saw a video of my son’s arrest”. He quickly stands up and walks toward the monitor, pressing on one corner
Video Footage wrote: You see what appears to be a large sitting room, as if viewed from one roof corner. A young man, not dissimilar to Harcourt, sits at a table pouring over some paperwork near a laptop. After a few seconds a window on the far side of the room shatters and something lands near the table. The room quickly fills with smoke

COMPENSATING VISUAL INTERFERENCE appears on the screen and the room re-appears.

Several men dressed in balaclavas and urban combat fatigues come through the window and move toward the young man. He scrambles blindly as they take hold of him, managing to fend a couple of them off. As he struggles another figure comes through the window, wearing a black skin-tight outfit. The figure strides across to the struggling Harcourt, grabs his arm and snaps the bones in his forearm clean in half, leaving the arm hanging as a ragged wreck.

In too much pain to struggle the young man is carried from the room. The remaining military looking types scour the room, taking paperwork and the laptop. When the room is finally empty another figure in a skin-tight outfit, this time a woman, climbs through the window. She looks around, puts down some papers and a laptop, and then smooths down her hair. As she does so all the broken objects in the room move back into place and repair themselves. She then walks calmly out the room.

The image pauses there

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Herosyndrome » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:21 pm

Nimbus
Condition: Fine, HP: 1

Eric appears in a pair of baggy torn sweatpants and a tight white-tank top, practically naked--or at least he feels that way--his feet bare. He stammers and looks around at the others..."Hey I...Holy...Hm..." He turns around and sits, crossing his legs. before he knows what's happening everyone is talking, about purpose, the government, doing the right thing, a secret organization of supers. Jesus. I just wanted to see what it was all about. Everyone else seems to have mission statements. He waves at anyone who looks at him and mostly just frowns, looking around the room at everything.

After Video
He looks a little bit pale watching the video, wishing he was old enough to drink, and furrowed his brow then looked up at Mr. Harcourt. "Wow, bro, that sucks. I mean. That's just awful." He swallowed a bit and looked a bit pale before saying "But sir, I gotta ask--What did he find exactly, or do, that would bring down the government on him? Plus, like, bro, why are we here?"
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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Bluecross » Wed Aug 22, 2012 5:22 am

Crusher

HP:1 ……………. CND:Fine


Helen listened intently as Mr Harcourt told his extraordinary story. It sounded made up, but given the events of the last day, it was entirely possible. And the video pretty much clinched it.

She sighed, thinking that Mr Harcourt probably wanted them to find his son and rescue him. OK, it looked like the guy had basically been kidnapped, and the evidence tampered with. So much for the Feds operating within the law, probably cause and all that. Still, the guy had probably done something to tread on people’s toes, right?

The two supers obviously working for the Feds worried her. They were out there somewhere, and probably would be coming for her. She shivered, and rubbed her forearm.

”Excuse me, Mr Harcourt…? Could you give us some idea what field your son’s inventions were in? Have the authorities contacted you about your son’s whereabouts?”
"I know gun fu"
______________________________

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Connor MacLeod - LoEP

Minos - Wild Cards

GM for Toledo Knights

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Millennium » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:09 pm

Harcourt looks to Crusher first. "They didn't come after him for the technology. Everything he developed for my company I sold to the government. Security systems mostly - retinal scanners with a 99.999% effectiveness, portable scanners for explosives, encryption hardware for computer systems. He even developed cameras that could filter out the dust and smoke you might expect in an emergency situation. The one that recorded his "arrest" is about 20 times more advanced than anything he ever gave me". He shakes his head and waves his hand toward all of you. "There's a lot he kept from me. Do you think I developed a functioning teleporter on my own? Christ no."

After another drink, he looks to Nimbus with a great deal of sympathy in his eyes. "He was researching you. Specifically, where your abilities came from. There's a lot of explaining to do but it boils down to this: Nathaniel believed that the US government was somehow responsible. His research unearthed a lot of things, not all of which I have answers to. He had three years and a god-like intellect, I've had less than three months. What I can tell you is that he was able to predict, with what he claimed was 96.7% certainty, that everyone is this room would develop super-human abilities. He identified you by name and address and I know he was going to ask you for help in unearthing the truth"

There's a weariness in the older man's eyes now, but behind it you can feel an anger growing. "Since my son's 'arrest' I've spoken with someone claiming to be him several times. I say that because I know it wasn't my son. He looked and sounded like Nathaniel, but it wasn't him. You see, the federal government doesn't now one thing...". He tails off and presses a button on the monitor again. Another video plays. You see a young man sitting in front of a white wall, facing the camera.
Nathaniel Harcourt wrote: "Dad, if you're seeing this recording it means I've been unsuccessful in staying below radar and agents of the government have come to collect me. If I've done my work properly they won't come for you". The voice matches that you heard on the DVD. After a brief pause Nathaniel points down toward the table, and towards the green line which has re-appeared on the screen.

"You have to listen to me carefully now dad. If I've been taken then I don't think I'll survive for long. The men that come for me won't believe in due process. The line you can see on the screen is essentially an EKG. It's giving you my heartbeat. If it's still going, then you know I'm alive. The screen should also update with my location if it can. I need you to see this, and I need you to know it. The men you've helped all these years have done terrible things; in the name of science, in the name of God, and the name of profit."

Harcourt fast-forwards the video at this point, playing again when it reaches something he seems happy with.

"It doesn't matter what happens to me. Find help. Find The American. Save us"
The screen goes black, marked only by the green line which none of you can take your eyes off. It's flat.

When the image of the house re-appears on the monitor Harcourt starts speaking again, his voice hollow. "My son was the last chance I had to do something good with my life. He was killed to hide a secret and they've put a double in his place - a doppelgänger". He turns and faces all of you. "I am a man of resource and influence. I intend to expose the most dreadful crime in the US government's history, and I need your help to do it. I have no right to ask you this and I expect no quick answer. I can send you all home to think about it. In the next few days I expect I shall hear from you again, or one of you will have contacted the police and I will be in jail, probably dead. I can live with either"

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by timothy » Wed Aug 22, 2012 4:45 pm

Speed
HP- 1
Condition- thoughtful

The young man who called himself 'Speed' takes a long pull from his beer bottle before setting it down carefully on a coaster. His brow is furrowed as he looks at the other people in the room.

"Well, I can't speak for anyone else, of course, but I don't guess I'm gonna need anymore time to think about it.

"I made a choice before I broke the disc you sent me. Whatever happens next, my life ain't really my own anymore. Throw in with you or throw in with the government, whichever.

"I ain't really an expert on any of this stuff, but I read some news stories and heard some stories that scare hell outta me. Something's going on that ain't right and if I can help make it right, I guess I gotta do all I can."


He drains his beer in one long drink.

"My name's Bob Feuerborn and I was studying to be a veterinarian.

"If you think I can help, well, go on and sign me up."


He leans back in his chair with the expression of a man who just put his neck in a noose.
Here comes the Dog!
Stong and brave!
Here comes the Dog!
The day he will save!

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Bluecross » Thu Aug 23, 2012 6:15 am

Crusher

HP:1 ……………. CND:Fine


As the significance of the green line on the monitor sunk in Helen took a large gulp of her drink, and then got up and added a stronger shot of brandy and some more ginger ale. Sitting down, trying not to shake, Helen tried to make sense of it all.

”Mr Harcourt, like Bob, I’m with you. Breaking that disc was a free choice I made, even if I didn’t know exactly everything behind it. I kind of half suspected that something weird was going on, but this, this…. Wow.”

She took another hit of her drink. Someone had engineered her. It was no accident, not chance, that she was what she was. The thought made her angry, sick to her stomach.

”Whoever these people are, they’ve been messing with people’s lives, and killing to cover it up. My life, and your lives. Helen looked around the room, making eye contact with the other people there.

”Someone made us. And if we won’t jump to their tune, they’ll snuff us out. Well I’m not sitting still waiting for them to come through the door one day. I’m going to dig them out from under whatever rock they call home, and show them in the light of day.”

Her small size notwithstanding, Helen’s tone and expression as she speaks make her seem quite scary.
"I know gun fu"
______________________________

Crusher - Batch 9

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Connor MacLeod - LoEP

Minos - Wild Cards

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by sweetja713 » Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:50 am

Wildcard
HP 1
Condition: Inspired

Ross was staggered by the implications of the video. He knew that some government officials abused their positions, but this could potentially be bigger than abuse he'd ever heard of before. Just how high up did it go? Without hesitation he rises and shakes Mr. Harcourt's hand. "You have my condolences. I will stand by you. I have dedicated my life to serving this country and there can be no better service than help bring the truth to the people."

He runs a hand through his jet black hair and turns to the others, a serious expressions on his face. "No one can ask you to make this choice. It's undoubtedly a hard one, but think of the amount of good we could do together."

He turns back to Mr. Harcourt. "What other information did your son manage to accumulate?"
Last edited by sweetja713 on Fri Aug 24, 2012 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by darkslayer » Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:08 pm

Fallout
Condition-cautious but laid back
HP-1

After appearing in the room Richard quickly took up a defensive position with his back to one of the walls while taking in his surroundings. He looked at each individual in turn. An odd group indeed. None of them looked like they worked for his father. Then it happened; one of the individuals moved around the room with super speed.

Seeing that, Richard relaxed slightly and sighed. So either the government has me or I’m really in trouble. He walked over to the liquor and grabbed a bottle of Jack before sitting back in one of the chairs.
“Well let’s get this show on the road…” he says before taking a swig.
Richard sat in the chair with his fedora brim low on his head to cover his eyes. He knew a little something about not living up to a father’s expectations. At least Harcourt was giving his son room to find his own way…..then the government stepped in.

After watching the videos, Richard sunk lower into his chair and listened to the others as they spoke. When there was a break in the conversations Richard chuckled nervously, “I was on my way outta the country. Now I’m in a panic room with a group of supers. As if my life wasn’t complicated enough. Well you all can just call me Richard. Now what is the next step of this journey Mr. Wizard?”
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Re: Batch 9: Yellow Brick Road [IC]

Post by Bluecross » Fri Aug 24, 2012 11:38 pm

Crusher

HP:1 ……………. CND:Fine


Looking round the room, Helen for the first time starts to really take notice of the other people there. They looked as disorientated and uncertain as she felt. Made sense, they were in the same boat, just now realising that the government was not something they could trust – was an enemy, in fact.

She waited for a pause in the discussion, then stood up.

”Uh, I would like to say something… I don’t know about you guys, but I feel a bit freaked out by all this. I mean, finding out I was a super was bad enough, but learning that we were made, somehow. That sucks. And“ - she nods to Mr Harcourt - ”realising that there are people – super people - out there willing to, uh, kill, to cover this up, that’s scary stuff.“

She looks around, trying to encourage everyone.

”Anyway, it seems like we’re in this together, whether we like it or not. So I figure we should at least know who we all are, and something about what we can do. And I think it would be a courtesy to our host, as well. Maybe you don’t want to tell us about your real identity, that’s OK. Perhaps for the best. But let’s at least introduce ourselves.


I’m Helen – you can call me that when we’re somewhere private – or otherwise you can call me Crusher. As for what I can do…


The small woman grits her teeth in a determined look, and a small whirlwind of dust, grit and sand obscures her for a moment. When the dust has settled, Helen is no longer there. Instead, a hulking monster, brown-skinned, muscled like a steroid-guzzling bodybuilder, and at least 9 feet tall, stands in her place.

”I’m Crusher, and I break things. Pretty much anything, I guess.” the behemoth says with a wry grin, in a voice that sounds like it’s been wrenched out of a rock crushing machine, so deep that the glasses in the drinks cabinet rattle and buzz.

There’s a gust of wind and dust, and the monster is gone, Helen back in her spot. She nods and smiles, and sits down. ”Who wants to go next?”
"I know gun fu"
______________________________

Crusher - Batch 9

Curt Mardis :- Tracer - Albright Institute

Connor MacLeod - LoEP

Minos - Wild Cards

GM for Toledo Knights

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