The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Membership Drive Update

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:37 am

Voltron64 wrote:Ares, what I imagine to be a classic battle trick for Captain Marvel would be shouting the magic words while in close contact with a foe than flying away at super speed as the magical power from the sky rains down on the bad guy in all its power. (As seen in Kingdom Come.)

I imagine being struck by the benevolent power of Shazam is a close number two to the power of God almighty. :twisted:


Heh, I actually tend to focus more on Cap being a close combat battle brick that has to use his physical capabilities creatively, and whose innate nature gives him a lot of advantages. I basically look at Cap as being sort of a modern mythic hero, guys like Hercules who solved their problems by using things like their strength in creative ways. Plus Cap is a perfect excuse to use all of those old, fun brick tricks you never see heroes use anymore.

Calling down a Shazam bolt is generally something of a last resort/risky maneuver for Cap for several reasons.

1) He doesn't want people to really make a connection to that word, because if the word 'shazam' becomes commonly known, it might look weird when Billy Batson is the only person who doesn't want to say it.

2) There's always a risk of using the lightning in that fashion, since if there's any distraction he could get struck by it and turned back to normal. And if he's facing an opponent that requires using the magic lightning, the last thing he wants is to be turned to normal.

3) The basic Shazam bolt is only about as powerful as a normal bolt of lightning, which is still considerable. The power lies inside Billy and Adam themselves, so the lightning works as basically a finger flipping a switch to turn that power on and off. However, if Cap calls down the lightning, catches it in an outstretched hand, and then channels it through his other hand, amplifying its power with the Power of Zeus, and releasing it as a new, super-powerful blast, it's a force that even gods would fear. However, doing so is extremely exhausting to use, and he again runs the risk of missing the catch, which would turn him back into Billy.

So all in all, Cap's more likely to wade in with Zeus-amped, lightning charged punches, hand-clap thunderclaps and using objects as melee weapons, with the lightning being a tool of last resort.

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Voltron64 » Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:53 pm

Let me say this about Black Adam, what makes him so difficult isn't so much his pride or ego, but rather his impulsiveness and proneness to stupidity augmenting such. (For instance, a smarter yet arrogant man would have been willing to consider negotiating with the heroes when asked to stand down peacefully.)

Also, is Oberon more powerful than Black Adam?
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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:26 pm

Voltron64 wrote:Let me say this about Black Adam, what makes him so difficult isn't so much his pride or ego, but rather his impulsiveness and proneness to stupidity augmenting such. (For instance, a smarter yet arrogant man would have been willing to consider negotiating with the heroes when asked to stand down peacefully.)


Black Adam isn't necessarily stupid, but he he does have a nasty combination of Pride and Wrath (along with Greed and Envy). His line in Superman/Shazam: The Return of Black Adam about viewing himself as a god and deserving to be treated as such. He's been denied the respect he feels he deserves for thousands of years, so any sign of disrespect from these puny mortals is just going to piss him off. Right now, he's basically venting several thousands years worth of frustration on anyone who gives him the slightest excuse.

Also, is Oberon more powerful than Black Adam?


Yes. Black Adam and Captain Marvel are probably somewhere between the Ladies and the Queens of Faerie in power. Shazam himself was on par with Oberon, but then once you're on this level, basically you're as powerful as Odin class gods, archangels and lords of Hell. There's only a select few beings between Oberon and the Almighty in terms of raw might.

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Libra » Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:41 am

Too bad Harry failed the classic name trick.


To be fair Teth-Adam is bloody-minded and FIERCELY Proud, but he isn't Sivana - who probably IS possessed of a superiority complex strong enough to enjoy correcting little slips like that AND possessed of an Attention Deficit Order strong enough to divert him from recalling why doing so would be a BAD idea (it's possible to fool The Wizard ONCE, but not twice).

On an only tangentially-related note, I've often suspected that the reason we've never really seen a Joker/Sivana team-up is that they'd be too busy trying to back-stab one another during the course of any planning session to bother dragging in their respective superheroes (who'd only spoil all the fun anyway!); either that or because such a team-up runs the risk of resulting in such a meeting of the minds that Heroes and Villains are willing to pool their efforts to stop it happening (because they LIKE this Universe, at least enough to attempt to prevent old Thaddeus Bodog and The Clown Prince of Crime from reshaping it in their own image).
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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Sat Oct 12, 2013 1:55 pm

Lightning Strikes – Part III

Continued from Part II

While Harry Dresden and his allies faced Black Adam, the child they fought for remained sleeping in Harry’s bed. Billy Batson had initially slumbered due to a combination of exhaustion and being exposed to so much magical energies during Black Adam’s initial attack. Yet now, the sleep he found himself in was unnatural, forced on him by another. The Gatekeeper’s tall frame loomed over the boy, staring down at his sleeping form. Though the Gatekeeper greatly respected his master’s judgment, he needed to confirm for himself that this boy was worthy to wield the powers of the gods. If he did not find him worthy, he would not allow Shazam to pass his power onto him. Better to lose such a potential champion for good, than to create a second Black Adam, this time with no Shazam to restrain him.

Instead, the Gatekeeper sent his consciousness into the Dream Realms, a dimension that existed in the lower reaches of the Nevernever, where dreams, not focused thought, ruled. Entering into this place allowed the Gatekeeper to enter into Billy Batson’s dreamspace without technically violating the 3rd Law of Magic: Thou shalt not invade the mind of another.

There, he found Billy’s protected dream self in an old style movie theater, a bag of popcorn in his lap, watching projections of his life on the screen. He was watching his and his sister’s nineth birthday party, just as he was unwrapping his Silver Sentry action figure. The Gatekeeper took a seat next to Billy, looking at him from within the folds of his hood. Billy offered the Gatekeeper some popcorn, which the elder wizard accepted. They watched the film a bit longer, and Rashid found himself actually feeling bad about ruining this child’s moment of happiness. But he asked Billy if he wouldn’t mind seeing some other points in his life. Billy agrees, though the smile fades from his face, as if he can sense what is coming.

What follows is a quick replay of all of the tragedy of Billy’s life. Of how his parents traveled to Egypt on a recent archeological find, taking Mary with them while Billy had to stay behind in order to do extra school work to pick up his grades. Of how his parents were murdered under mysterious circumstances, and how Billy’s sister vanished once she returned to the states. Of how Billy’s uncle was awarded custody of the boy, only to keep him just long enough to gain Billy’s inheritance and then throw the boy out on the street. Of how this uncle was then himself later found dead at the hands of the Chicago underworld, after his business dealings with them turned sour. Of how Billy spent the next two years and a half years living on the streets of Chicago, just another homeless boy trying to survive.

And while it played, tears welled in Billy’s eyes, and the boy hugged his legs against his chest, burying his face in his knees. As the Gatekeeper turned to him, Billy said, very simply, “I should have been there.” When a puzzled Gatekeeper asked what he meant, Billy turned to look him in the eyes and shout, “I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE!” Tears streaming down his face, the young boy went on about how he should have been there with his parents and his sister. How he might have been able to make a difference, maybe he could have helped his parents defend themselves, or maybe he could have at least been able to get his sister to safety, or at the very least he could have died alongside with them. But no matter what, if he had been there with them, at least he would still be with his family, one way or another.

It was then that Rashid realized that of all the pain and suffering that Billy had gone through, this was the one that still hurt the most. Not the years of living off the streets, avoiding criminals, child molesters, thugs and bullies. Not the nights where he barely had enough food and warmth to survive. Not the betrayal of his uncle. Not the loss of his home. But this, this idea that he had failed the people he loved most, and that he would have rather died with them than do so.

A mixture of compassion and sympathy that no one in the last decade had heard entered the Gatekeeper’s voice as he said simply, “Oh child. It wasn’t your fault.” And to the Gatekeeper’s surprise, the still crying Billy hugged the Gatekeeper, and held onto him tightly. And the Gatekeeper surprised himself when he hugged the poor boy back.

Long minutes passed, and when Billy finally had control of himself again, the Gatekeeper posed him a question: What if Billy had the power to find the people who killed his parents? What if he had the power to capture them, and make them answer for what they’ve done? Billy thought about it for a long moment, and said that he’d want to bring those people to justice. When the Gatekeeper suggested that Billy meant to kill them, a surprised and aghast Billy denied it strongly. He felt those people had to be punished for what they had done, but that he would never just murder anyone in cold blood. Billy went on to explain that it wouldn’t make his life better if he killed those people. He wouldn’t get his family back if they died, wouldn’t get his home or his sister back, he’d still be alone on the street. Going after them for revenge would be solely about hurting someone else in order to try and make himself feel better, and Billy just wasn’t that kind of person. He didn’t want to hurt anyone more than was absolutely necessary. Smiling gently, Billy says that his parents had raised him to be better than that, and to engage in that kind of revenge would be a betrayal of their memory, the one thing he truly had left of them.

The Gatekeeper is genuinely surprised and impressed by Billy’s response, especially since he can see the honesty in Billy’s words. He looks up on the screen still playing Billy’s life, and sees a smiling Billy hanging out with other homeless folks, sharing food, passing out blankets he’d found, joking with a few other kids, somehow finding a way to laugh in the face of so much misery. He asks Billy how he can keep such a sunny and optimistic outlook when there’s so much pain in his heart. Billy explains that he’s lived on the streets for the last few years, and he’s seen the best and worst of people. He’s seen them commit slow suicide with alcohol and drugs, he’s seen the casual compassion of well off people offering up money to a homeless person. He’s seen the true fellowship of people with so little sharing it amongst their friends, everyone suffering a little so no one suffers a lot, or suffer alone. Even at this lowest point, with people who literally have nothing, hope exists.

The Gatekeeper nods his head, noting to himself that when people suffer, they either turn their focus inward, focusing on that pain, or look outward and learn to empathize with the pain of others. Billy has done the latter, is able to connect with everyone around him, recognize their suffering as his own, but instead focuses on the good he finds, and does his best to keep that goodness alive by giving people hope. It’s why he started his private broadcast as ‘The Little Guy’, trying to raise awareness for the homeless, to spread their stories, to expose the corrupt and the wicked, to try and do something, anything to make the world a little better. And in doing so, has held on to his optimism and idealism despite his suffering.

When the Gatekeeper comments that he has seen men and women ten times as old as Billy who have lost far less, done far less for their fellow men, yet are also far more bitter than him, Billy can only shrug. “It doesn’t do any good to complain,” Billy replies. “Besides, who knows, some day something REALLY bad might happen to me, and I’d feel pretty stupid for having whined about when things weren’t so bad earlier, right?” A stunned Gatekeeper looks at Billy, whose face has every evident of being completely serious. Before a small snicker breaks his poker face, and the young man winks at the Gatekeeper. Rashid then does something he hadn’t done in years: he laughs. Thick and rich and hearty, it bellows out of him, and gets Billy laughing as well. The two shared that laugh for several long, happy moments, ending with Rashid wiping a tear from his good eye, a smile hidden by his hood. As he looked at the still laughing young man, the Gatekeeper has made his decision.

This boy WILL be the next champion of Shazam.

TO BE CONTINUED.
Last edited by Ares on Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Libra » Sat Oct 12, 2013 2:31 pm

Keep up the good work Ares! :)
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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:24 am

Lightning Strikes – Part IV

Continued from Part III

Meanwhile, back in a remote canyon in the Nevernever, Harry and his allies continue to battle Black Adam. The heroes initially have the upper hand, since despite his power they are managing to use a combination of teamwork, raw power and skill to keep Adam off balance. The Rick Taylor and the Knights of the Cross and of Summer have the raw power to hurt Adam to a degree, while Harry, Spider-Man and the Turtles keep Adam disoriented through clever applications of their abilities. And for a moment, Harry thought they had this fight in the metaphorical bag.

And then Black Adam started laughing, and Harry realized he’d miscalculated. From what he has seen and been told of Black Adam, Harry had figured the former champion was like many of the supernatural tough guys he’d come across: arrogant, overconfident, disdainful of mortals to the point of underestimating them, and absolutely certain of his own invincibility. He had forgotten that, power or not, Adam had once been the mightiest and most skilled warrior of ancient Egypt, and had been the mastermind behind the pharaoh’s most successful military campaigns. When Shazam had banished Adam, it had been to another dimension without any life, no opponents to face, no people to conquer, merely shattered rocks floating in the void of space. In the thousands of years since his imprisonment, Adam had only inanimate rocks to vent his increasing frustration and fury upon. Now, however, Adam was back in his element, fighting powerful foes with supernatural abilities. The fight was actually letting him vent all of his former frustrations in the arena he was most comfortable in, and in doing so, Adam had found his center again. No longer was he the berserk fighter blinded by rage that they had a chance against. He was once again the warrior who had once been amongst the greatest and most powerful champions of an age that had included the likes of Hercules and Thor.

As if to demonstrate this, Adam delivered a flying tackle into Rick taking them both hundreds of yards up into the sky. Adam then looped around in mid air, doubling his speed, arcs of magical electricity arcing around his form as he smashed Rick into the ground with so much force that it sent every one of the assembled heroes sprawling. At the bottom of the large crater the impact had made, Rick groggily realized that he had been nearly clipped in half; his ribs, legs and spine shattered and his organs splattered everywhere. Black Adam leaned over the fallen hero, and in typical defiance, the Mask began to taunt Black Adam, who revealed that he could hear the Mask’s comments. He then shoved his hand into Rick’s chest, fingers searching for the giant’s heart, with every intention of ripping it out.

The Mask: “Oh, is that all you’ve got, p***y?! I’ve had worse-“
*Black Adam grabs Rick’s heart and starts to twist it, causing both Rick and the Mask immense pain*
The Mask: *as if through clenched teeth* “Okay, that stings a bit, I’ll give you that one.”
Rick: “I hope to God we wind up in different places after he kills us, because I am not listening to you for the rest of eternity.”

However, before Black Adam can finish Rick off, Spider-Man came swinging in, kicking Adam hard enough to send the mystical menace up and out of the crater, where he smashed into one of the canyon’s walls. His swing landing him at the crater’s edge, Spidey followed this up be unloading as much webbing as he could on Adam, trying to keep him pinned. Rick and the Mask both let out a sigh of relief, even as the Mask began to try and put Rick back together.

The Mask: “I knew there was something I liked about that kid.”
Rick: “It’s probably because you’re both in love with the sound of your own voices.”
The Mask: “Huh, weird. For some reason I would have thought you’d like the sound of his voice too.”

Spidey kept up the web barrage, only for Adam to rip one arm free, tearing a large chunk of rock from the wall in the process. With casual ease, Adam threw the boulder at Spider-Man, who easily flipped over it to land on the ground, ready to begin firing again. Before he could get a shot off, Adam ripped a leg free and stomped on the ground, so hard that Peter was thrown off balance, and couldn’t avoid the second boulder Adam threw at him. The impact sent Spider-Man into one of the canyon walls, and before he could clear his head, Adam had completely freed himself from the webbing. In an instant he had cleared the distance between him and Spider-Man, casually backhanding the young hero hard enough to send him sprawling and knocking him out.

Adam lifted one leg to stomp down on Spider-Man’s head, ostensibly to crush him like the bug Adam perceived him to be, when the Turtles attacked. Mikey and Don both struck certain pressure points at the back of Adam’s knees, while Leo and Raph delivered powerful flying kicks that knocked Adam away from Spider-Man. Unfortunately, an enraged Raphael pressed his attack, which resulted in the shattering both of his sai against Adam’s chest, which allowed Adam to finally get his hands on one of the turtles. The other three ninja immediately rushed to Raph’s defense, only for Adam swings Raph like a club into them, hitting all four of them so hard that Harry could hear the bones breaking.

That sound helped Harry to focus, and he finally recovered from the crater creating impact that had left him dizzy and disoriented. Harry unleashed the full might of all four of his force rings, using a modified forzare to not only amplify the force several times over, but also direct it to hit Adam square in the guts, knocking him away from the injured mutant reptiles. At that point, the three knights attacked with drawn swords, two glowing with divine might, the third sheathed in Summer flame. Fighting like they had been a team for all of their lives, the three men forced Adam backwards step by step, until Adam had recovered from the initial onslaught.

Lashing out with a fist that crackled with magic lighting, Adam sent the attack at Fix, who attempted to block it with his flame-wreathed blade, putting as much of his power into the block. The sword shattered, and the punch crumpled Fix’s faerie made armor, sending the Summer Knight flying over a dozen yards away, to land unmoving on the canyon floor.

While Michael spared their injured ally a look of concern, Sanya immediately resumed the attack, aiming Esperacchius right at Adam’s head. Adam caught the blade with one hand, and on feeling the divine power contained within it, attempted to contemptuously snap it in two. To his surprise, the sword resisted even Adam’s incredible might, and even squeezing with everything he had, all he managed to do was cut his palm on the blade. The Sword of Hope could not be broken while hope yet remained in the world. And today, of all days, hope was strongest, for it was gaining a champion that embodied hope.

Taking advantage of Adam’s surprise, Sanya smoothly unslung his assault rifle, pointed the barrel point blank in Adam’s face, and fired. This did little but annoy Adam, who struck Sanya with a frustrated backhand, sending the Knight unconscious to the ground. Adam let the sword fall by Sanya’s side, and turned to face Harry and Michael, the only opposition that remained.

As Harry and Michael readied their weapons, Michael asked quietly, “I don’t suppose there’s some clever part of your plan that you’ve been keeping to yourself until now that you’d like to share?”

Harry, uncharacteristically, had no reply.



TO BE CONCLUDED

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:26 am

Hey guys. I'd intended the last post to be the Finale, but I would up having too much fun with the fight sequence, so I broke it up into two parts. Hope you'll forgive my longwinded ramblings as I bring this story to a close. :mrgreen:

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby EnigmaticOne » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:53 am

Hey, this works fine for me... everything looking dark and bleak, and then Captain Marvel appears. And you've aptly summed out how dangerous Black Adam is once he shook off his rage (like Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes 2 hypothetical fight).

Clear his head, and the enemy will win.
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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Voltron64 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:23 am

EnigmaticOne wrote:Hey, this works fine for me... everything looking dark and bleak, and then Captain Marvel appears. And you've aptly summed out how dangerous Black Adam is once he shook off his rage (like Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes 2 hypothetical fight).

Clear his head, and the enemy will win.


"Come now, you really think you're the only one who can play this game?" :twisted:

Also, relevant for the Spectacular Spider-Man side of this setting.



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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:44 am

Heh, those youtube videos are awesome. A slight bit of back patting, but the bit with the Mask commenting about how he thought Rick would like the sound of Spidey's voice was a nod to the fact that Rick Taylor from the 2010 game and Peter Parker from Spectacular Spider-Man have the same voice actor.

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:46 am

EnigmaticOne wrote:Hey, this works fine for me... everything looking dark and bleak, and then Captain Marvel appears. And you've aptly summed out how dangerous Black Adam is once he shook off his rage (like Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes 2 hypothetical fight).

Clear his head, and the enemy will win.


Yeah, part of why this wound up running so long was that I was just having way too much fun writing up the fight scene. I'm almost tempted to expand this into a full on fanfic, but it'd basically wind up being a Dresden Files length story.

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Voltron64 » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:52 am

You know what I find tolerable about the First Law of Magic, Ares?

That just because you can't kill a human with magic doesn't mean you aren't allowed to put a bullet in them or chop off their head. :wink:
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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:56 am

Voltron64 wrote:You know what I find tolerable about the First Law of Magic, Ares?

That just because you can't kill a human with magic doesn't mean you aren't allowed to put a bullet in them or chop off their head. :wink:


Yep. It's why the Wardens carry those swords. Its a semantics way of keeping your magic from becoming tainted by using purely physical means.

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Re: The Mean Streets of Modern Magic: Lightning Strikes Part

Postby Ares » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:59 am

Plus, having a magically sharp blade that can slice through enchantments is never a bad thing to have either.


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