Tales of the Tattooverse: SiaSP Part 10

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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 8

Postby Arkrite » Sat Jun 26, 2010 10:21 pm

I prefer the title "Devil's Advocate" ;~)

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Stranger in a Strange: Interlude

Postby Tattooedman » Mon Jun 28, 2010 7:27 pm

Stranger in a Strange Place: Interlude: Fade to Black:

She didn't like the situation she was facing right now. She was dealing with being outnumbered, all alone, and dealing with a foe that knew her all her normal tricks. Not a good day for Alexis Reynolds, aka Blackstone, at all as she fired off another shadow blast at the wave of demonic imps that was getting near her as their mistress, Lady Pandemonium, kept firing off her mystical bolts in an effort to keep Blackstone pinned down while she tried to distract Blackstone with verbal assualts.

"The fact that you've not already gotten yourself out of this trap clearly shows you've become too reliant on those meddlers you love to hang out with." She taunted, a wicked smile was on her deep red lips as she started to cast a new spell, her fingers dancing through the routine needed. Since she was actually a demon inhabiting a human body she only needed to perform the somatic components of her spells, speaking was required for humans to perform magic.

Blackstone was distracted by Pandemonium's words as well as the summoned imps to realize what the other woman was doing until it was too late as the spell, known as Bishomon's Mental Anguish, took effect, unleashing an almost crippling seizure of pain through Blackstone's mind as she was flipping through the air above the imps. She instantly fell to the ground and was quickly seized upon by the imps, whose biting and clawing easily ripped through her costume and drew blood and grunts of pain from the young woman. Despite her efforts to free herself, Blackstone was helpless at the moment as long as the imp's kept control of where her arms were pointing she couldn't direct any of her various shadow powers and they held her fast as they propped her up on a dias of the underground chamber they had just fighting in so that their mistress could easily see her face while she spoke with her.

Lady Pandemonium stood across from Blackstone, smoothing out the wrinkles of her gown as the imps finished placing their prisoner and once they were done she simply looked at Blackstone for several moments before speaking. "Now, on to the real reason for our meeting."

That sentence brought a look of shock onto Blackstone's face as her struggling to free herself stopped. "What do you mean?" Her voice was quiet, barely echoing in the chamber despite it's size. "I'd heard you were looking for Star of Rizzinbal, that's why I came here."

Lady Pandemonium smiled a contentedly wicked smile. "I know but sometimes the grapevine can give you poison wine, something to remember Alexis." With the last part of the sentence Lady Pandemonium gave a quick wink in Blackstone's direction before continuing. "No, the real reason I wanted you here was to pass a message from Mendron. He's heard about the disappearance of you little friend, Vega, and would like to offer his services in helping to return him home."

Blackstone said nothing. She didn't have to, the look on her face said it all; anger, lots of anger at the mention of her missing friend.

Lady Pandemonium laughed slightly at the glare she was recieving. "Please, do try that some more. It's rather amusing to see really." When Blackstone still said nothing she continued. "Honestly now, he is serious about helping. You'd be foolish to pass on such a rare offer."

It was this comment that made Blackstone break her silence. "Really? And just what does he get out of it? Mendron is always playing some angle that gets him more out than he's put into anything, period. We both know that so don't stand there and insult me by suggesting otherwise, he's only trying to play on the situation for some other goal he's working on and while I don't know what it is yet... I will soon." The whole time Blackstone had been talking her eyes had been glowing with the ebony energy that was so common to see when she exercised her control over the shadow energies contained in her body, Lady Pandemonium had simply assumed that what she was seeing was a result of Blackstone being angry and her powers surging slightly.

She had been wrong.

Blackstone's scream that accompanied the burst of shadow energy was one that was nothing more than a vent for the anger she had internalized for the past month since Vega's disappearance. It was raw, pain filled and something that she honestly needed even though she'd have never admitted it while the burst itself tore through the imps holding her down, rendering their bodies into meaty chunks that quickly melted back into the nether that they'd been called from. It even managed to reach out far enough that Lady Pandemonium had to raised her mystic shields to protect herself from it, she'd never seen Blackstone do such a thing before and for the first time in a long time she was worried as she realized that this was a completely different woman she was dealing with now compared to times in the past.

Lady Pandemonium questioned if she could manage to hold her own against this rage fueled version of her old foe and decided that it would be in her best interest to take her leave before this situation degenerated into a full on brawl. With a wave of her hand she opened a teleporting gate for herself as she spoke her final words.

"I'll take that outburst as a refusal on the offer then." And like that Lady Pandemonium was gone from the chamber. Not that that fact stopped the lashing out that Blackstone let loose; firing shadow blasts at the floor, striking the walls of the chamber as well as the tomb with her ebony staff. All with an almost animal-like snarl on her lips as Blackstone finally gave in to all the anger and frustration she'd been holding insider herself since Vega's disappearance, she'd never once given up the idea that he was still alive somewhere. The problem was that as time went on she began to doubt if the Alliance would be able to find him so they could bring him home. The more time that passed the less likely it seemed she'd ever hear from him again and it was that thought that drove her to this place. It scared her more than she'd have ever admitted to anyone before, even herself.

After almost twenty minutes later Blackstone fell to her knees, half panting from the excersion she'd subjected herself too and in the darkness of the underground chamber that did nothing to hinder her vision the young woman wrapped her arms around herself and begain to cry as she finally admitted to herself the depths of her feelings for her missing friend.
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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 8

Postby Horsenhero » Mon Jun 28, 2010 8:10 pm

Vega's got a giiiirrrlfriend! Vega and Blackstone sittin' in a tree K-i-.....ahem. Nice to have another chapter up and a visit (albeit a short one) with one of the supporting cast. My favorite, after Ash.

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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 8

Postby Michuru81 » Tue Jun 29, 2010 4:35 pm

Tattooedman wrote:See it's not that "He-from-Illinois-who-won't-be-name" guilts me into getting a new story done up. The funny irony to me is that for the last 2 weeks I've been working on bits & pieces of new story parts and then you-know-who finally gets tired of my procrastination and says something (such a patient fan though) and I start organizing myself a bit more and then ~POOF~ a new part is done & posted up.

He's done that to me every time. I'm starting to think he's some kind of Esper who can pick up my brain waves from a state or two away.


You know that sound coming from your closet? The one that sounds like fingers on a keyboard? Definitely not me...

Seriously though, the only thing more amazing than new chapters here was Arkrite's write up. Wow. That's some serious thought into a wonderful villain. It really raises the bar for the GM too (which we love and hate equally). That was just... wow...

Oh, and Blackstone! Huzzah! I like me some Blackstone...
OUBLIETTE - NVAE: IC | OOC

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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 9

Postby Tattooedman » Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:43 pm

Stranger in a Strange Place: Part 9: Witchy Woman

Jon hovered in front of Mr. Infamy for a few moments, slack jawwed as he considered what the man was offering to him. For his part Mr. Infamy said nothing at all, he simply enjoyed his drink allowing the younger man a few moments to fully understand what he was offering. When he tired of it he spoke in an almost bored tone of voice. "Yes, you heard me correctly Mr. Armstrong, I offered to expedite your efforts to return home." He stops to take another sip of his drink, his voice is relaxed, with a semi-friendly tone to it as he continues. "All I ask is that you preform a favor for me before you would leave, it's a very simple transaction really." Mr. Infamy sat back in the couch with a satisfied grin as he finished re-explaining his offer, his demeanor was relaxed and clearly calm. Almost like he already knew the answer to the offer and was simply waiting for Jon to comfirm it.

The look on Jon's face made it seem like he was debating accepting the offer, though when he did speak it showed that he had been considering parts of the offer more indepth. "So what's the favor you want in return."

"I'm impressed Mr. Armstrong, you're not really that well known for your mental prowness but as to your question.." Mr. Infamy causally glanced about the room in a "I don't know, let me think a minute" gesture before standing up. "Something of equal value to me as what I'm offering you but worry not, it wouldn't be something illegal or criminal in any way. I promise, but for now it's exact nature must remain a secret until it would be time for it to be done."

Jon's lips pressed together in response. "Right, like that sounds on the up and up. Look if you can't tell me what the details are, like who's involved and why you want me of all people to do it, or why you'd even take time out of your day to help me out when I dont' know you from the man in the moon, then I'm gonna have to pass on your deal." He'd stayed in the air the whole time and he had no intention of coming down yet. The more he talked with Mr. Infamy the more Jon felt like he needed a serious shower, this guy simply just gave off a bad vibe.

"Unfortunately I can't give you any of that information, yet, but if you change your mind for any reason you know how to contact me Mr. Armstrong." Mr. Infamy responded, almost light-hearted in tone and as he spoke he tilted his head towards the card still held in Jon's hand. Before Jon could respond Mr. Infamy walked towards the bedroom door, opened it and before walking through it he turned back to Jon. "It seems like we concluded this just in time. Have a nice time here Mr. Armstrong." With that said Mr. Infamy walked through the doorway, shutting the door behind him.

Jon flew across the short space to the door only a few seconds after it had fully shut and flung the door open only to discover that Mr. Infamy was gone. Totally, not a single trace of him could be found, even his drinking glass had disappeared. Then there was the door tone, indicating that someone was at the door, quickly followed by the intercom barking to life as the sound of Seven's voice came through.

"Vega, Is everything alright? Security hasn't been able to get any readings from your room in the last few minutes and you've not responded to any calls." Her voice sounded more worried than her words expressed and brought Jon over to the door where he opened it for the mage, a slightly confused look on his face greeting her.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Just had a odd visitor is all." He wasn't too surprised to find out Mr. Infamy had somehow managed to block out any of the security features in Freedom Hall to suit his needs, he seemed like the type to enjoy an air of mysterious ways about him.

Seven's face relaxes slightly upon seeing Jon unharmed but her eyes scan the room behind him, looking for some sign or clue as to what had been happening in the room. Before she can say anything her communicator, carry the head of security's voice, came to life. "Is everything alright there Seven?" Forcing Seven to bring a small communicator out and answer. "All clear, I've got Vega right in front of me. Continue scanning." As she puts the communicator away without looking, Seven gives Jon an "I'm sorry" look as she pressed her way into his room though Jon didn't try to stop her even though he could have easily enough.

After giving his room another look over Seven turns her attention to Jon. "So was this visitor someone you knew or was it someone new?" To Jon's ears it sounded like she already had a glimmer of an idea who had been in the room with him, but her roundabout way irritated him. "Someone I didn't know, he had some interesting things to say then left. Plan and simple." His tone was curt and invited no other questions, not that she paid attention to it.

Seven instead focused on what he was saying, not how he said it. "So it was a man who bypassed security like it was nothing and just shared some "interesting things" and then left just as easily as he'd came in?" She didn't like where this conversation was going, if it was him then she was worried for the displaced hero.

It was at this point Jon lost what little of his patience he'd had left, his volume raised to match his previous tone as he lashed out. "Look Seven I've known enough mystical types to realize you know something so just spill it. You've got an idea who it was that was in here talking to me, so say what's on your mind and get out. I'm tired of this game your playing already."

Seven didn't flinch once during Jon's outburst, she held his gaze the entire time and waited for him to finish before speaking. "You want me to come right out and say what I'm thinking? Fine, I think it was Mr. Infamy in here trying to make some kind of deal with you. Probably offering you a way back to your home, it's the obvious answer as to what he could do for you. So what did he want in return?"

Jon's eyes returned the stare Seven was giving him but at her admission of her suspicions caused them to widen in surprise but her recovered and proceeded to pick at her theory. "What makes you so sure it was him?"

"In the last couple years I've dealt with him myself a few times so I crafted a charm that picks up his presence as he'd started to spend a large amount of time watching me work while remaining unseen and I didn't like that extra attention. The moment security notified me your room had blacked-out of the system I immediately suspected him, it's his M.O., checked the charm and made my way here." Seven hesitated for a moment then pointed to Jon's hand, hanging down by his side. "Plus, your holding one of his cards."

Jon looked down at his hand and sure enough, there was the all black card with gold letters across it. "Oh." And after an awkward moment of silence he asked the question that was on his mind. "So who is he?"

Seven's short answer did little to settle Jon's unease about the man. "Trouble."


To be continued......
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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 8

Postby Horsenhero » Thu Jul 01, 2010 7:19 pm

....Right heeerrree in River City!

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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 8

Postby Tattooedman » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:38 am

Horsenhero wrote:....Right heeerrree in River City!


Reference to a show on BBC Scotland? Interesting.
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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 9

Postby Horsenhero » Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:55 am

*Cough*. Ummm...actually, it's a reference to the musical "The Music Man". A pleasant little story about a grifter who targets a midwestern American town. One of the musical numbers includes the line: "We've got trouble. Right here in River City. It start with T, which rhymes P and that stands for Pool."

Not being television fluent...I haven't watched a show on television in over a year...I hadn't realized there was any BBC programming that included a place called River City. You learn something new every day.

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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 9

Postby Tattooedman » Fri Jul 02, 2010 9:06 am

Ah....well that was the next reference on Wikipedia. I played with the law of averages on that one, most times it's the first one listed.
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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Place Part 9

Postby Tattooedman » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:24 pm

Dozens of shelves holding various comic books, different RPG books and even a respectable sized section of DVDs cover the walls of a darkened room. A man smoking a cigarette walks into the room and stands in the center for a moment, considering everything held on the shelves before continuing on to a small table hidden in the corner by the large shadows that paint the room.

He turns on the small lamp on the far corner of the table and looks at the small stack of papers still held there by a makeshift paperweight, an old glass ashtray taken from the first motel the he had ever stayed at, and sighs as he takes the almost nub remains of his cigarette and snubs it out in the ashtray.

“Geez…..almost two years, I kinda feel bad about that. Anyways, excuses are for wimps.”

With that the man steps back from the table as he raises his arms up into the air in front of him and his fingers dance through a series of motions. “Rhered Seratiructon!”

The pages suddenly pull themselves free of the makeshift paperweight and begin to fly about the man as the light on the table flares and darkens at a rapid pace, allow anyone to sometimes see some of the tattoos that cover both of his arms in-between the flying pages. The man silently watches the pages as they move through a particular pattern, though he is the only person that can see it at the moment, and he finally produces a new cigarette to light.

“On with the show then.” He says with a hint of a satisfied smirk showing on the edges of his lips.
Last edited by Tattooedman on Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Tales of the Tattooverse: Stranger in a Strange Interlude

Postby Tattooedman » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:27 pm

Stranger in a Strange Place: Interlude: Brothers in Arms

Despite Seven’s warning about Mr. Infamy, Jon still hadn’t run anything that could be tied to the mysterious man months later. He still had the glossy, black card with the gold lettering though, no matter what he did to get rid of it; tearing it to pieces, burning it up, or even simply throwing it away did nothing to remove it’s presence from Jon’s life. Every morning he’d wake up to find it laying on his night stand (again and again and again) so he eventually just left it there and he slowly started to forget about it as his life continued.

Time had a funny way of taking your mind off one problem by giving you others: Jon had found himself developing a reputation as a ‘blue collar’ kind of hero, thanks to his public statements for a preference for adult beverages and his direct manner of speaking in general, and had gained him a following of fans that was slowly growing the more he did around Freedom City. To date Jon had fought more of the colorful criminals that preferred to operate in the town, groups like the Royals or the Masters of Fortune. Or then there were those who preferred to work on their own like Cerebrus Rex, Kid Karma, Lady Blue, Mindpyre, and that Johnny Sixx kid. Then there those who were mentally unstable like Doctor Mayhem (who for some reason insisted that Jon was somehow connected somebody named Gladius, whoever that is) or Foxbat and his crew of flunkies. That didn’t include the trips around the world he’d be on due to his being part of the Freedom League: the African Nation of Dakana to help the White Lion deal with an invasion from a hostile neighboring country, after that it was the undersea city of Atlantis and a rebel faction there followed by a mystery involving a place called Shambala Vale. And on top of all that the League had decided to expand it’s roster so that they could reestablish a presence in Freedom City, so suddenly Freedom Hall had gotten fairly full.

The truth of the matter was that Jon had pretty much forgotten about Mr. Infamy’s offer. He had other matters on his mind - like an appointment today with Adrian Eldrich concerning a possible mystical means of getting Jon back to his home dimension. The displaced hero had been hopeful that the Master Mage would know of some obscure spell or magical object that could do the job but after several hours and many cups of tea Eldrich was forced to admit that there was little he could do to help at this point but promised to keep looking and would contact Jon through Seven if he found anything remotely helpful.

What frustrated Jon the most was that while he had the help of the “best” this world had to offer most of the time that help could only be given a few hours at most and his problem was really only dealt with when one crisis or another had been dealt with. There was nobody who was devoting all of their time and efforts into trying to find a way home for him. He knew that if his situation was reversed with any one of them that his old team, the Alliance, would make the problem one of their top priorities until it was resolved. Maybe it was because in his home dimension there were less heroes and villains, it was hard to say but Jon knew he’d never been this busy in his home dimension as he was in this one.

The wailing of sirens and gunfire drew Jon’s attention.

Case in point. He mentally sighed as he flew down to see what was going on to find the sight of a pair of men fighting with the S.T.AR. Squad amid Pyramid Plaza. Both of them were well built physically and wore matching black jumpsuits with red trim while the only difference between them was that they had a single, high-tech looking, silver bracer on opposing arms. Otherwise they were as different as night and day; one of the men was black with a shaved head and a trimmed bit of facial hair that was so popular nowadays while the other man was white with blonde hair worn in a crewcut and was clean shaven.

They worked together well, like they had been a duo for several years but Jon knew the truth: it was thanks to the devices they pair wore. The two men were linked mentally and thus able to react almost as if they shared one mind between them, it one of the things that made the Battle Brothers dangerous.

Currently they were proving that point as Malcom Manning, the bald Brother, was busy making his way towards the S.T.A.R. Squad as Jack Bryce, the blonde Brother, took choice shots with torn off chunks of a nearby building he was hurling at the special response officers. Jon saw how Bryce’s attacks were making it difficult for the police to get a clear shot at Manning and he would soon be up close enough where he could lay hands on them.

It was a simple, straightforward plan Jon had to admit and nine times out of ten Bryce would quickly move to catch up to Manning so the two of them could finish off the remaining members of the Squad together. At least that’s what the League’s profile on them suggested at least – that the two would always choose to tag-team any opponent they faced given the chance. So Jon knew what he needed to do as he activated his communicator.

“Vega to Freedom Hall, the Battle Brothers are having a scrap with the S.T.A.R. Squad at Pyramid Plaza and I’m about to step in. Somebody might want to let Doc know that he’s gonna have some cleaning up to do here shortly.”

“I’m sure cleaning up after you is on the top of Metropolis’ list of fun things to do, right after cleaning bird scat off statues.” Bowman answered back. He’d volunteered to be the liaison to the new members of the League and had become a regular fixture around the Hall. He and Jon had struck up a friendship over the past few months, the two of them learning that they had a bit of common ground between them as legacies trying to measure up in the big leagues.

Jon grinned under his helmet. “I’ll be sure to send him a thank you card later.”

“I’m sure he’d be touched.” Bowman answered back. “Just watch yourself, those two aren’t pushovers.”

“No worries. I’ve got a plan.”

“Hitting them really hard isn’t a plan.”

“Oh ye of little faith….” Vega said as he began to drop towards the ground and was just under halfway there when Bryce noticed his approach and hurled a chunk of rubble as he yelled a warning to Manning. But Vega had been ready and let the energy he’d been charging go and it intercepted the improvised projectile, obliterating it while Vega continued on his course. This took him right to Manning, who’d not really heard his partner’s warning and his eyes bulged in surprise as Vega broke into his field of vision then collided with him at high speed.

The force of impact was enough to send the well built man flying backwards like he’d been shot from a cannon and he crashed into one of the buildings that surrounded Pyramid Plaza, leaving Vega alone with Bryce.

“Ready to call it a day Bryce?” Vega called out to the other man as crimson energy filled his eyes again.

Bryce laughed. “Hell no! It’s just getting good! We’re called the “Battle Brothers”, not the “I-give-up-too-damn-easy-Brothers” bucket-head.”

Vega shrugged. “I tried to be nice.” He then released the built up energy, to which the other man quickly raised his leg then slammed it down upon the ground in a way that raised a slab of concrete up to block the oncoming blast. The impromptu cover shattered under the force of the beam, pelting both men with hundreds of the tiny remaining bits of concrete as Bryce laughed again. “Nice shooting but I’m not that easy.”

Vega had to admit he was impressed by the trick. Ok, so they’re not just dumb muscleheads. He thought as his feet left the ground and he went from zero to his full speed at a moment’s thought, aiming himself directly at Bryce who just kept chuckling.

Right before the moment of impact with his intended target Vega was blindsided by a drop kick from above him that forced him into the ground as Bryce sidestepped his attack, Vega’s body creating a rut that went on for several feet before his momentum ended. As Vega started to push himself up he could hear two men laughing and a quick glance confirmed that Manning had rejoined the fight but before the duo could act on their momentary advantage the S.T.A.R. Squad began to lay down a new barrage of weapon’s fire that targeted the Battle Brothers.

Both Manning and Bryce took the shots with no trouble and the only damage showing on either man was some smoldering singes on their bared skin as they both moved towards the specialist unit of the police force. Where as before they had seemed to be enjoying their fight with the S.T.A.R. Squad the looks Manning and Bryce wore on their faces were deadly serious and they continued to make their way towards where the remaining members of the Squad were bunkered down.

Jon took a couple of seconds to shake loose the cobwebs he felt in his head and gritted his teeth in frustration, he’d taken them too lightly and gotten his bell rung. Hard. So he needed a new plan, one that gave him the edge over the their numbers advantage…..all he could think of was that he could fly and they couldn’t. Then Jon grinned as he recalled a specific bit of information about the Battle Brothers he’d read in the League’s file on them.

>>>

Manning and Bryce were full on charging their way towards the remaining members of the S.T.A.R. Squad amid a hail of blaster fire that didn’t seem to be doing all that much to slow them down. As far as the Battle Brothers cared they’d already done what their employer had wanted, drawn Vega out and into a fight, thrashing the S.T.A.R.s was a bonus. Something to add to their reputation and a reason to charge more for future work they did.

So when both men simultaneously felt a hand grab them by a shoulder from behind and proceed to lift them both straight up into the air like they weighed nothing was something of a surprise.

Manning was the first of the pair to recover his wits enough to form a question. “What the #$&%!!”

“Hey now, this is a family friendly flight. None o’ that harsh language.” Vega answered with a smirk.

Bryce finally caught on to what had happened. “So you think you’ll just cart us off to wherever?” He wrapped one arm about Vega’s near leg as he spoke. “Not a chance in hell.”

Vega didn’t seem to look worried one bit about what Bryce was doing. “Thanks, that makes my choice easier.”

“What the $#&@ are yo…” Manning started to say but was cut off by Vega’s throwing him up higher into the air, to the point that he’d already passed the top of the tri-towers of the Plaza. Vega immediately followed up with the release of a deep crimson blast of optical energy that hit Manning and pushed him even further up into the skyline of the city, so much so that once the line of energy faded away the man’s outline looked to Bryce like something that he could hold in the palm of his hand.

Then Vega stopped and hauled Bryce up so that he could look him in the eye despite the blonde-haired man’s efforts to hold onto the hero’s leg and it was then that he realized what Vega had done. “You can’t hit me. With him so far away I’m almost totally normal….you’d break my neck or something.”

Vega just smirked and brought one hand up with the index finger held down by his thumb and simply let go, letting the tip of his finger flick Bryce on the chin and the impact of the super-strong digit was more than enough to render the criminal unconscious. Vega then left the now unconscious Bryce lying on the roof of a nearby building as he went to collect his partner before he started getting too much downward momentum.



To be continued……
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