Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

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Horsenhero
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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:53 pm

10 Years Later:

Chapter 4- Evil Without, Evil Within-


He had never liked moving among mortals. He didn't understand them. He wasn't much more comfortable with monsters, but at least he understood them. Monsters, Aesir, Fallen and of course, Giants. Fatalistic, ambitious and cruel, these beings were kin to him. Not literally of course, except for the giants, but he felt kinship with all of them. Mortals, though, mortals confused him, angered him and frightened him. Mortals could be fatalistic, ambitious and cruel, but not like his kind. Mortals were also optimistic, compassionate and on rare occasions even altruistic. They led brief lives, buffeted by forces over which they had little or no control, yet they rarely despaired. If you would've asked millenia ago, he would have predicted the end of mortals, yet somehow, it was the short-lived who prevailed. His kind, much the Aesir, had once been men. Men of power. Men of magic. Unlike the Aesir, they were never offered Idunn's gift.

Despite living as neighbors to the Aesir, they were shunned. Like all other mortals they could easily have allowed themselves to be satisfied living brief, desperate lives, hoping their works would bestow a mythic reputation upon them, conferring a weak sort of immortality in the memory of their descendants. They had seen death walking across the land and they had witnessed immortals born. In no way would they quietly accept death when they knew eternal life was possible. So they worked great magicks and achieved their immortality. Forging powerful rune magics, they bound their lives to elemental forces. Forces of stone. Forces of frost. Forces of fire. It was hazardous work and few of them survived the process, but they had done it.

The forces they worked with warped their forms however. They grew twisted, monstrous and...giant. Worse still, as time passed their fertility plummeted. Pregnancies were difficult among their kind. Women died during labor and stillbirths were common and all the magic at their command availed them not at all. So they turned to Aesir and mortal men and women for mates. Once in a great while such a pairing would result in a child that could be adopted into their tribe. A Jotun. Usually though, a pregnancy meant the birth of a creature twisted by the very magic that made them immortal. Trolls and sea serpents. Dragons and fearsome beasts of all sorts were loosed on the earth by Jotun births gone wrong.

Even as they found breeding difficult, dying came far more easily. They had conflicts with tribes of Aesir in Scandanavia, in Ireland and in Greece. They also had conflicts with the Fallen and their spawn. Over time wars on multiple fronts whittled away at their numbers until millenia later, only HE remained. Him and two others, who spent as much time warring against each other as they did anything else. So it was he embarked on a quest to insure his own survival, because even after untold thousands of years, he lusted for life and feared death. He had nearly succeeded too. Almost nothing could destroy him. Almost nothing, except...the sword.

The sword of Frey could kill any Jotun. There was no defense. No spell, no armor, no pact could save a giant from that blade. Fortunately, only direct descendants of Frey could wield it and of those, only one remained. Once he completed the ritual and re-established command of his slave, he would send forth his slave to end the threat forever. He would have done it himself, but fate had a way of bringing the blade to its' wielder when a giant came calling, and he had no desire to take that risk. Soon though, his worries would be over, his fears laid to rest.


"Well, are any of you going to answer me?" Turning around, Sophie saw Jason Lamperouge standing in the Wreck Room, glowering at them. The dutch girl's lower lip started to tremble as she fought back guilty tears.

"We brought them here." The Bertrand twins said after a few moments. To their credit, the appearance of the teacher hadn't provoked a detectable emotional response from the duo.

The instructor had surprised them. After several minutes of looking around the huge, pristine room, Janez had finally spoken up. "Obviously, staring at the walls isn't going to magically give any answers, so come on ladies...what happened?"

Antero frowned at his roommate's flippancy and Sophie gasped at his insensitivity. Danielle and Darielle's older brother had been one of the victims that day. The dark and light twins seemed unfazed though. They didn't eve twitch. "According to our parents.."

"This area is off limits! What are you doing here?" Everyone jumped like a whip had been cracked. Professor Lamperouge stood near the door to the control room scowling, his eyes flinty.

Which brought them to the present moment. "Why would you bring them here?"

"To show them the scene of the crime. Antero wished to understand why the school shut down the Wreck Room, since his reason for enrolling here was to receive combat training."

"Do you have any idea how foolish you're being? How reckless?" The American growled.

"I'm afraid I don't understand sir." Antero cut in, drawing that hostile gaze away from the girls.

"Jason motioned toward the elevator. "It would be better if we discussed this in my office."

"Sir?" Sophie said hestantly. "I hope you aren't planning on sending us away without explaining why."

The cyborg neo-sapien shook his head and sighed. "No Miss Brouwer, I'm not going to keep you in the dark, colloquially speaking. When I was a student here, we were often subjected to information sequestration. Several times the consequences of that policy were nothing short of disastrous."

"Thank you sir."

Exiting the elevator on the ground floor, the students found Pallas standing quietly under the watchful gaze of Otso Karrell. jason motioned for her to follow as well and the entire group marched to the genius instructor's office. Once inside, Mr. Karrell closed the door behind them and leaned against it, a barricade against any unwanted interruptions.

"So," Jason said. "tell me again, what broght on this sudden desire to trespass in an area off limits to students?"

"We were curious to see where our brother and the others died." The twins responded.

Otso spoke up then. "I think we owe them the truth Jason. The whole truth."

"What truth?" Antero asked, suddenly very attentive. It wasn't just him though, all six students present perked up at the big man's statement.

The American sighed, but nodded in assent. "Very well. You all have undoubtedly heard that the sophmore class, as well as Headmistress Fischer were all killed. What you haven't been told, what nobody has been told, is that it wasn't random and it wasn't an outsider. Nearly the entire class was killed, butmost of those deaths were to cover up the murder of one student...Gunnar Weber. Worse, the murderer was a member of that very class and has yet to be captured."

"Wait a second." Janez interjected. "How do you know Gunnar Weber was the target?"

"Because of how he was killed." The teacher code-named Paradigm answered. "All the other students were killed by the neo-sapien powers of the murderer, but Gunnar was killed with a dagger especially enchanted to kill someone like him."

"What do you mean...someone like him?" The Slovenian teen pressed.

"Gunnar was a rare type of SPB, an immortal. Normally if slain, he would return from the dead in a week or two. In rare cases it might take longer. The weapon he was killed with negated that ability. It stands to reason that he was the specific target. The killings weren't some mad rampage."

"Why shut down the Wreck Room then?" Sophie asked, her curiosity overcoming her shyness.

"Because we don't know why it was done. Maybe the next class would have had a target among them too. The Wreck Room has one entrance. One exit. Until we know why we can't risk possibly repeating that situation and the only person who could tell us is the student responsible and he escaped."

"Who was the student who did this?" Danielle and Darielle asked.

"Anthelion." Otso rumbled, looking at the girls. "Your brother, Denis."

Next: Conspiracy, Research and a Quest for a Sword...
Last edited by Horsenhero on Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:10 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:59 pm

Arkrite wrote:Got to feel bad for Valkyrie.
I can't imagine that power would do anything good for one's personality.

Also the big bad is a little more frightening in that it's capable of taking out immortals. At least if this build is any indication of what her brother was like.


Gunnar, aka Donar would pretty much be identical to Valkyrie as far as his powers went (except for the death-sight). So yeah, the villain is frightening...but also frightened as the latest chapter reveals.

EDIT: Of course now that I'm a few chapters in, I'm really curious as to what the creator of Oubliette thinks of my latest effort.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:21 pm

Bonus Feature...


Luminesce

PL 8 120PP


Identity: Danielle Bertrand
Country: France
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 118lbs
Hair: Platinum Blonde
Eyes: Gold
Age: 16

Abilities-

Strength 10 (+0) Dexterity 16 (+3) Constitution 12 (+1)
Intelligence 16 (+3) Wisdom 14 (+2) Charisma 10 (+0)

Feats-

Attack Focus(Ranged) 6, Defensive Roll 2, Dodge Focus 6, Equipment 1, Fearless, Improved Aim, Improved Critical(Laser) 2, Improved Initiative 1, Precise Shot, Uncanny Dodge (visual)

Skills-

Acrobatics 4(+7), Computers 6(+9), Concentration 8(+10), Craft:Chemical 8(+11), Drive 4(+7), Escape Artist 8(+11), KS:Life Sciences 8(+11), KS:Physical Sciences 6(+9), KS:Technology 4(+7), Language 2 (Native: French+ English, German), Notice 8(+10), Search 4(+7), Stealth 6(+9)

Powers-

Feature 1 Empathic Link with Darielle

Immunity 10 Light Based Effects

Light Control 8 Primary Power Environmental Control Extra-Ranged
AP...Laser 8 Damage Extra- Ranged
AP...Dazzle 8 Visual senses
AP...Dazzle 8 Extra-AoE Burst Flaw-Range Touch
AP...Concealment 4 All Visual Senses, PF: Selective

Super-Senses 3 Ladar- Radius vision, Counters Concealment

Equipment-
Vindicators Uniform- Protection 3, Subtle, Commlink


Saves-

Toughness 1/3*/6** Fortitude 6 Reflex 10 Will 8
* with Defensive Roll
** with Defensive Roll & Uniform


Combat-

Initiative +7
Attack +2
Melee +2 DC15
Ranged +8 DC23 Toughness DC18 Fort.

Defense 20 ff12

Totals-

Abilities 16+ Feats 22+ Skills 19+ Powers 33+ Combat 12+ Saves 18= 120pp
Last edited by Horsenhero on Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:47 pm

Bonus Feature...


Tenebrous

PL 8 120PP


Identity: Darielle Bertrand
Country: France
Height: 5' 5"
Weight: 118lbs
Hair: Black
Eyes: Indigo
Age: 16

Abilities-

Strength 10 (+0) Dexterity 16 (+3) Constitution 12 (+1)
Intelligence 16 (+3) Wisdom 14 (+2) Charisma 10 (+0)

Feats-

Attack Focus(Melee) 6, Attack Specialization(Dazzle) 2, Defensive Roll 2, Dodge Focus 6, Equipment 1, Fearless, Improved Initiative 1, Uncanny Dodge (Visual)

Skills-

Acrobatics 3(+6), Computers 6(+9), Concentration 7(+9), Craft:Chemical 8(+11), Drive 2(+5), Escape Artist 6(+9), KS:Life Sciences 7(+10), KS:Physical Sciences 6(+9), KS:Technology 3(+6), Language 2 (Native:French+ English, German), Notice 8(+10), Search 3(+6), Stealth 7(+10)

Powers-

Feature 1 Empathic Link with Danielle

Darkness Control 8 Obscure Visual Senses PF:Dynamic
AP...Dazzle 8 Visual
AP...Drain Constitution 8 Extra- Vampiric PF:Dynamic
AP
...Emotion Control 8 Extra- Contagious Flaw- Fear Only PF:Dynamic
AP
...Fatigue 8 PF:Dynamic

Immunity 10 Darkness Effects

Super-Senses 2 Darkvision- vision counters concealment

Equipment-
Vindicators Uniform- Protection 3, Subtle, Commlink


Saves-

Toughness 1/3*/6** Fortitude 6 Reflex 10 Will 8
*with Defensive Roll
**with Defensive Roll & Uniform


Combat-

Initiative +7
Attack +2
Melee +8 DC18 Fortitude
Ranged +2
Dazzle +6 DC18 Fortitude
Emotion Control DC18 Will

Defense 20 12ff

Totals-

Abilities 16+ Feats 20+ Skills 17+ Powers 37+ Combat 12+ Saves 18= 120pp

:arrow: Despite my best efforts, the differences in utility between the twins powers meant they couldn't be exactly identical in point expenditures.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Shock » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:44 am

The twins look like a scary tag team. I wonder about the utility of Vampiric on Darielle's Drain. Would that do anything other than restore lost Con points?

Also, yay for the unexpected Violet cameo! ;}

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:03 am

The Vampiric only restores lost Con unfortunately. I was trying to keep Darielle's powers less meta-physical and so her abilities mostly are about light (and to a much lesser degree, heat) absorbtion. This leaves Tenebrous with a dearth of damaging effects, but not a complete lack of utility. Her Drain is simply causing hypothermia in her victims and boosting her own metabolism as a result. Her "Emotion Control" relies on making shadowy patches the do creepy things around the victim, provoking an atavistic response (people have a deeply ingrained fear of the dark), it isn't an actual mental or chemical effect. It doesn't work on blind people or in situations where her victim cannot see what's happening around them (both situational complications).

I tried to keep Danielle similarly focused as a light (and to a lesser degree, heat) generator/manipulator.

Without the metaphysical aspects of these powersets, there's no flight, or teleportation or created objects, or "solid light/dark", making it more challenging for the twins to be out and out ass-kickers, but I like how they turned out nonetheless.

As for Violet, it was my pleasure. The story is outlined, but fluid enough for me to make small adjustments and when you mentioned some of the newer characters in the pbp thread, I found a spot where I could insert one (by removing Victor). It was cool because then I got to put my "similar theme/different execution" thought process to work on Violet as I had every other player character from the pbp that shows up. Violet became a geo-kinetic, which is always a neat powerset.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Michuru81 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 4:59 pm

Not only am I enjoying the journey you're taking me on, HH, I'm finding myself jealous of your flair for prose. There are several moments where I stop, groan, and berate myself for not being able to write this well. Your prologue does a wonderful job of establishing tone, and paints a very vivid picture of who the characters are, and the world they live in. Right from the start, you pull your audience in. Bravo.

Proceeding from there... it's great, but jarring as we leap from coupling to coupling. I get what you're looking to accomplish--introduce us to the cast, and jump into the meat of the story--but I found myself wanting to spend a bit more time getting to know Jan and Antero, and then felt yanked away by Felix and Volkan. I recovered, but it sort of made me resent those characters a smidge.

Also, I figure that it's just you building your world--making it feel more three-dimensional--but I find myself wondering about Bartholomew Hastings and Manfred Furst and what makes them such a bad pairing.

Horsenhero wrote:Michuru is much, much better at creating characters with oddball powers than I am.


See, you say that, but here I am secretly plotting to steal Antero's drawback at some point. I seriously don't know why I've never really applied that to anyone...

Arkrite wrote:Also the big bad is a little more frightening in that it's capable of taking out immortals. At least if this build is any indication of what her brother was like.


I'm with Arkrite. I was feeling for Mallorie--and praying Tero wouldn't be so insensitive to come up and go, "So, I heard your brother was once horrifically murdered here. What can you tell me about it?" Then I got to Newton's bit about "There are ways to kill even those of your children's lineage" and felt chills. A butcher of immortals--awesome!
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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:09 pm

Well by this point in the story you've discovered Which Aesir is Mallorie and Gunnar's father and why their deaths are important to the villain (even if the main cast hasn't). The reasons for the murders are small in the grand scheme of things, but very important to the killer.

I'm not sure if I'll get to introduce Felix Reiter (Bogey) and Volkan Yilmaz (Zindan) to the story in a meaningful way, even though originally they were meant to be among the main cast.

As for Bartholomew Hastings (Recreant) and Manfred Furst (Gilt), the reason they're bad roommates has nothing to do with Manfred and everything to do with Bart. Bartholomew's neo-sapien power allows him to summon (but not necessarily control) ghosts and demons. Needless to say, nobody really wants to room with Bart. Manfred has the King Midas power. He transforms objects he touches into gold...temporarily. He's sort of like the Grey Gargoyle, but with gold and without the badass physique.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:39 am

10 Years Later:

Chapter 5: The Menace of Denis-


The prisoner slammed his fists into the glass walls of his cage again and again. Pain lanced up his arms and his battered knuckles left bloody streaks on the glass, but nothing he did put so much as a scratch in those barriers between him and freedom. Up until now, he'd bided his time patiently, waiting for rescue or for his captor to make a mistake. Now he was desperate. Each day the giant had more preparations made. Runes were etched, candles lit, goats tied next to his glassine box. As soon as the iron blade had it's enchantment reawakened his captor would once again perform the ritual that made him kill. His foolishness had caused so much death already and soon there would be more.

Janez, Antero, Sophie and Paula stood quietly by and watched as the french girls worked. Darielle worked determinedly on the computer while her sister was on the phone with their parents. Mostly she spoke with her father, since it was from him they got their powers. As far as the others could tell, their father had the full spectrum of their powers as did their older brother. Something odd had happened with the girls. Some unexpected genetic quirk left each with only half the powers that were their birthright. Danielle could generate photons. Darielle could absorb them. Apparently Denis could do both, as could their father, Daniel. What they were confused about was how Denis became so powerful. Daniel was more powerful than any of his children, or he had been, but during the slaughter of his classmates, Denis had demonstrated unimagined potency.

The research was going slowly as Darielle parsed through every snippet of information the school possessed on both the twins and their brother, trying to find something, anything in the histories or psychological profiles that would account for his murder spree and subsequent disappearance. Since he was six years older than the girls the last time they'd seen him before his freshman year, the girls had been nine. Nine year old girls who, like most girls that age paid little attention to their older brother. Darielle was cursing that disinterest now. Lacking personal assessments of his character, Danielle had decided to call their parents. The conversation was progressing slowly as the twins' parent recieved the new revelations about the events of that day...poorly. The blonde daughter was trying to be supportive in her own way, but frustration with her parents emotional response was written all over her face. Not one of the loitering classmates dared voice what they were all thinking. Perhaps someone not as emotionally stunted as Danielle ought to be speaking to the bereaved adults.

"The four of you can leave you know." Darielle said as she studied her lder brothers' psychological profile.

"I started this," Antero said, folding his arms defiantly across his chest. "I want to help."

Darielle spun around on her chair. "Really? Do you honestly wish to help or do you simply feel guilty about bringing my brother's actions to light and the grief those actions have caused my parents?"

"To help." He said thickly, the emotion in his voice indicating Darielle may have been more accurate than he would admit in her assessment of his motives.

"Very well," She said, ignoring his discomfort. "let's make a quick list of things that need to be done. First, somebody needs to inform Mallorie her life may be in danger."

"Why just Mallorie?" Paula asked. "Shouldn't everyone know there's a killer out there?"

Darielle stared at her for a moment, perplexed. "Did you not listen to anything Professor Lamperouge told us? My brother killed eleven of his classmates. Ten of them were slain using his neo-sapien powers, however, Gunnar Weber was murdered with a knife. A magic dagger that negated his immortality. It doesn't take much in the way of deductive reasoning to conclude he was the primary target of the attack. Since Denis was never caught and the blade never recovered and this is Mallorie's first year at this school, it is reasonable to assume, until we can prove otherwise she in direct peril. The danger to anyone else is window dressing."

"I'm sure that'll be heap of comfort if somebody ends up dead." Paula muttered under breath. "Sorry your kid ended up dead, but that murder was only window dressing, so don't be too upset."

"What was that?"

"I said...right, how foolish of me." Paula knew it just the darkness manipulator's personality, but she wanted to slap the condescending bitch right about now.

Darielle however, gave no further thought to it, once she'd repeated Mr. Lamperouge's deduction. "Second, we need to locate classmates willing to act as bodyguards for her."

"Really?" Paula snapped. "She's probably the most powerful person in our class overall, and we're gonna protect her?"

"Paula!" The normally meek Sophie hissed. "Shush up!"

The aquatic superhuman glared, but pressed her lips tightly together.

"As I was saying," Darielle continued. "we need to find volunteers. Thirdly, we're hungry and would greatly appreciate somebody making a food run."

Janez grinned. "Finally, something I have the skills for."

"Don't we need to discover the motive for the attack?" Sophie asked.

"I've been trying unsuccessfully to do just that. Nothing in these files points to any obvious motive and I don't know where else to look."

"I have a question." Antero announced, absurdly raising his hand as if he was in class.

"Yes?" Darielle responded, her cool voice displaying that apparently universal respectful patience for Antero that Janez simultaneously hated and envied.

"Why would she be in trouble now? Why not at the last foster home?"

Everyone stopped for a moment, staring first at Antero, then at each other.

"What is different than last year or the year before that or even six years ago, when her brother was killed?"

"Oh my god," Janez smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand. "you're brilliant. Suddenly, we're acting like there's this desperate rush to find answers, when the only thing that's changed is, we know what happened."

"No, that's not true." Sophie was shaking her head. "She's here. She's where her brother was when he died. Maybe the reason she's been safe is because where she was wasn't public knowledge? It seems like it shouldn't matter, but what if being at the academy is puts her in danger?"

Darielle chewed on her bottom lip as she thought, which Janez found incredibly cute and horribly distracting. "You're right. We need to know exactly where she's been and what her circumstances were. Maybe she's in greater danger now. Maybe not. One thing we know is Denis fled the scene and hasn't been seen since, either dead or alive. Regardless of Mallorie's peril or lack thereof, we have to try to find him."

"Don't forget," Added Danielle, having finished the call to her parents, she now joined the conversation. "somebody supplied him with a dirk that kills immortals, which was only used on Gunnar, not Newton or any other immortal we know of. It's highly probable that whoever supplied him the blade amplified his powers somehow. I also think I know the key to divining Denis' motivation. According to our parents he'd been seeing the school psychologist for counseling."

"They aren't going to let us look at those files." Janez said, punching his palm. "Patient records are confidential."

"They don't have to let us do anything." Sophie smirked.

Paula wore a sly smirk as well. "Vibrator girl can walk through walls, remember?"

Next: A Plan comes Together...
Last edited by Horsenhero on Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Sat Mar 01, 2014 1:42 am

Sorry for the short chapter, but I cut out some stuff that I decided I didn't like. I'll try to make up for it by beefing up chapter 6.

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Michuru81 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 10:14 am

Horsenhero wrote:Sorry for the short chapter, but I cut out some stuff that I decided I didn't like. I'll try to make up for it by beefing up chapter 6.


We're going to hold you to it. ;)

I'm eager to see who--if any--they get to act as bodyguards.
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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:28 am

Next chapter will introduce the readers to a couple students outside the Sophmore class. While the story focuses on my sextet of protagonists, the active cast gets a pretty decent expansion in chapter 6.

Because like all good splatterfests, body count is important. :twisted:

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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Michuru81 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 11:34 am

Horsenhero wrote:Because like all good splatterfests, body count is important. :twisted:


Preachin' to the choir...
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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Sun Mar 02, 2014 5:57 pm

10 Years Later:

Chapter 6: Plan vs. Plan-


Fire burned in the braziers and a low, rumbling chant filled the room. In his cage he screamed and screamed as sigils, years old and coldly quiet, flared to hot life on his skin. He raged. He cursed. He felt the self he thought regained sizzling away in a miasma of flame and blood. Shadows danced within him as supernovas flared before his eyes. Then it was over. He knew what he had to do. He felt the bile of jealousy boil up his throat and as the door to his cage opened he grasped desperately for the cold iron of the black blade. His powers had been diminished once. Overshadowed by those less deserving. He had risen to the pinnacle and been bathed in their glorious fear. Now they feared him no more and he would have to reinforce the lesson.

"Go my righteous instrument. Strike down those who cast you aside and praised others instead of you."

In a burst of light and shadow, he went.


"You are joking right? This is some kind of prank isn't it?"

Paula Cabrera frowned. The sextet of cadets, she hated that word, but Janez insisted on it. He thought it made them sound more official or more important than calling themselves students. The girl from the Canary Islands found it more than a little pretentious, but Janez wheedled and cajoled until everyone gave in. Anyway, the sextet of cadets had been canvassing the school to find bodyguards for Mallorie. More accurately Antero, Janez and Paula were tasked with recruiting bodyguards. Danielle and Darielle were still trying to figure out exactly why their brother went berserk and killed his classmates. Additionally, they were responsible for finding out as much as possible about the magic dagger. This second research project seemed like a waste of time to Paula. Nobody at the school was a mage. No one knew the first thing about magic. She felt like they were fish trying to quantify the moon. Finally there was Sophie. her roommate, petite, shy, Sophie Brouwer. Sophie got the odd jobs. Steal confidential files. Try to keep the faculty from interfering and convince Mallorie to play along with their paranoid theory. Paula was of the opinion they ought to have Antero speak with her. Tero was hunkalicious and even if the German girl was disinclined to buy into the bodyguard thing, the big Fin was fine eye candy and might just go along to spend time with him. Janez had argued it should be Sophie. The elfin dutch girl with the pixie cut hair was too cute for anyone to refuse. As usual, Janez bullied them all into submission by simply running his mouth until they all gave in just to shut him up.

Now Paula was on the quad, trying to do her part. Her primary target was Stefan Gillenbrand, a yummy senior from Luxembourg. Stefan had been playing frisbee with Tommaso De Luca and Georgi Katzarov when she interrupted them. It was the bespectacled, studious Tommaso who'd expressed...doubt regarding paula's proposition. Now the cocoa complected girl was frowning. She didn't really care for the Junior, she immediately concluded.

"No, as a matter of fact, I'm not joking. I also wasn't speaking to you."

Stefan held up his hand, palm facing outward. "Hold on. Let me see if I understand this correctly. You want me to take on the role of bodyguard..."

"Part time bodyguard."

"...part time bodyguard, protecting Mallorie Weber, Valkyrie, one of the most powerful students at this academy because two girls from France believe their brother, who has never met her, is planning to kill her?"

"In a nutshell? Exactly. If we're right, he's going to stab her to death with a magic dagger."

Stefan cocked his head to the side. "You didn't mention he's a mage."

"He's not. He's a full-spectrum, light controller."

"But he's got a magic dagger."

"That's the operating theory."

"Ludicrous!" Tommaso exclaimed. "Stefan you're being punked. This is stupid!"

"I'm. Not. Talking. To. You!" Paula growled, her sea green eyes stormy. Her body shifted underneath the serape' she habitaually wore and Tommaso stepped back, suddenly worried one of the prettiest girls on campus was about to beat him up.

"I'll help." A low, sibilant voice piped up. It was Georgi Katzarov. Despite being in Paula's class, she knew almost nothing about the sharp featured boy from Bulgaria. It occured to her that except for Tommaso, she didn't really know much about any of these young men. Stefan was supposed to be a bad ass. So much so, he was considered a lock for Vindicators membership after graduation. His school codename was Quietus, which meant death or the last word. Either way, it sounded like he wasn't anyone to mess with. Georgi Katzarov was a complete mystery to her. He was kind of sinister looking and was the only student who was unfazed by creepy, Bartholomew Hastings. That was the extent of her information. Tommaso De Luca, she knew. That rare combination of intellectual and lothario, his ability to see into the past was pretty much useless for what she had in mind. He would make for a fine historian or detective, assuming he wasn't jailed for statutory rape at some point, but as a bodyguard, he was three centimeters past useless.

"Great." She said, favoring Georgi with a wide smile. Claspnig her hands behind her back and casting her gaze groundwar, she tried to look sheepish. It almost worked. "If you don't mind me asking, exactly what is your power?"

"I have complete psychokinetic control over fiber, organic or synthetic."

Paula was left gaping. "Umm...I'm sure that's incredibly cool, but I don't...Eep!" Suddenly her serape' squeezed in on her, pinning her arms to her side and crushing the wind out of her. Her eyes went wide as her classmate grinned evilly. Then, the poncho-like garment went slack.

"You were saying?"

"Welcome to the team...?"

"Gallows"

Paula shuddered as an image of being lynched by her own clothing flashed before her minds' eye. The sinister looking teen's power was suddenly very frightening. "Right. Welcome to the team Gallows."

"Sign me up too." Stefan said, a lop-sided smirk on his face.

"I'm almost afraid to ask, but what is it you do?"

"This." Red flames flared from his hands and coalesced into an ornate, double headed, battle-axe.

"Color me impressed." Paula had scored an unexpected two for one and felt a little giddy at her success.

"Who else have we got?" Stefan asked, letting the axe of red fire flicker out of existence.

"Antero Tuominen, Sophie Brouwer, janez Vidmar and the Bertrand twins, of course. Janez is going to speak with Felix Reiter and Tero is going to try Valechka Boiko."

"Valechka Boiko? Are you certain that's wise?" Stefan asked, instantly more like an older brother concerned his sister could get hurt, than an axe wielder who's alias translated as death. "She's just a freshman."

"You've seen the footage of her, right?" Paula asked. "We'd be idiots not to at least ask her to help. I mean, everyone knows who she is the spitting image of...at least as far as powers go."

Stefan nodded. "Quintessence."

"Right. Quintessence. That's too bad ass to ignore."

"That's insane!" Tommaso practically spat. "She's fourteen years old! How irresponsible can you...huch!"

The italian stumbled back from the strong fingers that touched his cheek. With a spasm, he collapsed on the lawn. "I told you...I'm not in the mood for your crap, Tommaso!" The distaff neo-sapien snarled.

"What did you do to him?" Georgi asked, kneeling beside the other boy, checking his vitals.

"Paralytic sting." Paula wiggled her fingers. "Non-fatal, but perfect for turning down the volume on screechy voiced pests."

"If he reports you there'll be trouble." Georgi looked up, satisfied De Luca would survive.

"I know." Paula rubbed her temples and sighed. "I'm sorry, but he was about three centimeters past being an annoying bitch.'

"Sooo, we've agreed to help," Stefan steered the conversation back on point. "now what?"

"We're having a meeting at eight tonight in the cantina to coordinate a schedule."

"We'll be there."

Meanwhile, across campus, Antero had walked into a situation he wasn't certain how to handle. It wasn't that he didn't knock, he did. And he was sure he'd heard the words come in from the room. When he opened the dorm room door he was confronted with a seriously heavy make-out session in progress. he was pretty certain the girl in the blazer and skirt, wearing low heeled pumps was Valechka. However, he had no idea who the thick, bodied, bleach blonde guy pressing her up against the headboard was. All he knew was their kissing was sloppily noisy and their hands were roaming everywhere. Just as he was recovering and backing out of the room, averting his eyes, face beet red, a girlish voice stopped him.

"Mmph. Hold on. Shlup." Then the pair on the bed pulled apart, revealing both as girls and Tero went even redder. The bleach blonde with the short hair, wearing dungarees, flannel shirt and Doc Martens was boy-ish, but definitely female.

"Hey there big fella, how can we help you?" Amazingly, the high pitched, breathy voice belonged to the butch girl. Tero was simply in shock. He had nothing against gays, whether male or female, but the scene confronting him was so far removed from what he'd expected to find that he was having difficulty processing it. His mouth was moving, but no sound was coming out.

"Maybe we should have stopped before he came in?" The thin girl he assumed was Valechka, said. In contrast to the breathy voice of her companion, her voice was raspy and rough, as if she'd been nursing a two pack-a-day habit for the last twenty years.

"Valechka Boiko?" He asked hesitantly.

"That's me," She said in her gravelly voice. "and this is my girlfriend, Kristjana Eydisdottir."

"Just Kris. Only my parents call me Kristjana."

"Right...right." he said drawing the words out, as his mind finally caught up with the situation. He was positive he would've been okay, if he hadn't walked in on Asterix swapping spit with the Obelix. "Sorry to bother you, but I have something to ask you."

Both young ladies leaned forward and Kris draped her arm protectively over Valechka's shoulders. "Ask away."

"It concerns Mallorie Weber."

From there the conversation went smoothly. Valechka was remarkably receptive to the plan concerning mallorie. So receptive in fact, she encouraged her girlfriend to join the bodyguard corps. Antero was relieved to discover that while Valechka, it was always Valechka, never Val, commanded the same cosmic forces the legendary Quintessence had, her partner was no weak sister. The burly girl from Iceland had the power to become a giant. She could grow to a staggering twenty four feet tall, with a corresponding increase in strength and mass. As soon as the Wreck Room was reopened, whenever that might happen, Kris and Tero vowed to face off in a friendly, head to head, weight-lifting competition. he left the girls' dormitory feeling pretty good. If the others were as successful, they would have round the clock protection for their immortal classmate in very short order.

Antero figured with the addition of three or four more volunteers, they'd be able to assign shifts of two, maybe three hours of single bodyguards, except for the shift taken by Danielle and Darielle. The twins didn't function well as individuals. When he entered the cafeteria just before eight, his jaw about crashed to the floor for the second time in one day. Mallorie was sitting down, hunched over to look as small as possible. Sophie sat next to her, speaking quietly. The Finnish powerhouse assumed it was words of encouragement she was whispering to the muscular girl. That wasn't what had him stunned though. No, it was the sheer number of students in the room. There were no fewer than fifteen students, plus Mr. Karrell, Mr. Lamperouge and Mrs. Woolf-Amanar in attendance.

"Close your mouth my man, you're catching flies." Janez elbowed him, grinning.

"This is...this is...unbelievable."

"Nah. This is what you get when a bunch of teenagers with way more power than sense are suddenly offered the chance to show off what they can do."

"How did you get all these people to help?"

"Some of them are jumping at the chance to help a schoolmate in trouble. I think most of the girls are doing it out of that wierd pack solidarity girls have, and some of these guys are just looking for an excuse to hurt somebody. Of course, for most of our male compatriots it doesn't hurt that Paula runs around in short shorts, no matter what the weather is like."

"Regardless," Antero said looking around. "this is just...wow."

Janez shrugged unimpressed. "Meh. We still didn't get everyone we wanted. There's a boatload of combat capable members of the Senior and Junior classes who bailed on us."

"Who's that taking to the twins?"

"Arne Halvorsen. Besides Mallorie and the Bertrands, his brother was involved six years ago."

Looking at the slender, young man with the shock of orange hair involved in what appeared to be an emotional debate with the twins, Tero asked; "Why's he so worked up?"

"Paula told him to go back to the dorm. His powers aren't exactly...overwhelming."

"What's he do?"

"His powers allow him to shift his perceived visual image away from his actual location. he's got a really limited range though...like five feet."

"That's it?"

"I think he's also got a green belt in Karate from his local youth center."

"Oh."

"Yeah, I think my grandmother on my human side could kick his ass. Anyway, the girls are trying to explain the problem to him, but he's thinking about payback."

"He'll get killed if Denis attack s and he's there."

"Yes...yes he will."

Antero took his turn to frown then. "Why don't the teachers just make him go back to his room?"

"I guess they're going to let us work out these problems ourselves." The Slovenian teen said airily. "Mr. Karrell and Mrs. Woolf-Amanar seem to be here to make certain we're treating this seriously enough and lord knows why Mr. Lamperouge is here. I mean he can make most super-computers look slow and stupid, he's probably run through a couple thousand scenarios in his head by now."

"So why doesn't he explain it to Halvorsen?"

"Explain what? You think a kid out for revenge is going to listen? Nah. The only easy way to turn him around would be for Paula to put that hot body to work and promise him if he goes away, she'll let him feel her up."

"Really? That's your solution?"

"It'd work on me."

"You're a little twisted."

"This is a shock...how?" Janez chuckled.

Then over the din of conversation, a clear, melodic voice rang out. "Could everyone please take their seats?"

Paula, despite not wanting to be involved initially, had settled comfortably in the role as leader. "Now, everyone is aware of why we're here correct? In a moment, I'm going to have everyone introduce themselves and give a short summation of your neo-sapien or esper ability. After which we'll work on formulating optimal partnerships for bodyguard duty, but first allow me to introduce the young lady we are here to support. Mallorie, could you please stand up?"

And so it went. First Mallorie was introduced and the background of her potential threat revealed. The debate over the likelihood of an attempt on her life began again, but Mr. Lamperouge snuffed it quickly. When the super-cyborg called Paradigm told you he'd done the math and the probability of an assault was in the high seventieth percentile range, you didn't argue. After that, introductions were made. Paula went first, then Sophie, Antero, Danielle, Darielle and Janez. Then the volunteers were introduced. Honok Szymanski was a material mimic. Any adopted the traits of any material he touched. Georgi Katzarov's powers drew chuckles, but Paula assured everyone he was more frightening than they imagined. Liesl Stahl had an acid touch. Vincent Catargi was a vampire. Kristjana Eydisdotti could become a giant. Silje Langerud was a were-gryphon. Stefan Gillenbrand took advantage of his resemblance to the rocker Jim Morrison to introduce himself using the line from a Doors song; "I am the god of hellfire!" He announced to laughter and applause. The last to be introduced was Valechka Boiko, codenamed Apotheosis. If any set of powers provoked widespread envy, it was hers.

As the meeting wound down a couple hours later, the cadets were feeling good about themselves. Confident in their plans. From where she was perched, on the edge of a table, Silje Langerud sniffed at the air. "Does anyone else smell gas?"

Then the world exploded.

Next: Death of a Valkyrie...
Last edited by Horsenhero on Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Horsenhero
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Re: Infinite New Vindicators Book 2: 10 years Later

Postby Horsenhero » Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:27 pm

Well, I hope there was enough extra here to make up for the truncated chapter 5. Things are officially past the halfway point, so I hope you're still with me and enjoying reading it, as I am writing it.


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