Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Six

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Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Six

Postby ClassDunce » Fri May 11, 2012 7:38 am

Prologue

As the doors to the train opened people moved in and out like the morning tide. One of the people boarding was a man with dark blonde hair, wearing a hooded jacket and jeans with a canvas courier bag across his shoulder, he was in his mid thirties and was fortunate enough to get a seat on the packed train. As an older woman boarded she began to search for a seat and the man quickly stood and politely offered it to her.

“Thank you.” The woman said as she took a seat. “That’s so kind. It’s nice to see someone so polite these days.”

The man smiled and nodded. “You’re very welcome ma’am.” His accent had a slight southern note to it but was hard to place to anyone region. “It’s my pleasure.”

She looked up at him and smiled. “Where are you from? That accent is adorable.”

“Just from here and there ma’am, just here and there.” He shared another smile with her as he grabbed a hold to support him as the subway car took off. With a shrug of his shoulders he twisted the bag in front of him. He pulled out what looked like a can of soda and tucked it under an arm. He reached into the bag again and pulled out a black rubber gas mask.

The older woman looked at him with a shock as he slipped the mask over his face. It wasn’t just the woman though. Mutters and yells were echoing through the train as he tightened the straps over his head and pulled up the hood on his jacket.

“What are you—“ The woman spoke with horror in her voice as he popped the tab on the can of soda. A white plume of smoke poured out of the can and he bent at the waist to send the can rolling down the length of the subway car. The train was filled with screams and panic now as people realized what was happening. A large man attempted to tackle the masked man but he deftly dodged to the side and with a single hit to the other mans neck he was skidding across the floor.

As the gas took effect on the passengers the screams of horror became worse for some of the victims, some were just on the floor curled up and whimpering, but others had begun to attack one another. The masked man just stood and watched as a wiry man in thin glasses attacked a man twice his size, slamming the other man onto the floor and repeatedly battering his head with blows. This was a scene playing out in few different variations all over the train.

After standing amidst the chaos for a few minutes the train reached its next stop, the automated systems slowed as if nothing was wrong and doors opened. The man stepped out of the train and into the crowd staring with horror into the chaos. He looked down the length of the train and watched as a similarly dressed man stepped out of another car and they nodded to each other as they took out another can each. The station was very quickly filled with plumes of smoke and chaos reigned.

* * *

Susan West woke to the sound of a cell phone ringing. It wasn’t her phone. She knew this because her phone currently had the battery removed and her sim cards taken out. The phone in question belonged to Lieutenant Martin Taylor, of the Freedom City Police Department, who was currently fighting his way from beneath the comforter to reach for the infernal ringing device. Susan deftly removed herself from the cover and stepped out of Taylor’s bedroom, grabbing her folded clothes from a chair as did so, and went into the bathroom to give the man a little privacy.

She closed the bathroom door before she flipped the light on and was exposed to a very large mirror as soon as she looked up. She hadn’t startled herself but she did quickly turn her back to it and start getting dressed before she took too much time to start inspecting the series of cut, burn, bullet and friction scars that dotted up and down the length of her body. None of the scars were massive on their own but taken all together, let’s just say she preferred not to look at them.

Upon seeing the scars earlier in the evening, for the first time, Taylor had seemed surprised by them his hands had even lingered over a few of them during the night. The pitted remnant of a bullet wound in her left leg had seemed to fascinate him more than the others. He didn’t ask any questions about them though. He didn’t seem to want to hear the stories behind them like most people did, he seemed to understand that some stories just didn’t need to be told.

As she slid into her clothes from the night before, jeans and a long sleeved button down shirt, she consciously didn’t listen to his conversation. She sectioned it off. She was there and she was conscious of it but she wasn’t present to it. She heard him turn on the television set in the bedroom and could hear the channels zoom by as he searched for something specific and had his conversation at the same time. But she didn’t listen to either as she put on her boots and laced them up tight.

“Susan?” He called out to her in a whispering hiss from the bedroom.

She turned the bathroom light out before she stepped back into his bedroom. He was still on the phone but his hand was over the receiver. He was halfway into his underwear and hopping on one leg as he his head motioned at the television set. He was inviting her. She took a seat at the end of the bed and her eyes widened as she watched the live report.

“No. Call the CDC. We’re going to lock down the area until they get here.” It was obvious that Taylor must be talking to his partner, Ron Pellegrino, they tended to talk to each other in a strange pattern. “No. Yeah. Uh-uh. Well I’ll be there in… Shit I can’t take the damned train can I…”

He certainly couldn’t take the train. The reports were not good. An early morning gas attack on the subway system, city wide, no known casualty report as of yet but deaths have been confirmed. Susan watched as they news program showed the same clips over and over. They were grainy cell phone recordings of people sprinting up the stairs, out of the stations, and into the streets with a wall of white smoke chasing behind them. Civilians getting caught in the smoke and just losing it, with some just falling to the ground coughing and pulling into themselves, others attacking the people around them but all of them were screaming in pure terror.

“Send a uniform over to pick me up and we’ll be there in fifteen minutes.” He paused as he listened. “Uh-uh. Alright, sure as long as he thinks he won’t be affected.” Taylor mouthed the name Dr. Metropolis to Susan as he struggled to get into his pants. She gave him a quick hand and then moved to find a shirt for him. Her eyes never really left the television though. “We have the security tapes yet?”

Susan had seen attacks like this before, never this bad on American soil though, it could always be a mask but the crazy ones who do stuff like this usually tried to take credit for attacks and one this big would be something they would want on their resume. Maybe someone was keeping that quiet though.

“Two hours?! We work for the same damned city! How much red tape could there be to get those recordings?” Taylor was turning beet red as he talked and Susan button up the shirt and started on his tie. “F*&^ing homeland security bullshit. They’re not pulling this from us.”

They were going to pull this from them. That was obvious, and it was going to be an AEGIS matter by the end of the day. Susan kept her mouth shut about it though.

“Yeah. I’ll be down stairs and ready.” Taylor ended the call and tossed his phone onto the bed. He looked down at his buttoned up and tucked in shirt and shook his head before he looked at the tv again. “That’s…”

“Yeah.” Was her only answer, there really wasn’t another one.

“I have to go.” He said.

“Yeah, I should get going too.” She grabbed her own coat off of a chair as he reached for his. “I’ll walk out with you.”

The look he gave her was filled with surprise almost like he had half expected her to exit through the roof or disappear in a flash of smoke. “I’d like that.” Was his only answer.

As they left his apartment and walked down the hall to the elevator she playfully bumped against his hip with her own but neither of them said anything. It wasn’t awkward but almost nice. For a few brief seconds it could’ve been like they hadn’t been interrupted by a terrorist attack on the subway station.

When they reached the lobby each of them had their professional faces on though and as they stepped outside a uniformed officer was waiting to escort Taylor to a massive crime scene. The officer gave Susan a funny look as he recognized her. She was pretty recognizable to the people who dealt with the masked community every day. Her identity as Dovetail was public knowledge after all. This should certainly send the rumor mill into frenzy. She gave Taylor a wave goodbye and started walking down the street.

She was a good 24 blocks from the Ander Building where Force Ops was housed and it was early so she doubted many of her teammates were awake. Reaching into her pockets she brought out her phone and quickly put in the battery and then going through a tiny box she kept just for the purpose she flipped through her stack of sim cards and found the one that she used for dealing with her teammates. She put in a call.

The phone rang eight times before it was answered. “Morning. I have risen but I’m not shining just yet…” It was the sleep filled voice of Vivian, the personal girl Friday of Ethan Keller’s, the team’s resident computer person which was convenient because Susan didn’t do computers. “Susan, honey, what time is it? I don’t keep the same hours as you…”

“It’s 7:45.” It wasn’t exactly early but she kept that to herself, “Since I woke you up I’m guessing you haven’t heard about the attack on the subway yet.”

“What attac—“

“Turn on your television.” Susan snapped at her. She didn’t want to but they had to work fast before AEGIS got involved and started to remand videos.

“Okay. Okay. It’s on sweetie.” Vivian stopped talking as she flipped on her set. “What… When… Susie I… Have you told Ethan yet. Wait no if you had called Ethan he would be calling me.” Her voice was speeding a mix of panic and agitation. “We need to call Ethan!”

“No.” Susan said firmly. “I don’t have time to run this by him. We have maybe ten minutes before AEGIS get the video files and puts a cement wall around that footage. You need to get us a copy of it before that happens. I need you.”

“I… Um…”

“We need it Vivian. I’ll call Ethan.” She ended the phone call there, not giving the woman a chance to argue with her again, and broke into a jog. She needed to get back to the Anders building, she needed her gear.
Last edited by ClassDunce on Tue Aug 14, 2012 2:19 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Prologue

Postby Arkrite » Fri May 11, 2012 10:11 am

Good stuff, CD.

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter 1

Postby ClassDunce » Sat May 12, 2012 6:22 pm

Chapter 1

By the time Susan had reached the Anders building and changed into the Dovetail uniform she had managed to get in touch with Ethan and fill him in on what she knew. He already had most of it from the morning news and a little more information from his personal contacts. When she entered the conference room the team was already gone. Vivian sat behind her laptop with tear stains running down her cheeks and with Ethan watching the screen over her shoulder.

“So you got the video then?” Susan stated the obvious to get their attention.

“Yeah,” Vivian looked up at her, “It’s horrible. I got the recording barely a minute before AEGIS locked the system down but I wasn’t the only one in the system there had to have been dozens of hackers grabbing copies.”

“That’s not surprising.” Susan answered and looked to Ethan. “Have you alerted the team?”

“Yes.” He answered. “I already put them in the field. Mainly helping to evacuate the areas and assisting the fire and rescue teams.”

Susan nodded as she sat her helmet on the table. “Can you put the video up on the wall?” Vivian nodded and a projector came out of the ceiling and a screen opened up against the wall. “Start at the end at one of the stations and work your way backwards if you can. Let’s see if we can’t pick up a few details from this.”

Ethan took a seat as Susan leaned against the table and gave the video her full attention. Vivian started at the exit of the Riverside terminal. People were sprinting out of the terminal terrified for their lives of course with the recording running backwards it almost looked like they were being sucked into the smoke like victims of some horrible black hole.

“Stop it there.” Susan said and Vivian obeyed. On the middle of the screen were two men. Each carrying courier bag and in hooded coats, they reversed the recording again for a few seconds to watch the two men exit the smoke. Everyone around them was in a state of terror but they were walking as calm as if they had just gotten back from morning brunch. One of the two men was even looking directly at the camera the entire time.

“He’s wearing an SGE Respirator. Its military grade but they’re sold to cops and firefighters too, you can buy them in surplus stores around the country.” Susan spoke up.

“Ballsy bastard looking straight at the camera like that, even with a mask on.” Ethan said.

“Of course he is.” Susan answered back. “It’s a terrorist attack. Ballsy is supposed to be scary.”

“Terrorist…” Vivian interrupted but no one replied to it.

“Let’s see inside the station.” Susan said.

At first they didn’t see much of anything. The gas filled screen until after a few seconds it started to thin and pull back. They watched as men and women assaulted each other in reverse. One man slammed his head against the wall repeatedly as the blood stain became smaller and smaller. In the middle of it all were the two masked men. Something curious happened. “I want to see that in forward.” When the feed was reversed they watched as an enraged civilian attempted to attack one of the men. The man easily stepped into and past the punch and a single hand snapped out to slam against gassed mans collar bone sending him crumpling to the floor in screams of pain.

“Son of a bitch. Can we zoom in on that?” Susan asked.

“Not without losing resolution.” Vivian apologized. “If I had the original files I could do it but not with these…”

Susan nodded in an understanding she didn’t really have. “That was classic Krav Maga.” She told Ethan. “I couldn’t have done it any better.”

“Military training then.” Ethan spoke up.

“Without a doubt. Take it back again.”

As the video continued to reverse they watched as the smoke cleared and sucked back inside the fake soda cans and cans rolled back into the hands of the two men and they each stepped back into separate train cars. “I want in that train car.” She pointed to the one that held the attacker who had shattered the civilian’s collar bone so expertly.

After Vivian called up the footage that Susan wanted at the appropriate time stamp they watched as the smoke once again sucked back into container and into the man’s hand. They then watched as he pushed the hood back and took off his mask.

“Motherf*&^er…” The video stopped with Susan’s curse. For the briefest of seconds it was almost like the world dropped out from under her. “Jacobs… What the hell are you doing?” She said to herself.

“You know him?!” Keller asked in disbelief.

“Yeah” Susan grabbed her helmet from the table and slipped it on. “Call Bonham and Taylor and let them know to be on the lookout for Carter Jacobs. Bonham should have his file. Jacobs and I served together, trained together with the Mossad in Israel.” She turned her back to Ethan and started to leave. “I have some sources to shake down. If Jacobs got any of his equipment in this city I’ll find out.”

“Susan!” Ethan shouted after her as she left but she didn’t bother to turn back. He would only slow her down.

***

Carter Jacobs was still wearing the hooded jacket that he wore during the morning massacre as the plain black jeep pulled into the driveway of the small house in the west end. He stepped out of the passenger side and closed the door behind him before he turned and leaned into the window. “Wait two blocks north of here. It shouldn’t be long.” The driver nodded an affirmative and backed out into the street as Jacobs took the stairs up to the small porch two steps at a time.

By the time he reached the top and had the screen door opened to knock on the solid one underneath it was already opened part of the way. Peaking through the crack was a young African American girl, about eight or nine years old, her hair was pulled back into two separate braids and she was looking up at Jacobs.

“Hi there,” he said with a friendly smile, “little lady. Is your momma home?”

“Janet!” The voice was coming from inside the house and in response to it the girl took a step back and opened the door all the way. As the door swung open Jacobs could see the girl’s mother and the mother could see him. “Can I help you?” She asked as she moved to get between her daughter and the stranger.

“I hope so ma’am.” Jacobs gave her the same smile he gave Janet. “I’m Carter Jacobs. We’ve actually met once before but it was years ago. I’m an old friend of Shivers. I heard that he’s been staying here with you.”

The woman’s posture became even more rigid as Jacobs said the name Shivers. It wasn’t what Darlene called her older brother. “I think I do remember you Mr. Jacobs.” Memories of a BBQ from seven or eight years ago started to come back to her. “If Dwayne is here he’s probably in the basement. That’s where he stays. He’s not allowed up in the house anymore.”

A confused look went across Jacobs face and Darlene shut her eyes for the briefest of seconds before she motioned for her little girl to get back inside and she stepped out onto the porch, closing the door behind her, and turned to face Jacobs. “How long has been since you’ve seen my Dwayne, Mr. Jacobs?”

“Please just call me Jacobs.” He quickly interjected. “Well I know that he was having a hard time settling into civilian life, got hooked on drugs and stuff, but last I spoke to him he seemed to be getting better. He was in a program. That was just maybe a year ago.”

Darlene nodded. “Yeah he was looking good a year ago. Before she showed u—“

“Darlene!” They both started as the heard a voice raised and listened as the man known as Shivers came shuffling around the corner. “I need to use your tv something big is happening. The subwa—“

Shiver skidded to a stop at the bottom step of the porch looking up at Jacobs and his sister. “What?” The look of confusion on his face was only matched by the look of sadness on Jacobs. He had never seen his friend looking so weak. Shivers seemed to have lost over twenty pounds and his face was gaunt and covered in sores. “Jacobs… what are you doing here.”

“I’m here to see you.” Jacobs walked down the stairs to be level with his old friend and held out a hand that Shivers hesitated to shake but when he did he was pulled into a brief hug. “I’ve missed you so much brother.”

After the two men separated Shivers leaned against the rail and nodded at his sister who quickly went back inside to check what was going on with the Subway. “You could’ve picked a better day for it.” Shivers smiled and scratched at his neck. “A dude on the Radio is saying it’s got to be the return of the original Fear-Master or something with this gas attack. It’s probably going to close down half the city.” The scratching migrated up from his neck along his sideburns and eventually into his hair. “We haven’t talked since you retired from the service. Where have you been?”

“I’ve been staying busy.” Jacobs answered as he mirrored Shivers posture against the opposite rail. “The dude on the radio is mostly right. The gas was modeled off of a sample of the original Fear Toxin that Dr. Levitt developed. If you know where to look and who to talk too you can still find small quantities of it in a few Middle Eastern markets.”

A confused look spread across Shivers face as his hand dropped back down to his side. His posture straightened up and again it was perfectly mimicked by Jacobs as he continued to speak. “I had to have a Syrian chemist synthesize an amped up version of it though in the quantities that I needed. If AEGIS would actually work with UNISON on this they could probably track the chemist in 48 hours. We both know they won’t though but the Raven might. It should keep her busy though.”

Shiver’s mouth opened and closed a few times as he struggled to find something to say but Jacobs filled in the silence. “I need to talk to Susan. I know that you’re working with her, she’s always made use of local scouts when she’s in any kind of Urban Operations, and she trusts you more than anybody.” A sneer almost spoiled his smile as he said that last little bit.

Before Jacobs could start talking again a knife appeared in Shivers left hand and flashed towards his inner thigh. Jacobs barely knocked it away with a quick strike of his own wrist against Shivers. They each moved away from the porch and slowly circled each other while they did. Shivers lunged again this time his right hand was against the back of the blade as he tried to slice across Jacobs sternum but he stepped back barely avoiding it.

“Shit!” Jacobs was smiling again. “That one would’ve found my back bone!” He laughed as Shivers stabbed towards his shoulder. He sidestepped this time and brought his right hand down on the inside of his knife arm while his left grabbed a hold of the wrist and twisted the arm around causing Shiver’s knife to stab him through the opposite shoulder and with a twist of his hips Jacobs had his old friend on the ground.

The entire fight didn’t last five seconds. “Damn.” Jacobs shook his head as he pressed a button on a small box attached to his belt. “You don’t move at a tenth of the speed you used to move at Shivers. I am sorry that I had to hurt you though. I just really need to talk to Susan.”

The sound of squealing tires filled the air as the black jeep returned to pick them up. The driver leapt out of his seat and helped Jacobs get Shivers into the back. “Echo team reported in.” He said. “They’re all set up.”

"Good." Jacobs replied as he slid into the passenger seat again. "We're ahead of a schedule. Let's grab a late breakfast."
"When they ask how I died, tell them: still angry." - Quellcrist Falconer

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter One

Postby Horsenhero » Sat May 12, 2012 7:39 pm

Wow. One chapter and the prologue in and I already want Jacobs to die horribly. Very well written CD.

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter One

Postby ClassDunce » Sat May 12, 2012 7:59 pm

Horsenhero wrote:Wow. One chapter and the prologue in and I already want Jacobs to die horribly. Very well written CD.


I have a weird thing about Jacobs. When I first started writing this it was all in first person and I switched back and forth between Susan's POV and Jacobs POV. I really started liking Jacobs as I wrote that. Maybe because I really understood his motivations. Something that hasn't really been covered yet in this version since his bits aren't written from his POV anymore but we'll learn more of it in the next chapter.

He's a bastard. But he's a bastard with a mission that he believes in. He is sorry that he had to hurt Shivers but he just has to section that off and keep going.
"When they ask how I died, tell them: still angry." - Quellcrist Falconer

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter One

Postby ClassDunce » Fri May 18, 2012 10:32 am

Chapter 2

Shivers regained consciousness to find a dark skinned stranger standing over him with a needle and thread in hand. The stranger was big, easily 6’4” and covered in working muscle, but his hands deftly stitched up the hole that the knife had left in his shoulder. He was leaning back in a La-Z-Boy and as he slowly regained his senses he could feel over a dozen people moving around in the house around him. It was a house, fully furnished, and he wasn’t even tied down sitting right in the middle of the living room.

About five feet away on a sofa was Jacobs eating a bowl of cereal and watching a muted television. He had lost the hooded jacket and was just wearing an olive sleeveless shirt. Up and down Jacob’s arms, ending at the elbows though, he could see his tattoos. They were all just words, quotes and phrases, that’s all Jacobs ever got, but Shivers knew that by now he had to have hundreds of them. He spotted the faded remains of one of the oldest ones, he knew it was easily one of the man’s first, it was the Latin phrase Bona Fiscalia that in English translated to public property.

“He’s awake.” The stranger said with a thick English accent as he hooked the needle through Shivers flesh again and pulled the bloody string through.

Jacobs wiped a hand across his mouth as he put his nearly empty bowl on a coffee table in front of him and leaned over to look at how the stitching was coming along. “You’re gonna have a scar brother, I’m sorry about that.”

Shivers tried to speak but nothing much came out but a cough and rattle. “Don’t try to talk.” Jacobs spoke up as he stood. “We had to drug you in the car and you’re throats going to be sore.” He looked behind him to the dark haired man who had driven him earlier. “Luke, grab him a bottle of water please.”

As Jacobs leaned over him Shivers was briefly distracted by a Kurt Vonnegut quote that ran below and between Jacobs collarbones like the top of a shirt made just of the words beneath it. The quote read “You are who you pretend to be.” it was from Mother Night, the story of a man being held for trial for the crimes he committed while he was a journalist in Germany during WWII writing propaganda for the Nazi’s. The man was secretly a spy for the Allies, and was passing coded messages during broadcasts, but after the war he was listed amongst the worst of the war criminals to escape justice. He hid in New York for awhile until he was found again. He was riddled with constant guilt for his crimes, the propaganda he created for the Nazi cause brought justification to the insanity that filled the country during the war. You are who you pretend to be.

As Luke brought him a bottle of water, Jacobs broke the seal and placed the open bottle in Shivers right hand, he was surprised to find that he wasn’t tied down at all. Shivers took a sip, his hand was shaking but more from the fact that he hadn’t had a fix since the day before than anything else. There was a dull pain in his left shoulder as the stranger continued to stitch but it didn’t hurt enough to complain about.

He ignored the man and looked up at Jacobs and croaked out, “What are you doing Jacobs?”

He took another sip of the water as Jacobs straightened back up and ran a hand through his close cut hair. “I’m changing the world.”

***

It was 10:00 am in Chinatown and Susan was in the full Dovetail uniform. She had flown in low on her Sky-Bike making sure that she was seen and that every corner on the West End knew she was there. Her war with the 99 Dragons guaranteed that she was anathema in this part of town. She was sure that the Dragons were already grabbing their guns and loading up to take a shot at her.

After she made a few laps around the area she parked the Sky-Bike on the roof of a small pawn shop deep in the heart of the Chinatown and repelled down the store front to land in front of the middle aged thug hired to guard the door. He wasn’t startled, hell he had seen her park and she wasn’t trying to make a presence unknown, he looked behind him through the glass into the shop and the man behind the counter shook his head as he sucked down a few strands of Kimchi.

Before the guard could shake his own head at Susan she punched him square in the throat. One his hands came up to grab at his throat as he choked out a cough at the cheap shot and threw his own panicked punch that Susan quickly stepped around putting herself on his right side where she kicked out at the side of his knee. He would’ve screamed from the broken knee cap as he hit the ground if his throat would’ve allowed it.

She left him gurgling on the ground as she stepped over him and through the door. The security door past that one buzzed allowing her entry. The man behind the counter, still eating his Kimchi, was the only one present.

“Shit girl. You didn’t have to cripple him.” Won Bin said in some kind of greeting as Susan approached the counter.

“You didn’t have to force the issue.”

“You didn’t have to come to my shop in the middle of the day in full regalia and broadcast to the entire city that we’re having a conversation. An injured bodyguard proves that we’re not friends.” Even if they kind of were, Won Bin turned to the stove he had behind the counter and poured a second bowl of Kimchi before passing it across the counter to Susan. He then closed the blinds and gave her his full attention.

Won Bin wasn’t Chinese but a South Korean Ex-Intelligence Operative. He had gotten into trouble about five years earlier, stuck inside North Korea where he had planting military assets and sowing the seeds of rebellion in the North Korean people. Susan had led a unit into the communist dictatorship to rescue him. He now ran a pawn shop where he trafficked and traded more than old pocket watches and lightly used guitars.

“I’m pretty sure I know why you’re here.” He said as he stirred his remaining Kimchi around in the bowl and Susan took the first bite of hers. It was spicy and tasted just like it would if it had been made by Won Bins grandmother. “The attack this morning, that kind of thing doesn’t happen in the states.”

Susan started to sweat from the spices but she wasn’t about to ask for a drink a she matched the other mans posture over the counter. “Do you know anything about it?” It was an open ended question.

He nodded a little bit. “Fear-Gas isn’t easy to come by but you can still get it in small quantities. There’s a collectors market for it.”

Susan raised an eyebrow, allowing herself to settle into the casual atmosphere that the conversation was taking, as Won Bin continued. “Yeah there’s a huge market for any kind of masked hero or villain gear or paraphernalia. Hell I just sold a few of your Dove-Feathers for like fifteen dollars apiece.”

“What?” She asked in disbelief.

“Yeah, a girl dug them out of her boyfriend, he was a Dragon, and then she sold them to me for five dollars a pop and I turned around and sold them to a collector.” He nodded as he spoke. “Big market.”

“They would’ve needed a lot of it for the attack this morning.” She said, “I saw them use six grenades of it on video. They hit fourteen separate cars. If each of the attackers used three grenades apiece…” She let it fade out there so he could do the math himself.

“With a single sample of it a chemist could create more.” He shrugged as he lifted some cabbage from his bowl and let the sauce leak off. “They would have to use an overseas lab though. AEGIS is too on top of any labs that can do that stateside.” He slurped the remaining sauce off the cabbage before he pushed the leaves whole into his mouth.

Susan finished downing another bit before she replied. “You haven’t heard about any weird requests for villain gear have you? A buyer scooping up as much of it as they can?”

He shook his head. “There’s no way to tell. The market is flush with the stuff. You masks leave crap behind after every brawl. That Sea-King guy leaves those nets lying around by the dozens. Fancy arrows from the Bowman, Scraps of Daedalus’s armor, Dr. Simian’s hoverchairs, the old Powercorps armor, VIPER and SHADOW gear, even weapons that the Omega Drones used. The stuff’s not hard to find if you know where to look.” He stirred his Kimchi as he looked down into the liquid. “I’m surprised the stuff hasn’t been used like this before now.”

Susan was about to ask another question when they both heard the sound of squealing tires as several vehicles came to a stop outside the front of the pawn shop.

“That’s probably the Dragons. Wouldn’t life be easier if you didn’t make so many enemies Susan?” Won Bin said as he took another bite of his lunch.

She just shrugged and spotted a rifle with a grenade launcher attached beneath the barrel behind the counter. “Can I borrow that H&K?” She pointed at it and he nodded and passed it over to her.

“It’s loaded. You’ve got three frag grenades in it too.” He nodded in agreement as she gave him a strange look about have it loaded like that in the store. People began to shout in Cantonese outside. “You know you’re going to have to hi—“

Before he could even finish she slammed the butt of the rifle into the side of his face and he was falling to the ground. “It’s easier if you don’t see it coming.” She muttered as she checked the action on the rifle and started for the front door.

***

“For me everything changed in Chad.” Jacobs was sitting on the coffee table, having the cleared the room of everyone but Shivers and him, his hands were between his knees and he leaned forward. “This was about four years ago now. A group was using the political unrest and the raids the rebels were performing against the government to gain control of the countries natural resources. Susan and I were originally sent to Chad to work with Army Intelligence and stamp down on the rebels. Calm things down in the region.” A laugh escaped for a brief moment as he shook his head. “The exact opposite of what we usually did. We weren’t nation builders there towards the end if you know what I mean.”

Shivers kept his mouth shut there was something wrong with the calm that Jacobs presented to him. It was artificial but in its own way it was real. It reminded him of Susan sometimes, when she didn’t think anyone was watching.

“Anyway, we moved into Chad and Susan started putting her feelers out. Created an information network and I started to create weapon stockpiles and safe houses it was pretty normal. It didn’t take us long to discover that there was a player outside of the Rebels and Government. Susan started to throw some wrenches in their works. Blew up a few of their trucks, sabotaged some mining equipment, and re-appropriated some of their funding.” He smiled and shook his head, “She was always really good at that shit. Making life difficult.”

He glanced down at the watch on his wrist and then changed the channel on the television to a news network. “We still have a few minutes.” He looked back to Shivers. “Anyway, she eventually forced a meeting with the head of this group. He was a Syrian tycoon who had been doing the same thing for years in dozens of African countries. We met him in Cape Town, just me and Susan, in this big fancy hotel. We were sitting on sofas facing one another, surrounded by his gun thugs. Susan was about as far away from him as I am from you right now.”

“She was looking him right in the eye. When he asked her who we were and what we wanted.” His smile was gone now and eyes were in a faraway place. “She said to him… She said… I am Hell on Earth and you have my full attention.”

***

Susan took aim and fired the first grenade as soon as she kicked open the door leading outside. The grenade bounced and rolled beneath a chrome covered import that a half dozen Dragons were hiding behind. They fired at her but she was already sprinting towards a side alley when the grenade exploded beneath the car.

The car was engulfed in flames and rose into the air a good five feet before it came crashing down again. The six Dragons were all on the ground the car had protected them from the worse of the blast but none of them would be walking for awhile. Susan skidded to a stop under cover as the other dozen Dragons repositioned to take aim at the front of the alley. She spotted the guard she had injured behind a dumpster, she wouldn’t say she was relieved at the sight of him but she wasn’t upset that he had managed to drag himself to cover.

She crouched at the mouth of the alley and fired a few shots at where a group of Dragons had found cover forcing their heads down before she fired the second grenade to land about ten yard behind them. As the group scrambled away from the grenade and to the other side of the cover she fired off her Grapnel and propelled herself to the roof of the pawn shop and her Sky-Bike. As she scuttled over the ledge concrete chipped around her as other Dragons fired and missed.

Susan popped up over the ledge and out of cover and fired the last grenade, this time sending it through the front windshield of a Dragon’s tricked out van. They scrambled away from the vehicle as it exploded giving her the chance to send the remains of the rifles clip into the engine block of the third vehicle.

After throwing a few smoke grenades into the street she cranked up the Sky-Bike and got her ass out of Chinatown before the cops showed up. As she exited the border of Chinatown and left the West End she was hit by some turbulence as an explosion of cold and white smoke erupted from five different buildings in the area.

***

“… I am Hell on Earth and you have my full attention.”

As Jacobs said it he removed his shirt and leaned back. Shivers saw on his chest, directly over his heart, the same words were tattooed. I am Hell on Earth.

“On that day I learned something that Susan always knew. She saw a problem and she solved it. She fixed it by saying what she means and meaning what she says. She looked that man in the eye and she told him the god’s honest truth and he knew it. There was no doubt in that room. Everyone knew it was true. He had her full attention.”

As he spoke the television network behind him switched over to a live feed and the watch on Jacob’s wrist beeped. The news camera was positioned inside a helicopter and pointed towards a few members of the Freedom League. Doctor Metropolis flew through the wall of an apartment building while, the wall just bent around him allowing him in, while Vega and the newest Star Knight waited on the outside when the helicopter began to shake and then you noticed the building was shaking.

It wasn’t quite an explosion but that was the only way to explain it as the base of the building started to be swallowed up by ice that quickly spread upwards. The air was so cold that you could see the frost in it. The pilot of the Helicopter panicked and banked away from the building but at the same time you could see Vega and Star Knight doing the same thing.

When everything settled the helicopter came back around and you could see the entire building swallowed up by ice. Dr. Metropolis was frozen there as well, stuck as he was trying to fly clear of the blast.

“I am Hell on Earth,” Jacobs said as both their eyes were glued to the television, “and the capes have my full attention.”
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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby Arkrite » Fri May 18, 2012 11:54 am

I am looking forward to chapter three. Fun stuff.

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby Tattooedman » Fri May 18, 2012 12:15 pm

Arkrite wrote:I am looking forward to chapter three. Fun stuff.


Ditto.

I like the small references to the newer members of the Freedom Leage, nicely done CD.

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby catsi563 » Fri May 18, 2012 12:42 pm

third that, and I hope to see mentions of the Knights and more of Force Ops as well.
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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby ClassDunce » Fri May 18, 2012 4:04 pm

catsi563 wrote:third that, and I hope to see mentions of the Knights and more of Force Ops as well.


I don't think that the Knights are going to mentioned and Force Ops are going to be limited to the background. I honestly don't feel comfortable writing dialogue for anyone elses character. Hell I'm antsy enough writing for T-Man's NPC's. That's why I'm kind of trying to develop her supporting cast a little bit. Shivers, Won Bin, Cherry Phillip's and I'm stealing Taylor a little bit lol.

I'll hopefully have chapter 3 ready bu sunday unless something goes wrong.
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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby Horsenhero » Fri May 18, 2012 6:54 pm

Sweet. Well written so far, though my opinion of Jacobs remains the same. A homicidal fanatic with a purpose, is still just a homicidal fanatic at the core...and like a rabid dog, there's only one acceptable solution.

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby ClassDunce » Fri May 18, 2012 7:28 pm

Horsenhero wrote:Sweet. Well written so far, though my opinion of Jacobs remains the same. A homicidal fanatic with a purpose, is still just a homicidal fanatic at the core...and like a rabid dog, there's only one acceptable solution.


Oh he's absolutely a bad guy I don't disagree with you there. But he's a bad guy that I just kind of like lol. Also he's kind of a dark mirror for Susan. She could have very easily turned out just like him. They have the same training, use the same tactics. At the same time though Shivers is a kind of mirror for Susan too but just in a completely different way.
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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby ClassDunce » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:37 pm

Chapter 3

The rapid extreme cooling of the air caused by the explosion of cold and ice somehow seized up the motors running inside the Sky-Bike as Susan tried to pull up and clear of the blasts. She suddenly found herself very quickly losing altitude and heading towards a nearby building. She tried to pull it up to avoid the structure but finally just had to throw herself clear of the bike and into the air.

As she started to fall she quickly attached her Grapnel and shot it at the nearest structure to try and slow her fall. The steel wire wrapped around a crenellation covered in ice as she looked back at the Sky-Bike just in time to see it blasted out of the air by the newest version of the Star-Knight. She crashed into the ice covered side of a building when she reached the end of her cord. The hard hit forced the wind out of her lungs and she was sure that she was going to have a few nasty bruises but she was still alive.

She looked up at the building to check her line and saw the frozen face of a man screaming in terror four inches inside of the ice.

“Are you alright?” She turned to face the man hovering in the air in front of her, it was Star-Knight.

“Nothing’s broken, yet.” She said as she looked down at the ground a good 75 yards underneath her.

“Allow me.” Star-Knight wrapped an arm around her waist, she didn’t flinch has he squeezed around her now bruised ribs, and then cut through her cord with an energy blade. “You’re Dovetail. I’ve read about you—“

“Hey! Star-Knight stop the flirting and get over hear and help me!” Susan looked towards the shouting and saw Vega, another new Freedom Leaguer, pounding away at the ice that had swallowed up another nearby building.

He carried Susan in his arms to the ground beneath the nearby building where she saw what Vega was trying to do. He was trying to break Dr. Metropolis free of the Ice. For the first time she took a minute to look around to see the size of the attack. Nearly every building on the block was covered and filled with ice. As Star-Knight joined Vega in tearing at the ice Susan took the opportunity to attempt to leave the scene.

More than the news helicopters were starting to arrive on the scene. An AEGIS helicopter and a STAR Squad one arrived at the about the same time as did the search and rescue teams. She could hear the sirens racing up the blocks all around them to get to the scene of the attack. She didn’t want to be here when they all arrived.

“Dovetail!” She looked up and saw Director Bonham yelling at her from the door of an AEGIS helicopter about to land half a block away. So much for getting out of dodge. “I need a word with you!” He was out of the chopper when it was still about four feet above the ground and heading towards her quick.

***

“Jacobs what have you…” Shivers stared in disbelief at the television set as they watched the news coverage of the latest attack.

“Subzero generators.” Jacobs spoke as he looked away from the television, his eyes filled with sadness. “They were created by Dr. Victoria Leonard also known as Madame Zero. They were easy to acquire and any engineer could set them to overload like we did.”

“Which is exactly what happened in Mexico City about a year ago.” The black man who had stitched Shiver soldier stepped back into the room and spoke in his thick English accent. “The Cartels have been using recovered and repurposed super tech like this to attack rivals for a few years now. Not that anyone important notices.”

Jacobs looked over his shoulder and maybe wiped away a tear from beneath his eye before he looked back at his ally. “John, how is Leonard coming with the linkup?”

“He’s ready.” John answered before he cleared his throat and bellowed behind him. “Leonard! It’s time.”

A sleight man shuffled into a room pushing a cart covered in computer and camera equipment. He was certainly not ex-military, which was a first for what Shivers had seen when it came to Jacobs little cadre of terrorists. “Yeah, yeah, I’m ready.” Leonard answered as he unfolded a tripod and attached a small but professional looking camera to it. John passed the top half of a Marine’s Dress Blues over to Jacobs and he carefully slipped into it and made sure that everything was straight and proper.

“Why are you—“ Shivers began to ask before he understood what was happening. “You’re going to broadcast your message?”

“Yeah.” Jacobs answered and didn’t feel the need to continue.

***

Susan decided to meet Bonham half way. They both stopped in the middle of the street. “I guess that Ethan got in touch with you.”

“Yeah.” Bonham nodded as he looked around at the destruction around them. “That was an interesting phone call. I got Carter Jacobs military file about a half an hour ago, a file that looks a lot like yours.” The look he gave her would have cut a lesser a being. “Joined the Marines out of High School, MARSOC with further training in the SEAL and Ranger schools and some secret Special Forces school in Israel, later in his career he did some work for military intelligence that has the same redactions that your file has.”

“You couldn’t get an unedited copy?” Susa asked.

He shook his head no. “What’s he doing Susan?”

Susan had been asking herself that very question most of the morning. Most of the answers that she had found had been a little disturbing since she had used the same tactics herself dozens of times before. “Looks like Rapid dominance to me.” She answered. “It’s a military doctrine based on the use of overwhelming power, dominant maneuvers, and large displays of force to paralyze an adversary’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.”

Bonham waved a hand in frustration as he turned to face away from Susan. “I know what shock and awe is!” He shook his head. “Why is he doing it though?”

Susan shrugged which wasn’t the answer that Bonham wanted but before he could snap at her again a head popped out of the helicopter and started yelling. “Sir! Director Bonham! You need to see this Sir!” He arms waved to call him back to the helicopter and they both broke into a jog to see what was so important.

When they made it inside the helicopter they both stood over an agent staring at computer screen where he had been monitoring the news feeds. “They broke into every stations feed in the city.” On the screen was Carter Jacobs wearing his Marine Dress Blues with a chest full of medals standing in front of a white wall. “In three minutes we’ll have a track and trace on him Sir.” The agent said before Susan and Bonham shushed him as Carter began to speak.

***

“I’m retired First Sergeant Carter Jacobs of the United States Marine Corps and I’m responsible for the attacks that Freedom City has suffered today.” The camera zoomed in to just head as he continued. “The gas attack on the subway was carried out using the Fear Gas created and used by Dr. Arthur Levin while he was the original Fear Master. The tragic attack that just occurred was the result of five Sub-Zero generators engineered by Dr. Victoria Leonard also known as Madame Zero.”

“These items, and a few others, were simple and cheap to acquire and are being bought and sold in black markets in every major city on the planet. They’re being used by rebel armies in the jungles of Africa, the Cartels in the war in Mexico, and by terrorists around the world. Yet the Freedom League does nothing. The Atoms do nothing. The Sentinels do nothing.” His affectation didn’t change as at all as he spoke but his belief was clear. “There’s a legal term called Willful Indifference. It means that if a person or group of people in power see’s a danger, or is informed of that danger, but chooses to do nothing to prevent it then they are complicit in that crime.”

“I’m charging the heroes of this city, where all these dangerous weapons were created, where they filled the hearts of the people with hope, I’m charging them all with Willful Indifference. They put themselves on the pedestal and told the world that we will protect you and then they didn’t.” He shook his head and paused to collect himself. “While the League spent billions of dollars on world changing technology to build themselves a light house in the sky billions of people are starving all over the world. Entire countries are warring over oil in the sand when Deadalus and the Atoms could snap their fingers and change the world by spreading just a little bit of their genius to help the huddled masses. They could cure diseases, feed the hungry, and end wars if they just spent less time on Fear Gas and Sub-Zero generators.”

“There are two more attacks planned for today.” He said matter-of-factly. “There are also four attacks planned for tomorrow and for the next day. We will continue to wage war on Freedom City until the Freedom League, the Atoms, the Sentinels, or even Force Ops publicly announces a plan to actually do something significant for the people of the world. I’m Carter Jacobs and you have my full attention.”

I'm not satisfied with this chapter but after over a week of writing and rewriting it I'm throwing my hands up and am just moving on. If I was writing this more than a chapter at a time I would move on to the next one and come back to rewrite this later but I'm posting as I write so that's not an option. Hopefully you enjoyed it though.
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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby Shock » Thu Jun 07, 2012 6:48 am

ClassDunce wrote:
Horsenhero wrote:Sweet. Well written so far, though my opinion of Jacobs remains the same. A homicidal fanatic with a purpose, is still just a homicidal fanatic at the core...and like a rabid dog, there's only one acceptable solution.


Oh he's absolutely a bad guy I don't disagree with you there. But he's a bad guy that I just kind of like lol. Also he's kind of a dark mirror for Susan. She could have very easily turned out just like him. They have the same training, use the same tactics. At the same time though Shivers is a kind of mirror for Susan too but just in a completely different way.

I don't like him at all and I'm looking forward to Susan breaking his nose.

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Re: Dovetail: I am Hell on Earth - Chapter Two

Postby ClassDunce » Thu Jun 07, 2012 5:03 pm

Shock wrote:I don't like him at all and I'm looking forward to Susan breaking his nose.


I'll keep that in mind for the inevitable confrontation.
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