Heroes Can Die

This is the place to recount your superheroic deeds for all to gaze upon with astonishment and wonder.
Uthanar
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Heroes Can Die

Postby Uthanar » Thu Jul 12, 2012 11:19 pm

Heroes Can Die is my home game that I have been running on and off for almost a year and a half. We just did our 25th session, and had a guest DM run for me, so it was Assistant Editor's Month! I had a great time, and i hope that you guys might get some enjoyment out of our stories. We have a Google+ page that we use to catalog a lot of our stories together. Some of our stories have swearing in them, so I haven't posted them here. I'm thinking about going through and cleaning some of them up to post here, but haven't decided to take that plunge yet. We try to keep session logs, but are not that good about keeping up on them. We have a collection of stories told from different characters perspectives.

We welcome commentary, criticism, and questions of what we have placed up. We have a lot of fun getting together on most Saturdays to play our game. Sometimes we write fiction, other times we do session logs. I hope that some of this brings enjoyment to people reading it.

Campaign Brief & Character Histories
Campaign Brief
Aces
Lady Liberty - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 - Lallatwittle
Pulse
Taser - Skrills

Session Logs & Fiction Pieces
Mirror of Narcissus - 3rd person relation of events transpiring in the first story arc, approximately 5 sessions of play
Aegis Remembers - Aegis aka Veronica Veers looks back at the events of 9/11 and her early attempt to reform the Sentinels
Last edited by Uthanar on Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:54 pm, edited 17 times in total.

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Re: Heroes Can Die

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:27 pm

RESERVED

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Re: Heroes Can Die

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:27 pm

RESERVED

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Campaign Brief: Council of Heroes

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:36 pm

On July 4th 2001 the First Family began to set up plans for a large gathering of the super hero community in New York City. The First Family reached out to the heroes of the world and requested their attendance at what the media termed The Council of Heroes. When asked the First Family had no comment on the agenda of the meeting but stressed their desire that “All heroes of this land and those abroad come together to meet.” The First Family planned to host the event at First Tower in New York City for a week during mid September of the same year. The First Family was able to establish reservations for hundreds of rooms throughout New York City to house the visiting costumed crime fighters.

The secrecy of the event and invitation extended only to members of the super hero ranks sparked a media frenzy. Both papers and news stations began to spin the story into a series of worst case scenarios regarding what the First Family were hiding from the rest of the world. Heightening the tension regarding the upcoming assembly some editorials began to refer to First Tower as First Fortress. The United States government applied pressure to the First Family for access to the conference as well as a brief on the agenda before the date. At this point the First Family made no further direct appearances regarding the issue, but instead their lawyer, Phineas Folio, responded that the First Family was simply expressing their Freedom of Assembly.

While this was occurring on the national level, the international community was also in an uproar. Various parts of the international community responded in different fashions. Nations that had never developed a strong support for their local super heroes cracked down on the costumed vigilantes. Other nations attempted to sway their heroes to act as spies on the conference for them. Universally nations brought the perceived issue to the United Nations and demanded that the governing body do something about the Council of Heroes.

Public opinion on super heroes polarized during the months leading up to the Council of Heroes. A vocal majority cried out against super heroes being able to act in such a manner. The majority crossed ethnic, religious, and economic lines and Anti-Hero messages spread throughout the US and the world. A smaller group came to the hero’s defense. These individuals, many of whose lives had been touched or influenced by the super heroes in the past, rallied support for the heroes and their Freedom of Assembly. This vocal minority stated that they supported the heroes in the past and entrusted the future with them.

The United States filed an injunction against the First Family’s Council of Heroes, and the case was moved through the court system during the month of August 2011. Throughout this month the First Family did not stop their own preparations regarding the Council of Heroes but did acknowledge through Phineas Folio that they would follow the finding of the court. As the month closed the court found in favor of the First Family and super heroes right to assembly.

Due to the fervor surrounding the event, the First Family extended the week long event to encompass the weekend leading up to the conference. The weekend addition was not to add anything further to the agenda, but to provide days where public interaction would take place.

The beginning of the Council of Heroes came with a great deal of fanfare and protests. Fans, media, protestors, and rioters came out for the opening weekend to interact with the heroes. Numerous interviews were given to the media from caped crusaders of all bents, though not all the attending heroes were so forthcoming. One journalist submitted a bill to the First Family for a replacement camera after the lens and microphone were decapitated from the video camera upon their intrusion on one of the heroes. On Saturday September 8th a banquet was held to honor both the super heroes of the world as well as the local heroes of New York City. During all of these pre-conference festivities and most of the two months leading up to the Council of Heroes Felix First was noticeably absent.

The weekend wound down and the private conference began within First Tower. As Monday drew to a close news stations across the world buzzed about what might have occurred during the first day of the Council of Heroes. None of the attendees provided any information to outside sources that was reported. Tuesday morning the cameras continued their constant recording of First Tower in hopes of catching some insight into what was transpiring within the building, but the First Family’s security prevented any information leaks or unauthorized access. The windows of the entire tower had been covered in a reflective material developed by Felix First to ensure no one from the outside would see within the building. The effectiveness of the reflective surface was immortalized on film as United flight 187 Boston to Seattle crested over the buildings and was seen clearly in the mirror of First Tower. The cameras that surrounded the conference rolled on unblinking as the jet crashed into First Tower at 8:37 am. The resulting massive explosion rocked First Tower and adjacent blocks. The attack on First Tower began the tragic events remembered across the nation and world as 9/11.

As further planes crashed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon the world watched in horror and asked “Where are our heroes?” The papers that day flew off the stands with information on the attacks and the lead headline was HEROES CAN DIE!!! Some survivors emerged from the wreckage of First Tower, but nearly all super heroes in attendance were killed. Of these survivors nearly half gave up their costumed profession within six months of 9/11, and those that continued found the world a changed place. Villains were emboldened by the death of heroes, and those who still fought were now severely outnumbered.

A villain group even formed together in the aftermath of 9/11 known as the Hit Squad. These super powered criminals did not have plans to steal millions or rule the world; they made a very public announcement at their first hit to a journalist team they had kidnapped before the event. The broadcast went out on September 11th 2002 and the message was simple, “Give up your cape or give up your life.” The Hit Squad moved around the world murdering active super heroes for three years.

While the Hit Squad was hunting super heroes, and super powered villains were enjoying a world without answers, the Last Sentinel fell. The Sentinels initially formed because after the end of World War II unexplainable events began to take place in different parts of the world. The Sentinels first goal was to discover the cause of these events. Initially three separate inquisitive heroes looking into events that they wanted answers to, they quickly realized they would be better of together. The group took to the costumes to obscure their individual identities, while creating an alternate persona that was identifiable in a similar fashion to the super patriots of the war that were able to rally the troops. The founding roster of the Sentinels was Erudite, Sleuth, and the Green Beret. These three had all been involved in working for the Allied forces in the European front during World War II along with a number of other noteworthy individuals. From these three investigators the Sentinels grew into the world’s premiere super hero team.

At the Council of Heroes, the Sentinels attended including a large number of retired super heroes donning their costumes once again to attend the First Family’s conference. In the aftermath five members of this august group survived: Aegis, Meteor, Alpha Omega, Tomorrow King, and Sarge. Tomorrow King had come out of retirement for the event and returned to his regular life shortly after 9/11. Meteor and Sarge both left the profession within 6 months. As the team disintegrated Alpha Omega was disassembled by the Hit Squad. The last remanding member of the Sentinels was Aegis. She continued to fight crime for almost three years after the events of 9/11, but without the backing of the Sentinels eventually found herself in a deadly situation. With the fall of Aegis nearly 7 years ago many feel that the age of the costumed super hero ended and now the world lives in a world without heroes.

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Aces Character History

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:00 pm

Remember that guy in high school, the one on the football team that caught the winning touchdown pass in a glorious hail mary? How about that guy that always seamed to win the big prize in those raffles, the one that would make you either not buy any tickets because you knew he was gonna win or buy 10 more just because you didn't want the sonuvagun to win again? Or that guy that always seemed to be at the right place at the right time, EVERY time? That guy? Yeah, I'm him.

Everyone remembers that catch as some legendary athletic accomplishment because of some untold physical prowess in a young man. I remember it differently. I remember a scared as hell kid put in the game for the first time because of someone else's unfortunate injury, first time on the field and it was in the championship game replacing the fastest guy on our team.

I remember the quarterback calling out a play I've never even heard of and after spotting the confused look on my face just told me to "run the hell out there as fast as you can and catch the damned ball." Then, like time had fast forward, we were in line waiting for the hike, the ball was snapped and dirt was flying by under my feat. The next thing I remember is total darkness. My helmet was just a little too big and it had flopped over in front of my eyes and I couldn't see anything. I couldn't stop myself and I just pushed on forward with my arms held out to try and stop myself from running into anything. All of a sudden I feel something fall into my outstretched arms and I tuck my limbs into myself, the object coming with them, and braced for a fall.

So happens the thing that fell into my arms was the ball and the moment I decided to tuck and roll was at the goal line right when two hulking masses of testosterone thought they'd leap forward and try to take my head off. They missed the tackle, I scored the points, we won the game and the championship.

All because of my dumb luck. Same thing with the raffles, kept winning so I kept playing. Same thing with always being in the right place at the right time. Now that's where the story really starts.

So after high school what does a guy like me do? I'm some football hero that barely knows how to play the game, I've never had a steady girlfriend and my grades are average at best. Well there seemed to be only one option at that point in my life.

Go to the academy and become a police officer. Hell, this city could use a little luck after the towers went down right before my senior year and the crime sky rocketed. So I did the work, went through the programs, and wouldn't you know it? They slapped a badge on me, gave me a uniform and wished me luck.

Those early years when I was in the academy the streets were tough, crime was at an all time high and cops couldn't do much about it. By the time I graduated and got sent out into the streets things had calmed down a little. I guess the bad guys realized they didn't need to try so hard because they already owned the streets. Just my luck.

I spent an entire year with my nose down, looking the other way when other cops got paid off and kept myself out of trouble. Well, ALMOST an entire year. It was coming up on my anniversary and I had just talked to my parents the night before. They were saying how proud they were of me, helping the city the best I could and fighting the good fight. I didn't have the heart to tell them the truth, in fact I was down right ashamed of myself and what I stood for at that time.

I felt like most of the city had just given up and accepted that this was the way we now live. Then came the day before my one year mark. I was out "patrolling" the streets as usual when I heard a loud boom behind me. I spun around and saw some guy flying out from an explosion and hovering there in mid air. He was decked out in all sorts of fancy hardware and seemed to be flying via a jet pack.

I don't know what compelled me to do so, maybe it was just reflex, but I pulled my pistol and yelled "freeze!" The guy looked over at me and laughed to himself as he raised a gun that looked like it was from a corny 60's sci-fi movie, but when a guy that floating in the air after blowing up the inside of a building points anything at you it should scare you.
For a tense moment I was just staring at the object pointed at me and then fear took hold and I started to step back. I tripped over a bundle of news papers that was on the corner behind me and fell back right as that space gun shot forward a beam of light and missed me by inches as it started ripping up concrete. I lay there stunned for a second, I think he was just a little confused as to what had just transpired as well. I regained my wits and aimed for my target, about to take my first shot with a gun outside of a shooting range and I pulled the trigger.

They say I was the first "citizen" to take down a super villain since the towers fell and our heroes disappeared. They said I was a hero and I had my picture taken and I was on the front page and everything. I told myself "just another case of dumb luck."

You see I was aiming for a chest shot just like I was trained to do. I was hoping that it would hit something vital enough to slow him down so I could get away. My aim was 3 1/2 inches off to the left and it ended up hitting one of the valves on the guys jet pack.

He shot around the sky like a cartoon balloon that had a hole poked in it, hitting buildings and slamming into the street before the thing finally blew and he was tossed 2 stories into the air and skid 20 yards before stopping at my feet, beaten and unconscious but breathing. And just like that I was a hero all over again. The paper had a picture of me, but my face was covered in dirt from the debris and they had misspelled my name, I'm sure that's why it took the other bad guys a little longer to find me.

That was just the first year of being a cop. After that some of the old guard started taking an interest in me. I did some more stuff and after a while I was the youngest among them. They wanted to keep a cleaner city, which I was all for. The group of us didn’t always do things by the rules, but we did get justice when it was needed. We made enemies too, and in the end I lost a lot of friends.

One night I was late to a meeting with them, there had been a mix-up at the deli. I ended up a half hour late. Just as I pulled in, the brownstone exploded in front of me. I heard tires screeching up to me and thought whoever had done this was about to kill me too. Instead it was a brunette insisting that I get in the car.

Her name was Veronica, and she convinced me that it was best if the world believed that I had died in that explosion, if I hadn’t they were going to try to kill me again to make sure that the old guard was wiped out and this time my family might get caught in the cross hairs. She also told me that I was a pretty special guy, and she had been watching me. That is how all of this started for me.

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Lady Liberty Character History Part 1

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:29 pm

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Lexa Livingston as a young girl

The ‘first’ Lady Liberty made her mark in the 1860s fighting the injustice of gangs, illegal slavery rings, and for the rights of impoverished immigrants arriving on the shores of America in hopes of a new life in a new land. She was quickly embraced as a national icon and was recognized in lands foreign and domestic. Lady Liberty was murdered October 28th, 1864 trying to end a major riot held in Central Park over the politics of the time. A renowned artist at the time, Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, was so touched by the story of Lady Liberty that he undertook a massive project with the backing of his government to create a commemoration befitting of her legacy. Upon completion France gifted this statue to the United States as a token of friendship.

Over the next four score years other Lady Liberties appeared and took up the mantle of their predecessors, all but one were red haired, sharing similar physical features, and voices. Some historians believed that these were the blood descendants of the first Lady Liberty. While others theorized that Lady Liberty was in truth immortal and would simply disappear from the public eye for a time only to reappear when she was most needed. Since Lady Liberty’s disappearance during World War II, none have arisen to take up the mantle of the fallen hero. Her role in American and World history has faded, reducing her memory from world recognized icon to the subject of little more than urban myths.

Even I questioned whether this iconic American figure was little more than a government constructed propaganda piece that had fallen by the wayside. For so many of us, growing up and living in a world where such heroes do not tread, it would be easy to believe such simple explanations. Far more likely to accept the statue that stands in New York’s harbor to be a representation of ideals than one man’s posthumous love letter to the World’s First Super Hero. The truth, as I later learned, is far more complicated than either of these alternatives for me.

Nearly ten years after 9/11, the Day the Heroes Died, I took up the mantle of my bloodline. I am Lady Liberty and this is my story for the Sentinel Vault of Memories.

I was born Alexis Livingston, but those who know me simply call me Lexa. My father’s lineage has lived on the shores of the Hudson since before the American Revolution. Through the generations, the Livingston family has done well for themselves, and we entered the 21st century as one of the world’s premiere families.

My birth mother, Janneth Isles, passed away from cancer when I was only six years old. I remember very little about her from before that time, but my father’s grief after her death will remain with me forever. Papa, known to most as Charles Livingston, Chuck to his friends, told me that after she died he promised that he would never again love or have any more children. I am thankful that he eventually gave up on the former promise, though he never sired another heir.

The majority of my formative years were spent being shuffled through various care staff. I even found myself spending grades 8 through 10 in boarding school when papa married Angela Atwood, my stepmother. She felt it was important to spend a few years of their time bonding without the burdens of children and convinced my father to send me away as a wedding present to her.

This is not to say that my father didn’t or doesn’t love me, on the contrary he doted over me with what time he had. Even during my time away at boarding school I was often pulled out for our joint family vacations with the Worthingtons. My summers at home in Manhattan often meant that I was looked after by staff, as papa and Angela often attended functions that Angela believed I was too young for.

While Angela and my relationship started off with troubles, over the years I believe that we have grown closer. She has even come to call me her daughter, though I still call her Angela. I already have a mother and I refuse to disrespect her memory by titling anyone else in my life as such.

Over the years of my childhood, Angela asserted her beliefs into our family’s way of life. The Atwood family is comfortably entrenched among America’s old money families, and firmly instilled their values into Angela. From everything that I have seen, I have my mother to thank for my father’s more open approach to a woman’s role in the world. Even with papa’s open mindedness, Angela ended my Tae Kwon Do lessons, believing that it was an activity unfitting for a lady. Sadly study of the martial art was my favorite physical activity as a child.

For my father’s part, he decided his hard boundaries early on in their relationship, which left everything else to be ‘negotiated’. This often meant that he would eventually acquiesce to Angela in most matters. To this day I still do not know most of his hard boundaries with Angela, but I have been aware of two even before their marriage. Growing up papa prepared me to take control of Livingston Trust when the time came. This was even codified in legal documents soon after my mother’s death. Papa made it very clear to Angela that this would never change. Additionally, my father made it very clear to me and Angela before he remarried that he never intended to have more children.

It is only this duty that my father laid upon me at an early age that has ever made me feel like an only child.

The Livingston and Worthington families were so close thanks to my mother and Barbara Worthington that I grew up with three other children frequently around me. Janneth and Barbara (then Barbara Carolan) attended Princeton together and became the best of friends during their time at Delta Gamma Pi. After graduation they did not drift from each other’s side and even introduced each other to their future husbands.

Since my birth, Ambrose and Barbara Worthington have acted as my god-parents, but both truly welcomed me into their family after my mother’s passing. Their children Willits, Jordana, Arik, and I all grew up together; Willits being only a few months older than myself, their sister being three years my junior and Arik being six years younger than me. To that end, saying that I’m close with “Willie”, “Jay”, and Arik is an understatement and over the years I have many tales I could tell of our time spent together.

Willits in fact even wrote up a formal proposal for his parents where he outlined his plan to attend the same boarding school I was being sent to by Angela. He informed his parents that I would need someone that I could rely on while away. Luckily for both him and me, they saw the wisdom of his words and the dedication in his heart.

Despite all of this, none of the Worthington family can ever take the responsibility of being the fifth generation caretaker of the Livingston Trust away from me. I have simply reassured myself that the time would not come for many, many years; that I would have plenty of time to carve my own way in the world and find my own path before accepting that burden.

I have always been a great student, an academic. During my time in school I found myself in a leadership role whether it was starting a new club or championing school spirit. My breeding as a Livingston had given me an edge. This meant I was a natural in beauty and charm; not to mention well trained in appropriate demeanors and etiquette. But I felt few people ever saw me for who I really was as Lexa.

When I was young I was introduced to a book, Gone with the Wind, and I realized that the book epitomized what I hoped to find in my own life. The boys that showed interest in me didn’t make my heart flutter or pound through my chest. There was no sheer intoxication from being in their company as I had read so well described in other novels. My greatly romanticized vision of love ironically caused me to become dubbed “Ice Queen” by those around me as I waited for the one that would light me on fire from the inside.

I sometimes worry that I suffer from a particular quote from Gone with the Wind:
    “He never really existed at all, except in my imagination," she thought wearily. “I loved something I made up, something that's just as dead as Melly is. I made a pretty suit of clothes and fell in love with it.”
The truth is I was no less interested in romance and boys as the next girl. I simply had chosen to internalize most of those notions within myself and maintain complete self-control so that I would not find myself in a compromising position. Once, I think I even felt the butterflies with a boy, whom I will not name. Alas I worry things were simply not meant to be for us. Sometimes when I think about this boy I wonder if I simply put the suit of clothes on him in my memories, as Scarlett put on Ashley in the book.

I was 16 when my father decided it was time to bring me home from boarding schools. Ambrose and Barbara brought Willits home at the same time. Days before my cotillion, papa made it clear to me that after my debut I would be expected to take up my place as a member of the family. This meant that I would be attending all the appropriate functions and would shoulder the responsibilities required of a Livingston. I needed to learn and prepare myself for my life. As always, my desire to please my father squelched any long term argument on my part.

With my newly found responsibilities and attendance obligations I often found solace in Willits’ company. Willits and I have always just fit together, complimenting each other’s nature. Unlike my relation with his brother, Arik and I have the most strained of relationship between myself and any of the Worthington siblings. I have never understood why he would simply tag along with Willie, Jay, and I wherever we went during our vacations. Even when his siblings were not nearby I often noticed Arik came to keep me company. Back in those days, I did not mind his presence. He was a great kid with a streak of awkwardness similar to his older brother.

That changed when Arik hit puberty. His teenage years brought about him a great many changes. Suddenly, Arik was the most popular boy in his school. Female students and teachers fawned over him and he was successful at everything he attempted. He even made the varsity football team in his freshman year of high school rather than waiting until his junior year like his peers. He was captain of the lacrosse team and many thought he would go pro tennis after graduation. Arik took to any sports arena as if he were a gladiator fighting for his continued existence, an approach that he applied to so many things in his life.

It was during the summer after Arik’s senior year of high school when our strange dynamic fully manifested. Arik had quickly moved through the grades and was graduating two full classes ahead of where those he had entered high school with. I was home after finishing my senior year at Princeton and debating whether to take a year off before returning for my masters. I knew that once I finished my masters I would want to roll directly into a PhD program.

I attended my mother’s alma mater and even pledged to her same sorority, which I was easily accepted into being a legacy amongst my other qualifications but I digress. Arik and I found ourselves alone walking on the beach after playing a few games on the boardwalk. I was tired from the sun and sat down in the shade under the boardwalk. Arik sat himself down next to me.

I thanked him for winning me a cute stuffed dolphin I had my eye on but grew frustrated trying to win against the obviously rigged ring toss. As I pulled back from my appreciative hug he chose that very moment to seal his lips over mine for an intimate kiss. My mind wasn’t sure what was going on and I found myself returning the gesture open-mouthed for several moments before pulling myself back to reality. Suddenly, I shoved him away and explicated my disgust at kissing someone that I considered family. Not to mention the fact that I knew he was dating a freshman in my sorority and I was 6 years older than him!

I came across far harsher than I intended. My momentary loss of faculties greatly disturbed me. After a sheepish apology on his part he ran off and didn’t look back.

For a few years after the incident my awkwardness around Arik was a manageable level. That changed after I finished my post graduate work. His worldly success in a multitude of avenues, including women, had gotten to his head and suddenly he was constantly implying, intimating, and insinuating various aspects of my romantic and otherwise personal life. He knew this made me uncomfortable and seemed to almost take pleasure in it. I tried to ignore him the best I could and his frequent travels abroad made the tenuous situation more tenable. Willits sensed my discomfort around Arik and started warning me when his brother would come to town.

In regards to my non-Worthington associated life I made a dear friend in Delta Gamma Pi, Alicia Darby, who was a member of the D.A.R. and sponsored my application. I found myself quite taken with the organization and all the wonderful things they did to preserve American heritage. I had always been in love with history, to the extent that my major in college was history with a minor in archeology. My work with the D.A.R. soon narrowed that interest further into American History; even determining my graduate thesis topic, the American Civil War.

The sorority was a way through many doors. One such door opened to me freshman year of my college education. A senior DGP sister, Gwen Austen, had been doing some modeling work and one of her colleagues quit a job leaving a void. She roped me into an agency meeting which garnered me a job offer. I was uncertain of my desire to fall into such a line of work but my sisters convinced me that properly represented and modeling in moderation could only be a positive influence on my future. I didn’t do any runway work as my schedule hardly permitted extended trips away from campus but I built a decent portfolio for myself through modest fashion photography.

Papa was very proud of the image I set forth in my family’s name in this regard and even had several of my pieces framed and displayed at our home in New York which I found myself pleading for him to take down after it garnered a bit more attention than I was comfortable with from certain would be suitors Angela greatly approved of.

After college, several of my papers gained national recognition amongst the academia. It was not long before I was offered a full time professorship at Columbia University in their American Studies department. Over the years my dedication even catapulted me through the ranks earning me department chair.

Between a combination of luck and dedication I also became the local chapter president for the D.A.R. My various obligations often spreading me quite thin but it is the life I have chosen to live, at least in part; which is better than not having any choices at all.
Last edited by Uthanar on Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:47 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Lady Liberty Character History Part 2

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:39 pm

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Lexa Livingston played by Bonnie Wright

A year after I received my tenure I was promoted to the American Studies Chair at Columbia University after Professor Daniel Yorrick retired from teaching to pursue other avenues in academia. I still attend his lectures around the world to this day, when time permits, and maintain a friendship with him.

I met Daniel when I was still a student at Princeton just starting research for my graduate thesis. He had a number of books out on the subject and I contacted him for an interview. He and I built such a great rapport during our initial interviews and discussions that soon a strong friendship blossomed. When I graduated he was eager to recruit me into his department at Columbia University as a junior professor of American History.

Over the years Daniel’s introduced me to a number of my other friends in the academia world such as George Caswell who happens to be a curator at the Smithsonian. Daniel and my other friends from the world of academia have allowed me to plant my own roots away from my family’s name and expectations.

When I received my news that day, two years ago, I made plans with a number of my colleagues for an impromptu celebration at the Pen-Top Rooftop Bar that evening although I was aware that the university would be throwing me a party later on in the month to commemorate the occasion as well.

That afternoon I received a call from Willits warning me that his brother was in town for his sister’s engagement party, one I would be attending later that week. I told Willits about my promotion and invited him to join my colleagues and I for a couple drinks in celebration. The family had been uncertain if Arik would be returning to town for Jordana's party given his constantly chaotic schedule.

Half an hour after the call Arik visited me at my office to invite me to dinner to celebrate my promotion. I declined explaining that I had already made plans with my colleagues for drinks but invited him to join us. After Arik left I also made certain to invite Jordana to join us.

I opened a tab and insisted that I would pay for the evening’s libations for all my colleagues and friends. Some argued at first but as the drinks took to their systems it seemed everyone was quite content to accept my offer after all. Arik was the last to arrive, over an hour late, and though he stayed for an hour he was one of the first to leave.

Later that night when I went to close my tab and pay I found that my tab had already been covered by someone who had requested ‘he or she’ stay anonymous. I later found out from one of my colleagues that Arik had paid the tab on his way out. I called to thank “Mr. Anonymous” for his unnecessary but generous gesture to which he simply explained that he was certain he had no idea what I was talking about but also that it was unseemly for a lady to ever pay for her own drinks much less at a celebration of her own achievements. Arik was always sweet in the most unexpected ways even if he did also make me quite uncomfortable frequently.

Angela and my D.A.R. sisters constantly hassle me about my bachelorette status being unbefitting of someone such as myself. They have made many attempts at blind dates or other setups to help me find a suitable husband over the years. None to any avail. One such attempt culminated in an incident at a charity event my family was involved in organizing last year.

The evening included a bachelorette First Dance auction, an event where men bid for the right to have a single six minute dance with the object of their “affections” after dinner. Angela signed me up for as one of the twelve bachelorettes to be auctioned in the evening. I didn’t belong up on stage with the other girls involved. While they relished the limelight of the obvious meat market hoping to be picked by their choice “gentleman” I was screaming in my head waiting for the moment I could bolt off the stage. I prayed that no one would bid on me and I could exit the stage with a simple shrug.

It is not that I am uncomfortable in front of a crowd; on the contrary I have no problems speaking in front of hundreds of people. I’ve just never appreciated being gaped at as little more than a piece of meat.

The auction’s format was rather straight forward. The bachelorettes were lined up on stage and were introduced by the ‘auctioneer’ who in this case was Angela. She rattled off a few facts about each of us as she introduced us. She then invited the bachelors intending to participate on stage to “examine” us more closely.

I cringed mentally thinking of the slave markets of the south prior to the civil war or the slave auctions of ancient Rome. The white satin gloves on my hands grew heavy as if they were morphing into manacles and chains before my eyes. Gentlemen were encouraged to show their interest in a lady they intended to bid on by kissing the back of the girl’s hand.

The first few men that past by me I refused to raise my hand for them to kiss when they extended their hand to mine. Angela stared daggers into me after my fourth refusal to cooperate. I smiled politely and complied with each extension for my hand. This meant that no a single suitor passed by me without their gesture of interest.

Two incidents during the parade that I found of particular interest; the first was that Willits kissed only my hand. The second was when Arik approached me he had only kissed one other hand when he extended for mine. He smirked at the visible dread of his kiss crossing my face and leaned in as he raised my hand as if to kiss it but just before making contact twirled me towards him instead and whispered in my ear something I doubt I’ll soon forget. “You look ravishing, I’m sure the bachelors tonight will just eat you up Lexist.” Despite my elbow length gloves I found myself feeling as if I had been covered in slime by the end of the parade.

Things only got worse from there for me if you can believe it. I was the fourth in line to be called up. Approaching the podium I was then gestured by Angela to walk down a catwalk and back while she went over my likes, dislikes, and career. She was acidic when she declared I was an “American Studies Professor at Columbia University” but I ignored her tone of disapproval.

Bids for me flew by quickly and I felt nauseous and dizzy under the hot lights in combination with monetary call outs for my time. I wondered how this could not be considered prostitution as I assured myself it would all be over soon enough. I reminded myself that the money would go to a worthy cause and help many people seemed to be the most calming self-assurance. Unfortunately my discomfort only grew as the flurry of bids saw no immediate end.

Unable to stand it any further I ran off the stage to the backstage prep area where the girls touched up makeup. I felt like I was going to vomit or convulse. After twenty minutes Angela came in berating my inappropriate behavior. I wanted to yell at her and explain that her signing me up, without my approval, for such a thing was inappropriate. She simply reminded me it was for a good cause and that I earned the high bid for the entire auction. She was certain it was likely some type of record as a whole that she would later have to look into. After the color came back to my face we returned to the event and ate our dinner.

During dinner Arik implied heavily that he had won my dance during the auction. Repeatedly stating how he looked forward to leading me to the dance floor. It made my blood boil and I saw Willits shake his head but never respond to Arik’s goading. I was certain anything Willits said would have likely only made Arik more determined to upset me.

As the announcement came out over the speakers that the first dance would be commencing and each bachelor should seek out their bachelorette to escort to the dance floor Arik stood up and extended me his hand. I gulped down a lump in my throat as I looked to Willits and Jay for help but neither met my gaze. Just before reaching the dance floor Arik hands me to Levi Cannings, who as it turned out was the actual winner of my dance.

Levi Cannings was a boyfriend from high school who I broke up with when I found out he was sleeping with another girl from school because I wouldn’t ‘put out’. My stomach turned and I felt myself dry heave at the prospect of his hands on me as he approached me to claim his dance. Arik was eager to voice his amusement at my situation and commented that he was eager to watch me dance. As Levi led me out to the dance floor I looked to my table shooting pleading looks to my friends and family, but I knew there would be no rescue in sight.

I could feel Arik watching me as he danced with his bachelorette while I was led around the dance floor. As the dance progressed I felt Levi’s hands progress downwards from my waist and I immediately slapped him then pushed him away. I marched myself off the dance floor and back to my table before I could kick Levi in the groin. I had reached my limit for the evening.

As Arik rejoined our table from his dance he made a point of mentioning how the dance was well worth the astronomical price he paid, despite still only coming in second place to my winner. The implications in his phrasing made my skin crawl and I turned my attention away from him.

Papa didn’t hear the end of it from Angela for three months after that. She was certain that my Tae Kwon Do lessons that papa had permitted me to take were somehow, at least in part, responsible for my unladylike behavior. I wondered what Angela would think or say if she found out I had resumed my Tae Kwon Do lessons after I finished college.

She reminded papa that the only way I could provide an heir to continue the Livingston legacy past my generation would be to marry appropriately and give him a grandchild. By the end of the three months my father was about ready to throw me into an arranged marriage. Luckily the prospect of my unhappiness ranked high enough he quickly discarded the idea when I promised papa that I would do a better job of appeasing Angela in the future.
Last edited by Uthanar on Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:48 am, edited 2 times in total.

Uthanar
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Lady Liberty Character History Part 3

Postby Uthanar » Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:51 pm

Sunday, July 3rd 2011
“Of course papa, I’m fine…Dixon’s here…I’m safe. There’s no need to worry. Yes…yes…I know…I’ll do as he says…I’ll see you tomorrow papa. I love you too,” I comforted papa, and nodded as I spoke on the phone while I got into the Lincoln town car.

Over the years papa’s career has made him many powerful friends and allies but also his share of enemies. The Livingston Trust security services are always assessed and reassessed threat levels to my family and various corporate assets. Occasionally the threat level was deemed high enough that papa assigned bodyguard(s) to me to ensure my safety until such dangers passed. While I have never enjoyed the notion of being ‘babysat’ I do have always cared enough for my father’s continued well-being and peace of mind. In truth, it was never too bad when Dixon was the one assigned to watch over me.

Dixon has been a member of the Livingston Trust security staff since I was a little girl around the age of ten. Over the years he raised in position within the Livingston Trust security services; he even came to lead his own team of fifteen ‘agents’. When I was growing up he and I spent a great deal of time together and I came to think of him as an uncle. When I was younger I was even permitted to call him “uncle D”.

He would take me to and from school, and when I was sent away to boarding school papa rented him an apartment nearby so he could keep me safe. Growing up I talked to him about many things, such as school, friends, boys, the Worthingtons, papa, and Angela. He always was a great listener and a comforting shoulder when I needed one.

Dixon never complained when I needed to vent about Angela’s latest “stunts” as I called them and never judged my choice of the boys I crushed on. Throughout my childhood he was one of the few people I could confide any of my problems to. Some of my favorite times away in boarding school were when Dixon would take Willie and I out on afternoon passes to get ice cream, or go ice skating, or even to go shopping.

One time, Dixon even took us to a fair set up a couple towns away. The three of us went on rides, played games, and had so much junk food I was sick the next day. The fun we had was well worth the later distress.

As I grew older papa decided it was no longer befitting for me to call him “uncle D” and I had to learn to call him Dixon like everyone else. That never changed how much I cared about my dear uncle D though. Even in light of his ever increasing responsibilities within the Livingston Trust security services he tried to make time for me. Particularly when the threat level was high enough that I needed a bodyguard but low enough that he felt comfortable seeing to my security personally. In recent years he often reminded me that he was no longer the “spring chicken” that he once was so when threat levels were too high he simply assigned two of his younger agents to watch over me.

I jumped at my chance to spend some time with Dixon, asked about his family, work, and his sailboat. Though divorced and single Dixon had a daughter, Julianne, only a year younger than me; he rarely got to see Julianne when she was growing up, but they tried to have lunch once a week when she was grown. He named his sailboat, a 50th birthday present from papa, Rebecca after his ex-wife.

I think he still loves her even though she left him when I was still in grade school. As we talked it seemed that everything in Dixon’s life was going well. He invited me to dinner with Julianne and himself later on in the month which I happily accepted. I knew that he would be retiring in a few months; he had been looking for his replacement for a few weeks. When we talked about that he would promise me that his retirement would simply mean he would have more time for Julianne and me.

Dixon in turn asked me about my life’s events and reminded me to slow down and smell the roses from time to time. He worried that I would end up old and lonely like him because I wrapped myself up too heavily in my work and volunteer responsibilities. I assured him that I would take his advice if I could only find a man that wasn’t so intimidated by me, saw me for who I was, and was not a gold digger. He laughed at my all too rehearsed response and nodded.

Dixon drove me from campus to the Midtown Loft & Terrace where I met Gina Steppes to setup for the following day’s festivities. Tablet in hand, I orchestrated the staff around the space, ensured that the dance floor was properly installed over dark hardwood flooring, and that all the place cards were in their proper places. I was grateful that we were able to secure extra time in the space for a leisurely setup as it isn’t always a possibility. Alicia, Gina, and I often have to contest with same day setups, sometimes with as little as two hours to ensure everything was perfect. Those hectic schedules lead all three of us to appreciate events where we were able to secure extra time in the venue; they were a blessing.

After setup I said goodbye to Gina Steppes and joined Dixon back at the car. My next stop was my home for a shower. Then I needed to dress for dinner and dancing with Alicia Darby. Her husband, Mark Darby, was on another extended business trip. Times like this always made her need our ‘girl time’ all the more.

Dixon wasn’t particularly happy with my plans for the evening but understood why I could not simply cancel on Alicia. Unlike some of the other bodyguards I was assigned on occasion, Dixon did not believe I should stop living my life because of possible dangers around the corner. However, large crowded public areas always made him nervous of failure to protect me. The truth was that I had never been particularly enthusiastic about the night club scene myself, but Alicia’s always enjoyed it since our college days. As her sorority sister and her friend it is my job to keep her company.

Alicia and Mark even met on the dance floors of Avenue night club, one of our favorite haunts, four years ago. It turned out that the two came from similar social circles and likely had met once or twice at functions but not taken notice of each other until their encounter at the club. Their shared interests quickly grew into a burgeoning relationship and a year later they were married. I was her maid of honor. I sometimes thought Alicia dragged me to those clubs in hopes I would find my prince charming as she did hers.

Alicia and I had dinner at Morimoto’s in Chelsea then headed over to Avenue. Dixon stayed nearby but was careful not to crowd us throughout the evening. He was a true professional. Late in the evening Alicia and I were coming out of the restroom when I noticed Dixon wasn’t waiting by the door as he was doing when we entered. Before I could react I felt a hand over my face with a sweet smelling cloth in hand. I breathed in the fumes and everything went black.

When I woke, my head ached and I fought through a heavy haze as I tried to gain my bearings. I didn’t know where I was or what time it was. It was dark outside and the noises I made echoed across what seemed to be a warehouse. I was seated in a chair with my hands bound behind my back to another pair I assumed to be Dixon’s. They were far too big and rough to be Alicia’s. I quietly whispered Dixon’s name but there was no response.

My eyes adjusted to the darkness and I could see the outlines of covered windows high above me and the faint baseline of a nearby doorway. It was definitely night time, but I had no idea if it was the same night or the next. The open space had a few scattered crates that confirmed we were being held in some sort of warehouse. By the available architecture and the faint smell of sea water I guessed we were near the docks. I just hoped it was the docks of New York and not another state or country.

I called out to Dixon again, this time louder. I heard him groan as he shifted against my back. I repeated his name and this time received a reply. He asked me if I was okay and I assured him that I was, but that I was terrified at the situation we found ourselves in. Having known him as long as I had I knew he blamed himself for what happened but nothing I could say would change absolve him of the guilt in his mind.

On the other hand, I felt it was entirely my fault. I should not have gone out to a place that left me so vulnerable. My mind raced with other ways I could have spent the evening. Perhaps I should have invited Alicia to my home for a quiet evening in or even canceled; but I did not take my father’s concerns seriously. In those moments my sanity left me. I cried out to our unseen captors for information. I asked where we were, who they were, what they wanted, and where Alicia was. None of my inquiries received any replies; Dixon eased me out of the panic with his voice soothing me. He calmed me the best he could and assured me that he would get me home safely. I believed him but I was uncertain of the cost.

Dixon urged me to get some sleep or at least rest before our captors returned. I could not sleep under such circumstances, I was too charged from emotion and stress of the situation. My heart felt as if I was running a marathon and I pondered a thousand questions hoping to deduce some answers but none came. I felt Dixon as he struggled against our bonds; he was trying to escape from them. I tried to be as cooperative as possible and waited quietly.

I waited for hours until the light of day peaked around the edges of the brown paper coverings on the windows above us. In the light I could see several loading bay doors on the far side of the open space from the nearby door I caught the baseline of when I first awoke. When Dixon turned his head to speak to me I could see that he had a cut lip and bruising had just started to take hold in various areas of his face. Dixon assured me he had made progress with our bonds and was confident he would be able to enable our escape. I heard something slide against the sleek concrete floor and I looked in that direction.

Monday, July 4th 2011
Though the actual article text was too small to read from my position I could see a few things of note. The paper was the Planet Bugle and the date on it was July 4th, 2011 meaning I had woken up the same night I was taken. The final piece of information that I noted from the paper was the most disturbing. A picture of Dixon and myself bound in the chair and the headline “$1 Billion or Death” dominated the front page of the paper. It was taken when we were both unconscious and my disheveled state made me look worse than I had felt.

The sight of the paper made me cry out a blood curdling scream. Dixon was speaking to me, but I was unable to focus on his words. I struggled against my bonds but they only seemed to tighten under my futile resistance. I am uncertain how long it took for Dixon to calm me again, he always said that I was a brave little girl, but that morning I felt anything but brave.

My struggles had set back Dixon’s effort to free us from the rope bonds, but eventually he freed himself and was about to turn and untie me when we heard a car pull up outside. Dixon immediately decided that feigning his restraints would likely give us the best edge. He told me to take a deep breath and stay calm. We listened as the car doors opened and closed. Moments later three masked men came in through the same door that the paper had been previously slid under. Two of the men were armed with semi-automatics and stood with guns readied. The third approached me, he appeared to be unarmed.

I started calling out every question on my mind. I asked who they were, what they wanted, but before my third question could be asked I felt a slap to my face as my captor told me to shut up. While his blow shocked me into silence it did not hurt, instead he seemed to be taken aback by the sturdiness of my jaw against his hand.

Dixon seized the momentary distraction that I had created. He charged forward barreling into the masked man that had just slapped me and continued the force into the two other men. I heard the sounds of guns firing, and for a moment thought a bullet hit my arm. I glanced at my arm I saw no sign of being hit. When I looked up again I saw Dixon’s and the unarmed kidnapper slump to the floor, red seeping through both their clothes and onto the cold concrete.

I screamed again and this time when I struggled against my bonds they snapped. I charged at one of the gunmen and punched him. As he flew back his finger pulled against the trigger of his gun. He impacted the brick wall behind him so hard a hole broke open in it and he slumped to the ground inside it. Gunfire continued behind me but the man seemed to have terrible aim as I never felt myself struck. I turned towards him; a look of shock and terror held his features and I quickly pulled on my muscle memory from my Tae Kwon Do lessons, a kick, a dodge, and a punch later he was out cold with blood trickling from his lip.

I did not think; I grabbed Dixon’s limp body and slung him over my shoulder. I spent no time thinking on how easily I lifted the frame of the well-muscled large 6’4” beast of a man. Dixon likely weighed nearly three times my waiflike form but nevertheless I lifted him over my shoulder and I ran out of the building through the fresh hole in the wall. As I passed the unconscious man lying in the hole in the wall, I thought that the warehouse must be condemned if a man hitting it could break it open.

Outside I could see that I was right in my earlier assumptions, the warehouse was along the waterfront which meant it would have been difficult for someone to stumble on our captivity. I ran along the waterfront and sought help or a phone. My mind didn’t even register the weight of Dixon’s body as I quickly moved down the streets.

As I ran I felt my movement smooth and the impact of the pavement beneath me cease. I assumed I was having an out of body experience from the trauma of the recent events when I felt myself looking down at the buildings and streets below me. I saw a payphone and made my way to it as fast as I could. I felt weightless and it was as if I literally flew at the phone as if a bird, though that seemed impossible at the time.

I placed Dixon against the phone booth and dialed 911 then slumped down beside Dixon and wept. My head against his chest heard no sounds of breath or heartbeat and I prayed that he was still alive. I closed my eyes and waited with bated breath for help to arrive and someone to tell me that Dixon would be ok.

I am uncertain how long it took for the police and paramedics to arrive. I heard a deep but gentle voice speaking to me through my haze but it took some time for me to comprehend what he was saying. Eventually I was able to answer him with simply nods and mousy words. He introduced himself as Detective Kreuk. I asked if Dixon would be ok but he didn’t answer. I asked where Alicia was and he told me she had been hit on the head and left on the sidewalk in Chelsea but she was ok. I started ranting incoherently and he rubbed my back gently as he informed me that I was going to be taken to the hospital to be checked up. My family and friends would meet me there. I nodded as he helped me to the gurney where paramedics were waiting.

I didn’t make the D.A.R Independence Day party that evening but neither did my father, Angela, Willie, Alicia Darby, or my godparents. Ambrose told me that Jay was on her way back from Hawaii and should arrive the next day but he was unable to reach Arik with the news of my condition.

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Lady Liberty Character History Part 4

Postby Uthanar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:06 am

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Lady Liberty sash clip

Tuesday, July 5th 2011 to Tuesday, July 26th 2011
I was released from the hospital the following afternoon after the doctors were certain I suffered no serious injuries. I was ordered to take it easy a few days and to seek out therapy to work through the trauma I had suffered. Detective Kreuk came by to interview me and when I explained that some of my answers didn’t make sense he simply assured me that it was common for those suffering from similar situations to have extreme surges of adrenaline allowing them to perform feats of great strength as in my case of lifting Dixon. He took my statement then left me to my recuperation.

Columbia University insisted that I take a three week sabbatical for my physical and mental well-being. I accepted the vacation and decided to drive up to my family’s generations old vacation home in East Hampton. Jay accompanied me, as she had a few days before she needed to return to Hawaii. Papa also assigned me two bodyguards to keep me safe, Jake Myres and Rick Olsen.

I hoped the ocean air and the soothing waves would calm me but the nightmares started the very first night. I dreamt of the kidnapping though the situation was twisted differently each night. Some nights I was shot while in others I was stabbed. There were other traumas too but none of them ever seemed as painful as watching Dixon die over and over in every dream.

I always woke drenched in cold sweat, my hair matted against my face and back. Each night when I woke Jay was by my side with a glass of cold water. She held me speaking softly to comfort and calm me while I clung to her and sobbed uncontrollably. While it was rare for my emotions to get the best of me Dixon’s death certainly warranted the loss of my cool and collected façade. She told me happy stories of our childhood together and when I was calmed she asked me to tell her stories of the good times I had with Dixon.

When Thursday came Jay suggested she postpone her flight a few days but I had taken up her attention long enough as it were. She had a husband that missed her and what I was certain to be a pile of work stacking up on her desk. I insisted that she go home and promised her frequent updates on my sanity and that some time alone would help me sort out my thoughts and emotions. It took some persuading but eventually she acquiesced and returned to Hawaii.

The nightmares were unbearable and without Jay’s company I found myself fearing the dark. Despite the summer heat I had always found hearth and campfires strangely comforting so I lit a fire in the fireplace each night to stave off the darkness around me. As the days went on I found myself fighting the impulse to sleep, the fatigued haze of the real world seemed far better to the nightmarish realm of my dreams.

On Friday, Willie called to check on me and offered to come up to keep me company for the weekend as Jay had left. I declined explaining that while I genuinely appreciated the offer; my time with Jay revealed that I needed time alone to process things before I returned to my life in New York. He was very understanding but made me promise I would call if I needed anything.

By Monday, I was no longer able to fight my need to sleep. I had prolonged the inevitable as long as I could with coffee, activities, and sheer stubbornness; days before I had given up on reading from the fatigue of it all. Finally, the need to sleep caught up with me while I was relaxing on the couch with the television on. The fireplace crackled with life beside me. I felt myself beginning to drift and did not have the energy to fight against the oncoming nightmare. That’s when I had the dream.

A beautiful young woman with vibrant red hair, hazel eyes, porcelain skin, dressed in a white toga, and wearing a silver spiked tiara sat in a rocking chair in the attic. I could hear the ocean waves lapping against the shore outside, behind the woman. The woman said nothing but simply smiled and pointed towards a wall in the attic. In the dust on the wall was etched the numbers 05, 08, 45. The scene faded into darkness as I heard a series of gunshots. The sun beamed in behind me moments later as I held Dixon’s lifeless form in my arms. I felt myself running so quickly that the ground beneath me ceased to exist. I screamed “NO” as the scene changed again and I saw myself reaching out to catch a bullet heading for Dixon’s chest.

I jerked awake with a scream of anguish and terror, sweat streamed down my brow. I struggled to get my bearings and suddenly I felt a hard thud against my back as I fell to the floor. I realized that I had been floating in the middle of the living room while I slept.

I did not understand how something like that was possible, but my latest dream seemed to be trying to tell me something. I recalled the events leading up to my escape and ran them over and over in my mind. Dixon had felt so light in my arms when I lifted him and did I really fly? I contemplated those and many other questions before I remembered the wall in the attic from my dream and the numbers.

I ran upstairs and pushed my way through the boxes, crates, and random loose family possessions until I reached the wall. I searched the wall at length but found nothing and eventually gave up for the day. I had a funeral to attend back in New York. I was not about to miss my chance to say goodbye to Dixon and pay my respects to his family. After a quick shower and donning the proper attire I got in the backseat of the Mr. Myres silver escalade for the two and a half hour drive back to the city.

The funeral was primarily a blur of emotions for me. Much of what I remember felt as if I was watching a show on a stage. Nothing about these events seemed quite real. I was worn and weary as were most guests in attendance. Julianne was not taking her father’s death well; she was angry that her mother refused to attend the funeral. She hugged me many times during the funeral and said how her father always wished the two of us were sisters. Julianne hoped to spend more time getting to know me and making her father’s wish come true in the future. She insisted that I join her for the scattering of her father’s ashes in the fall as his will had requested. I agreed and consoled her to the best of my abilities.

Papa, Angela, Ambrose, Barbara, and Willie were all in attendance. Willits gave a riveting speech where he cited memories of our boarding school outings with Dixon when we were children. I was invited to say a few words which I did but my words all felt as if they lacked the worth of Dixon’s life. The life he had given up to save me.

During the reception Willie stayed close to me ensuring my drink was always filled and letting me cry on his shoulder. Willie even escorted me back to East Hampton that evening and stayed in the guest room for the night before returning to New York in the morning.

That night, the dream with the woman in the toga repeated itself and upon waking I went back up to the attic and continued my search. My movements in the house disturbed Willie and he caught me in the attic shuffling boxes. He asked me what I was doing and if he could be of any help. Without explaining my dream I told him that I was looking for something from my past, perhaps my childhood. There was something I felt a need to find.

He looked in a nearby box and found a small clay figure of what was supposed to be an owl. I asked if he still had the matching cat I made him during the same project. He didn’t answer and simply started digging for other buried treasures. We spent several hours going through various memorabilia from our childhood and enjoyed each other’s company. We almost missed the sun rising but when it did Willie said goodbye and went back to New York. I felt terrible that he was heading off to work with not an ounce of sleep because of me.

I returned to the wall from my dream and continued my search. This time I found a small latch on the floor near the wall and pulled it. A small hatch opened in the wall where the numbers in my dream had been etched. Pushing the hatch open I saw an old dust covered dial safe ensconced in the wall. I thought back to my dream and the numbers that the woman had pointed out to me and found myself mumbling them to myself. I tried L05, R08, and L45.

With a click the safe popped open and inside I found a small stack of journals and scrapbooks neatly placed within. Folded neatly beside the stack of books was a white toga with a pair of white tights, a silver spiked tiara similar to that on the statue of liberty rested on the pillow of white fabric and several star shaped clasps lay beside the tiara. I gaped at the veneration by which the clothes were placed within the safe and wondered who could have possibly done it. Papa never told me much about my grandmother Cassidy mostly because he was very young when she died but papa did say she died while working as a war correspondent in World War II.

I gingerly removed the books from the safe and started to carefully thumb through them. Uncertain what I was looking for or what I expected to find. It quickly became apparent that many of the journals had suffered damage either by fire, water, ripped, or damaged in parts by unknown sources. I even pondered if one spot I found was a bullet hole but dismissed the idea. This left a great deal of the journals undecipherable but the scrapbooks were intact.

I flipped through the scrapbooks and saw black and white pictures of Lady Liberty flying through the sky as she lifted enemy tanks in the air one handed and flung them with ease across the entire battlefield. There were pinned newspaper clippings that described Lady Liberty’s daring defeats against Nazi forces during World War II and mention of Nazi super soldiers. The scrapbooks also mentioned other super heroes fighting alongside Lady Liberty during these battles, Sleuth, Green Beret, Erudite, and more. In one article it mentioned that Lady Liberty called these three her friends.

I put the scrapbooks aside and opened the first of the journals, hoping to find enough writing undamaged that I could get some answers. As I poured over the materials available to me I found myself stunned. It seemed that I had inherited super human powers through my ancestry, a lineage passed from daughter to daughter on my father’s side but given that papa had no sister, fate as it were, skipped a generation.

Cassidy, my grandmother, wrote of how her mother indoctrinated her into her powers when she was only ten years old and mentored her for her eventual responsibilities as a Lady Liberty when her time came. My great grandmother had explained to Cassidy that these powers were discovered generations earlier. Cassidy began her training with these powers in her pre-teen years. She noted that without proper tutelage the powers manifestation would be erratic and likely to cause problems as one of the bloodline came into them.

Without a mentor I did not have my first manifestation until I was 32 years old. My heart sunk from disappointment.

As I continued to read I pieced together that the powers I could expect to manifest included flight, super strength, and varying degrees of fire control. It seemed different generations of Lady Liberty had different levels of fire control though flight and strength always manifested first. The journals mentioned Cassidy's battles against Nazi super soldiers and the shutting down of several sinister research programs during the war.

Cassidy often wrote how she worried about how she left her baby boy at home without a mother and of how she missed him and loved him dearly. During her time in Europe, she was constantly reminded by those she worked with that what she did she did so that my papa and her husband could live the life they deserved. Those that consoled her seemed to be super humanly powerful individuals similar to her and all of them worked to bring the war to an end. Sadly many passages concerning these others were indecipherable.

During her musings on home Cassidy even mentioned how she missed Liberty Base, a place of refuge and solace for generations of Lady Liberties.

In the last entry of the final journal I found a small passage written in a different handwriting that explained a trigger phrase that was keyed into my very ancestry and blood which would allow me to hide my identity from the public. It explained that while altered I could wear a costume and be obscured to those I did not want to know my civilian self. This phrase was “By Liberty’s Grace.”

I muttered it aloud as I wondered who this strange handwriting belonged to and suddenly the journal in my hand disappeared. My hairclip that had pinned up my hair disappeared as the tresses of my hair fell loosely down my back and the most shocking of all the changes was that I found myself stark naked, my body’s position unchanged from the cross legged style I’d been sitting in.

Antebellum, the house’s cat, eyed me from a corner in the attic as I looked around the room in a panic after looking over my form. A few moments later I regained enough of my senses to speak “By Liberty’s Grace” again and my clothing returned. The journal appeared back in my hand as if it had never left and the most shocking of this reverse change was that my hair was again pinned up by the hairclip as it had been before falling loosely down my back.

Antebellum let out a shriek and darted downstairs.

I returned to studying the journals after my first reading, trying to glean as much information I could. Some of the stories seemed so fantastical and unbelievable but my earlier disappearing clothing trick certainly put things into some perspective for me. The damages rendered to the journals left most stories rather incomplete often leaving me with more questions than answers. That night the nightmares stopped. I had my first good night’s sleep in a week.

I spent the remaining two weeks of my sabbatical practicing my new found abilities, using the journals and scrapbooks as guides. It was challenging at times hiding my activities from Mr. Myres and Mr. Olsen with one of the two of them always hovering nearby but the privacy of being behind a closed door often helped to disguise my activities. Once or twice the clanking of furniture drew their attentions but the sounds were easily explained.

I found I could lift a fully stocked refrigerator with ease equal to lifting my purse or a text book only a few weeks earlier so I went around the house seeking various heavy pieces of furniture to test my limits on. I found no item in the house that I could not easily lift one handed. I was even able to lift the cars in the garage with ease which brought me a mix of excitement and shock.

While experimenting with my strength I was pleasantly surprised to find a seashell necklace that I made with Willie, Jay, and Arik when we were kids trapped underneath an old bookcase in papa’s study. We had decided one vacation to collect pretty shells by various beaches we visited together then string them up into matching necklaces as a sign of our bonds together. I was devastated when I had lost mine during high school. I washed off the necklace and put it in my purse.

I found that as I practiced my abilities I seemed to need less and less sleep. In fact, after my first week’s practice I found that I could no longer sleep more than two hours a night and spent the rest of the night secretly practicing my flight and exploring my new strength. I tried manipulating the fires in the fireplace as my limited guides described but found myself unable to make any progress. It seemed I lacked the basic understanding behind the skill at the time.

I accidentally broke two of our home gym machines which bothered Mr. Myres and Mr. Olsen who thought that perhaps the equipment had been tampered with at first. The two men gave a thorough investigation to the machines and no foul play could be found. Eventually, the two men assumed that it was simple mechanical failures and unexplained flukes that caused the problems. I stopped playing with the gym equipment after that; I doubted a third piece of machinery being broken could have been accepted. The second piece had already caused a stir of paranoia among my bodyguards as it was.

During my stay in the Hamptons, I made certain to call my friends and family regularly to check in and assure them of my continued sanity as well as to check in on how they were holding up after the traumatic events. Alicia had sustained a minor concussion from the attack which caused Mark to cut his business trip short to return home and take care of her. I was grateful she had someone there for her. I knew that I could not be with everything happening within my own life. I felt I needed someone I could share my new secret with, someone capable of understanding. Unfortunately my closest confidant was murdered trying to protect me and I felt that Willie simply could not handle the news.

I wondered about my head teacher’s assistant, Kyle Gipson. He would often talk of his obsession with past super heroes and their effect on the course of history was in fact the topic of his thesis. He collected comic books, action figures, had scrapbooks of news articles from before 9/11 and other super hero paraphernalia. He was certainly someone to consider.

There was one more thing I spent my time doing during the two weeks. I realized if I was going to be a super hero that fighting stark naked wasn’t going to be a bright option but with all due respect to the Lady Liberties before me I wasn’t certain that a toga quite fit the modern New York. I searched through catalogues and my wardrobe for options, I hoped what I came up with was acceptable culturally and respectful to my predecessors.

I packed the contents of Cassidy’s secret safe into a lockbox to take back to New York with me. When I closed the panel in the attic again I concealed the floor latch with several old boxes. By the time Mr. Myres and Mr. Olsen accompanied me back to my New York penthouse apartment on the 26th I felt like a whole new woman. Upon my arrival home I found that many of my friends and family had thrown me a surprise party to welcome me home.
Last edited by Uthanar on Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lady Liberty Character History Part 5

Postby Uthanar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:12 am

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Lady Liberty by Storn

Wednesday, July 27th 2011
With my return to New York I had a meeting with Mr. Rhodes at the Anthem National Bank for a monthly review of my accounts. I found it a necessity with the number of charities I spent time working with. Upon my arrival I asked Ms. Mora, Mr. Rhodes assistant, if I could use their restroom. While normally reserved for only staff, my VIP account status warranted me additional privileges and she kindly escorted me to their lady’s room.

While washing my hands I heard a commotion from the main floor of the bank. I ducked into the bathroom stall and listened for a moment to figure out what was going on. When I realized that the bank was being robbed I immediately closed my eyes and uttered “By Liberty’s Grace” while I silently prayed that my new costume would appear as I had practiced. My worst fear at the time was that I would end up standing naked in the bathroom as the bank robbers rushed in.

To my relief when I opened my eyes I was no longer wearing my white shirt and grey pant suit with a pearl necklace and carrying my business satchel but instead wearing Lady Liberty's black leather jacket with silver studded stars on the shoulders, a matching set of open finger gloves, v neck red top with blue trim, blue form fitting jeans, and black stiletto boots.

I readied myself to burst onto the main floor and deal with the robbers but before I was able to act I heard footsteps and yelling coming down the hall. One of the bank robbers was going through the various rooms to check for potential hostages. I decided to wait for his approach so he could be dealt with away from his allies. As he entered the bathroom I grabbed the stall door and slammed it into his face and then knocked him unconscious with a swift punch. I took his weapon away from him and then snapped it in half with ease before I dragged him into the bathroom stall, closed the door, and headed out onto the main floor of the bank.

“Your account’s been closed,” I called out to the bank robber closest to my entrance to the floor. I gave him a square punch in the jaw that knocked him back several feet and left him sprawled out unconscious. I can get used to this. I thought to myself as I moved towards my next opponent.

As I moved I saw one of the hostages, a scrappy young man with blond hair and barely past his teenage years, took advantage of my distraction and assisted me. As I watched this young man charge the bank robbers with guns I suddenly had a flashback of Dixon’s suicidal last act to play through my mind and I cringed inwardly. The scrapper pushed the captor nearest him over the counter the robber was leaning against and into a flight of stairs. I jumped at the man before he could react and hurt my new ally and punched him in the chest rendering him unconscious. As I turned my attention elsewhere I heard the scrapper punch his unconscious body and call out “take that!” He was a brave kid and I hoped that I could keep the attention of the other bank robbers off him so he wouldn’t get shot.

I ruminated as to whether this scrappy kid was anything like Dixon when he was younger.

I lifted off the ground and flew back over the counter, across the room toward a man standing guard at the revolving door. He seemed at a loss for words or action. As I barreled towards him he lifted his gun to the air and sprayed bullets wildly into the ceiling. With a well-timed insult to his decorating taste, my fist landed square in his solar plexus visibly knocking the wind out of him and into the revolving door with enough force to cause it to spin like a carousel.

I turned back to the room to reassess the situation. The two remaining scoundrels placed their guns against the heads of a hostage each. I tried to talk them down by reasoning that they had yet to kill anyone and in truth hadn’t even managed to steal any money so if they would simply surrender the authorities would likely be far more lenient on them. The two seemed rather uneducated and unable to comprehend my vocabulary but my impromptu sidekick for the afternoon jumped the two men from behind while I distracted the robbers with my speaking.

I seized this opportunity to fly across the room at the two men and grabbed them by their rifles. I lifted the two of them off the ground with my swift motion and knocked their heads against each other with enough force to knock them unconscious. If it weren’t for that young man the hostages might have been killed. He reminds me of a young lighter haired Dixon.

With the bank robbery diffused I looked to the young man and asked if he had things handled from there. He enthusiastically affirmed his handle of the situation and I flew out the front door and in through a back window of the bank before changing back into my business suit and slipping into the chaos of hostages to give my statement with the others. As the officers took down names and statements I noted that the blond scrapper’s name was Howard Hackman.

Once the officers released me I called Kyle and asked him to meet me at my office. I decided I needed someone I could trust to confide in and Kyle’s knowledge of the super hero world would be of great benefit to me in the coming months as I figured out my new roles in this world. My new abilities enabled me to do far more than work with shelters or shuffle money for charities and I knew it was also my responsibility to put these abilities to good use.

I felt my entire body shake as I told Kyle the entire story of my previous month. He was in awe and disbelief at first wondering if I had been knocked on the head during the bank robbery but when I demonstrated my ability to fly, lifted the leather sofa he was sitting in with one hand and changed costumes in front of his eyes he jumped for joy. He rambled on and on about how he always wanted to be a super hero or know a super hero personally and how after 9/11 he was certain that there would eventually be those brave enough to come forward and take up the mantle and responsibility again. He was proud that I appeared to be one of the first to do so. He insistently offered to help me navigate my way through my new double life. He knew from all his studies of super heroes and knowing my life that it would be a full time job just keeping Lexa Livingston’s schedule straight and out of the way of Lady Liberty’s duties.

He squealed at my acceptance and quickly dubbed himself as my personal sidekick before he pulled out his tablet to make a to-do list.

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Re: Heroes Can Die

Postby Lallatwittle » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:31 am

Yes, I really did write a 12,000+ word character history...I tend to go a little overboard at times. :P

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Pulse Character History

Postby Uthanar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:46 am

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Pulse designed in Champions On-Line

Howard Hackman was eleven years old when 9/11 occurred. California born and raised, he was far removed from the events that threw the world into chaos. His father, Bill Hackman, made superheroes the things of fiction to Howard's young mind. As he grew older, and superheroes were hunted to the last, he began to forget the purpose they once served to the world. Howard never considered vigilantism to be his style anyways, much preferring the strange planets, technology, and brilliant heroes of science fiction to the pulpy comics at the cornerstore.

His interest in the technological shined as he progressed through school. Math came as easy to Howard as breathing, and anything that he did not understand was as easy for him to pick up as reading a book. While most boys chased girls around puberty, Howard preferred to keep to his circuit boards, plowing through college-level textbooks and dreaming of the future. When the time came for Howard to face the future though, he found that he had no interest in the reality presented to him.

Facing the ire of his parents, Howard pursued a college education at NYU, a decision fueled by Howard's aim at a dartboard. Though Howard did come out of his shell during his college years, finally finding interest in being around other people, he was increasingly bored with his studies.

It took a professor by the name of Davie Jones to give Howard direction. Noticing his incredible test scores, Davie accused Howard of cheating, and put the young boy to the test. Howard astonished Davie with his grasp of mathematical concepts well past graduate-level studies, familiarity with every piece of circuitry he could hold, and desire to dissect that which he could not understand. Above all, Davie was taken by Howard's creativity. When given an impossible problem, Howard would return with a working solution. Though unrefined, he had the raw intellect and talent to be more than a brilliant engineer, but a force with which to change the world.

Davie set Howard on a fast track to graduate, and took him under his wing. As Howard began to excel even more, Davie put forth what was likely the most impossible problem of all for Howard: to find something he truly cared about and create it. Howard had never thought about taking direction with his life, only that he could skate by without a care in the world.

After weeks of thinking, Howard finally decided that he wanted to revolutionize energy, and sought to do just that. This led to the creation of the BioBattery, a compact piece of technology that could create and store electricity from the energy produced by the human body. As Davie suspected, it was far from finished. The design was shoddy and didn't seem marketable, not likely to be a world-changing device. Nevertheless, he was satisfied that his student had something he could refine.

Graduating at NYU at record speed, Howard found himself quickly in the employ of ARC Industries at the behest of his mentor. Though he was merely an intern, he found plenty of work to keep himself busy. He would stay after hours, under the guise of copying papers, fixing formulas and leaving memos on designs. Howard didn't care what was being built, he only cared that it was being built right, until he was caught.

On the surface, ARC Industries likes to call itself an “Engineering Think-Tank”, working out new designs that could improve on proven formulas. When Howard was finally during his “night job”, he was taken to the lead engineer, Doctor San Nak Ji. This engineer, so impressed with the young boy's talent, decided to give him a tour of the magic room, where special projects go to be developed.

There Howard's eye caught the designs of an exo-skeleton, nothing meant for work, but for military usage. Despite its dangers, Howard's mind was racked that night with the design, mentally calculating and rewriting until he finally decided that he had to make it work himself, and he had the technology to make it feasible.

With the support of Professor Jones, Howard gained the materials to create his original vigilante gear: a set of gauntlets and boots. Powered by the BioBattery, it operated off electrodes and fed his own body's electricity right back into him and the arms' servos, increasing his strength tenfold. Adding magnetic bonding capabilities to the bottoms of each, he created a way to get around the city without being suspicious, and he developed a system to increase the feedback of the servos into a very powerful punch. In a lot of ways, this was a dream came true, to develop something so awesome and ahead of its time, and he had to share it with one of his closest friends: Jerry O'Hare.

Jerry was a few years older than him, having graduated NYU at the same time but spending much more time at the school. He was a journalism major, and one of the most determined people Howard had ever known. What Jerry lacked in tact, he made up for in the ability to wear down people until they were as candid as possible. His tough exterior masks an altruism, however, that would define Pulse's entry as one of the first superheroes of this generation.

Jerry was as excited about the prototype as Howard was, witnessing some of the first field tests and Howard unleashed himself on dozens of metal containers. The following avalanche and destruction of half a shipyard also marked Howard's first mark in the court of public affairs.

Howard and Jerry had a disagreement at this juncture. Howard wanted to use the technology for fun, ignorant of the possibilities that his inventions had for the rest of the world, and untrusting of people who might not understand. Jerry argued that Howard had a gift, and through that a responsibility not to hide it from those who may not side with him (though it was expressed in much less elegant of terms). Howard claimed that he would give it time to think, but chance had different plans.

The second field test (at a different shipyard that he hadn't destroyed) Howard conducted turned out to be at a particularly bad time. Before too long, he discovered that this was to be a site of a meeting between two rival gangs. Howard didn't make it out in time before the proceedings turned sour, and shots were fired. In the confusion, Howard fought his way out of the firefight, making it out only barely intact. As Howard was leaving the scene, he only barely missed police arrival, and the chaos that erupted when they unleashed a weapon he had never seen before. A massive weapon, that unleashed a white burst of energy capable of knocking out entire waves of thugs; a weapon with ARC's logo on the side.

Howard gave Jerry a call. At first, Jerry wrote off Howard's concerns as paranoid. The police arriving too quickly on the scene wasn't a bad thing, nor is a nonlethal riot control weapon. Even better, it's from the company Howard is making a name at. Howard persisted though that it seemed wrong, and Jerry offered to do a full investigation.

The following morning, ARC Industries made headlines for the fiasco at the yard. They unveiled the prototype of the Concussive Offensive Pulsar System (COPS, for short, a decision not looked over by the PR department). That night, Howard ripped through paperwork, trying to find anything that would satisfy the pit in his stomach. He could find nothing, but as the days moved on and the gang violence became worse, everything started to click together in his head. It wasn't until Jerry called him, frantic over what he had discovered, that Howard was able to admit it.

“Slush funds! They have dozens of them, not just regular ones that dumbf*** corporations usually use for sketchy s*** either! It's coming straight out of R&D and the money's being directed to f***ing police donations and s***, Howard get this, to a few local d***wads, known to be directly involved with the Brooklyn Kings and the Black Sambas! They're fueling a gangwar so they can take it down!” Jerry's words run in his head, but as Howard began to break down at this realization, his friend told him one last thing before going to try and get the word out: “Howard, you're the only one who has any god d*** idea how to fix this f***ing mess. If any head's gonna figure this out it's gonna be yours.”

Howard returned to ARC that morning, approaching the engineer who had indulged him once before, and asked if he could see the COPS system. Pleasantly surprised, he took Howard to see the room where the prototype was kept. Once in the room, Howard's mind sprinted as the design began to form in his head. Howard decided that he needed a weapon, and that the Pulsar system was more than adequate.

The next 72 hours were filled with frantic calls, as Howard drove all over Manhattan to secure the parts that he needed, only to return and redesign a system he was unsatisfied with. Jerry visited to see his friend's loft, papers pinned to every wall, tools strewn about the floor and a giant hunk of metal smack dab in the middle of it.

“What the h*** have you been up to in here?!” Howard woke up, having crashed next to his tools the previous night. Jerry moved forward to see the finished product of Howard's rushed intelligence: a gunmetal gray suit, layered like armor and strong as steel. “What the h*** is this!?”

“A start.” Jerry couldn't help but think that he was witnessing the birth of a bonafide superhero, like the ones he idealized as a child, and like the ones that Howard never considered real. “I need someone to pilot this.”

“Pilot my a**, this is your creation man!” Jerry and Howard fought again. Howard knew that the suit would tax the user physically and mentally, beyond the rate that a normal human could manage. Howard eventually stormed out, refusing to pilot the suit. After sulking for a time, he decided he needed money and food, stopping by at a local bank...

The events at the bank, witnessing Lady Liberty for the first time and realizing that he had the ability to do something, even if he might not be the best person for the job, affected Howard deeply. He returned to his apartment a while later to see Jerry still sitting at the foot of the suit.

“You're not leaving this s***ty apartment of yours without this suit on your skin.” Jerry swore to him.

“Shut up and help me get it on.”

“Howard, I know you wanna go out and just kick some a**, but the media's gonna have a field day with this thing. You're gonna need a name, an identity, or something.”

Pulse systems operational. The suit chimed, and with that, Howard donned his new name.

The first test run of the Pulse suit made Howard feel invincible. As he jumped from rooftop to rooftop, he left his mark on the city that was his home. Finally, his refinement of the COPS system turned out to be a great success. Though it was not nearly as powerful, the Concussive Pulse blaster mounted to Pulse's wrist turned out work wonderfully, though not consistently so. Howard felt truly powerful, and was all but looking for a fight to test his capabilities.

A few days later, with Pulse's work making headlines instead of him, Howard found that the violence between the Kings and the Sambas had reached a fever pitch. Digging through papers at his internship, he finally found something that could help him. It was put through the shredder, but a location with no explanation was written down. It was a longshot, but so was this entire idea.

Howard turned out to be right. Bidding his time in an empty street, he found that the two gangs met up, itching for a kill count. Pulse sprang into action, making himself the center of attention to both gangs. The fight was long, stressing every part of the suit and nearly killing Howard, but he won. Surrounded by unconscious bodies, the police force only now arriving on the scene with their new toy, and the destruction of the area caused by Pulse's similar technology turned out to be quite the recipe.

ARC Industries lost their contract for the COPS system, citing collateral damage as a main concern. Pulse also gained a reputation for being a reckless and destructive hero, but one voice stood out among them, with Jerry O'Hare seemingly getting the inside scoop on everything Pulse. Howard was confronted by the engineer who had shown him the COPS system, and Howard fired back with a threat: that he had the information that would implicate them in the gang war. If Howard, or anyone he knew came under fire, he would release it and ruin them. Given ARC's unfortunately stock decline, the engineer reluctantly had to settle only firing Howard.

Pulse became a mainstay around Manhattan, as well as the damage he left behind, carving the path he would follow until more sobering events brought him down to reality...

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Taser Pre-Campaign

Postby Uthanar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:17 pm

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Taser portrait altered from DArtist AngelCrusher's Ultron

An American flag flies on a flagpole outside a typical country house. The shingled roof, white picket fence, green grass, and spacious front porch scream All-American. Inside there's a picture on the wall of a grinning young blonde boy kneeling in his little league football uniform. Around the house, there are more pictures of the same boy with his Cub Scout and Boy Scout troop. There's another picture of him with a high school ROTC unit and a high school graduation picture with him in a cap and gown.

The Army captain surveying the pictures calls out, "Sergeant, are you ready to go?"

"Almost ready, Captain!" calls out a voice from upstairs.

"You better be down here soon! Your plane leaves at 0900, with or without you."

"You can take my bags if you want, I can catch up"

"Yeah, but you might take out the plane if you catch up that way. You know.. all the sensitive electrical equipment...."

"Yeah, I know, Cap. That's why I had to jump out without a chute and change in the air a couple times..."

"Haha, those were good times... kicking your butt out of a plane.... What are you doing up here anyways?"

The captain walks upstairs and walks in on a blonde man with bluish-grey skin wearing blue jeans and a polo shirt sitting on a bed looking at a picture of a group of off duty soldiers lounging in a desert base camp. Around the room are awards and trophies ranging from little league championships to Army commendation medals.

"Wow, how long ago was that taken?"

"Little more than 10 years..."

"Yeah, things were different back then..."

"You mean before 9/11"

"Before that and you becoming a living silver taser..."

"Yeah, that definitely changed things..."

"It's going to be weird with you being a civilian now..."

"Yeah, but I can't take it anymore... sending us all over the middle east on a wild goose chase, hitting targets and finding nothing... I mean where's all the WMDs they're supposed to have over there?... and then when I'm not doing that, I just get shocked or probed or poked with needles, and all this other stuff and General Taylor hasn't gotten anywhere with his 'research' in 10 years!"

"I hear ya, Connor. Can't believe he's just letting you walk away though... but more than that, the Army has pretty much been your whole life."

"Yeah, it will be a big change. I don't think I've ever actually lived off of an army base... but well, even the General had to pull some strings to get me out. It wasn't just because my term of service was ending."

"You mean your Dad? Did you say goodbye to your parents?"

"Yeah, I saw him and the Major out after breakfast at around 0600."

"So this is it then, you're just going back to where this thing started?"

"New York City... I guess we better get going..."

Connor gets up, slips the picture into a shoulder bag, and he and Captain Zarat load up the humvee and start heading to the tarmac.

"So Cap, you really taking a desk job?"

"Yeah, well, maybe if we got some better intel, guys like you might stick around a little longer... plus I won't have a superhero around to watch my back in the field"

"I'm no superhero, Cap"

"That's how you got into this mess, isn't it? Trying to be a hero and rescue people during 9/11?"

"Yeah, well, there were a lot of heroes that day... and a lot that didn't make it"

"Yeah, but none of them came out like you did"

"Yeah... none quite like me", Connor says as he looks over his bluish-grey hands.

"Well, Sergeant Adams, it has been an honor serving with you", Captain Zarat says as they pull up to the plane.

"Same to you, Cap"

"Keep me updated on what happens out there."

"Thanks, Cap. I'll give you a ring if I need anything."

"More than that, son. I want to know what happens. I want to know what happens when the world meets
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Last edited by Uthanar on Wed Jan 16, 2013 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Story Arc 1 - Narcissus Mirror: Aegis Remembers

Postby Uthanar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 12:27 pm

Have you ever had your world crumble around you? It literally happened to me back then, though perhaps ‘world’ is to broad an appellation. On the eleventh of September, I was in New York, attending a conference at First Tower to be precise. When the tower came down, when I watched my friends, family, and colleagues burn and die in front of my eyes, I watched my world crumble around me.

I survived; it was both my gift and my curse to survive. I was able to protect a few others on 9/11, but helpless to save thousands. I suddenly found myself in charge of the world’s premiere super-hero organization, The Sentinels. Our roster was short due to the tragedy, and in the time that followed it grew shorter.

Threats emerged in our world targeted at our dwindling community, and The Sentinels were prime targets. Villainous alliances were formed during our time of weakness, the Hit Squad was the most legendary group of these alliances, but there were far more threats than one group of psychopathic murderers with an ego fed by their media driven hysteria. Certainly, organizations like Humanity Core and other racist societies were far more a threat to our community than super humans ever had been. It had been years since heroes were forced to hide in the shadows for fear of angry mobs of protestors, but that is exactly the environment that greeted us as the world changed.

Where did the heroes go? We were driven away. Humanity became forgetful of the threats that their heroes had stopped; instead they rallied around war banners proclaiming that tragedy followed in our wake. Few of us had the stamina to stay in the fight for fear of friends and neighbors discovering our secrets, or being targeted by a group of rampaging lunatics that would only be slaked by our blood.

I cannot claim to be the final hero that stood against the oncoming tide, but I have earned the epithet of the Last Sentinel. I refused to go quietly into that good night, long after my organization had abandoned the fight on my watch, and I had buried more friends than I am comfortable remembering.

Once again, it was my curse to survive. Apparently, my heart is stronger than my flesh, and even left in the snow broken and in pieces, I would not surrender to the approaching darkness. It was nearly seven years later that I awoke from the coma that I had been in and discovered that it was now a world without heroes.

Initially I intended to return to my prior profession, but I discovered my spirit was only too willing but my body was unable. Trauma from my final fight left me missing the limbs of my strong side. I dared not reach out to those that I once trusted; I would not allow myself to be seen in such a fashion. I had led The Sentinels and refused to be looked upon as a cripple despite the circumstances I found myself within.

I contacted the one man that I felt that I could trust for his discretion and through him began to reestablish myself within the world. I kept my resurrection quiet; neither Aegis nor Veronica Veers were prepared for the world of the living as it was. I worked long and hard at recovery, retraining myself in the most basic applications of both my body and my power. While I hid away from the world, I apprised myself of the state New York City, traditional home of The Sentinels and began tracking promising individuals for the next incarnation of the world’s premiere super hero team.

Traditionally, I am not a woman who believes in chance. I neither play with dice, nor rely on luck to guide my actions. Having said such, I find irony in the first Sentinel that I was able to find. I have to believe that Peter O’Hare unconsciously manipulated the situation into exactly how it ended up occurring. Peter was a man that caught my notice for two reasons; he was constantly surrounded by both greatness and anonymity. I did my best to track back through his life, and throughout it I found he seemed to succeed at everything that he applied himself to, but he was constantly masked from the fame that such occurrences should have brought to his doorstep.

While a rookie on the police force he was able to apprehend a super villain with what he had termed to be a ‘lucky shot’. His name was grossly misspelled in the papers. When he was in high school, he made the winning catch in his team’s big game. He had not been a starter, and it was the first game that he had ever played in all season, but his presence on the field placed him into a situation where he brought his team to victory. The trophy did not even have his name on it. Coincidence favored Peter O’Hare.

When I finally headed out into the world, I had learned how to direct my force projections to mimic my lost limbs, though the strain of such left me weak in ways I would have taken for granted years before. Beyond this manifestation, nearly any use of my powers left me disastrously sickened. I had been following Peter O’Hare for days when fate pushed us together.

The rookie who had made one lucky arrest had found his way into a cadre of the old guard of police; these were men that I knew from back in the day. I had been to Frank Castillo’s daughter’s confirmation and been invited to Joey McAlister’s daughter’s wedding. They had been more than contacts, associates, and allies, these men had been friends in a former life. Now, they were only a reminder of a different New York City, of a different world. I knew that I could trust Peter from his association with them, these were men that I had trusted my life to in the past and they were grooming him to take over for them.

The fly in the ointment was that he was the only young member among them, their way had fallen with the heroes all those years ago. New York City operated differently now, justice was a harder thing to find. I already knew that the police force was corrupt to its roots from my research, but Peter being the only man that they had taken under their wing proved it to me.

I was following Peter that night when he stopped for sandwiches from their favorite deli. It was one that I knew from years ago; Aidan Callaghan had bought me a sandwich from there years before to thank me. I had been a customer since, but had not been back since my resurrection. There was a mix up with Peter’s order and because of that, he ended up taking 30 minutes longer inside than he should have. By the time he arrived at the meeting, he should have been inside long before.

I pulled up a block away as he got out of his car and both of us were able to watch the old brownstone explode. I remember pushing through visions of First Tower’s fall as I rushed to his aid in my car. This was the moment, I needed to convince him of what he had to do, I had to convince him to leave my friends in that inferno. I pulled up as he was still pulling himself off the pavement, I can only imagine that he thought I was there to kill him too. We exchanged words, and I convinced him that he was safer ‘dead’ than carrying on their legacy by himself. I spoke from experience, and that made him believe my words.

Soon we were in my car and rushing away from the scene before responders could arrive. I never had the heart to tell him that they were my friends too; I could not bring myself to share that grief with him after convincing him he needed to leave them to their grave.

Peter had a wonderful disarming quality about him, and I quickly was endeared to him. At times I hated myself for dragging him into this life, but the truth was that I needed him if things were to work. Things fell into place around Peter, and that was exactly the sort of luck I needed. The two of us spent a week preparing him and would have spent more if not for unforeseen circumstances.

A group of four super powered individuals began terrorizing New York City, claiming to be legitimate legal enforcement. This group that identified themselves as Alpha Response Military Enforcement Directive set their mission forth at stopping all crime in New York City at all costs. There were multiple murders their first night of activity, and as the nights went on the death toll mounted.

Peter was in the field as soon as we began to hear reports of their actions. Before he left, I counseled him that there were others like him and he needed to find them. I had my own research going on about future heroes, but I could not cloud his ability with that information. I hoped that he would be able to assemble his own team, because that was exactly what he would need to do to confront the threat of ARMED.

It was not long before our safe house in New Jersey had visitors: Lady Liberty, from all that I can assume the inheritor of a mantle dating back through the ages, Pulse, a scientific genius who had built himself a suit of powered armor, and Taser, a man wrapped within a metallic skin that allowed him to project electricity. Among their company Peter assumed the name of Aces.

All three of these individuals had attracted my attention during my research. Pulse had been sighted in a few places, destruction often being in his wake. Lady Liberty had recently popped up as an urban rumor, a rumor that was backed up by footage of her stopping a bank robbery. Taser had worked with the military in the past, but I knew little about him other than that. His metallic skin though, it gave me concern over what was to come. I dared not mention my suspicions to him back then, for the moment I needed a team and trusted that Aces would not guide me wrong.

The weeks following their meeting, these four individuals battled ARMED, a group that seemed to be formed from dark reflections of themselves. These dark versions of the heroes were pulled forth from an ancient Greek mirror that had been locked away from the world, a mirror that seemed to be made of the same material as Taser wore for skin. All five of us had witnessed the mirror at the same time, and I was left to wonder what might have happened to my dark reflection that it did not join their action. I feared what Felix had told me, but could not speak on it yet. I still had time and needed to prepare more before I dared reveal the truth to them.

In the end, Lady Liberty’s dark reflection was driven mad with her desire to return to the world that she had come from. When we could find no way, she resolved herself to change our world into hers. Everything that we had gathered about her world of origin showed that this would be untenable for us, and even one of their number changed sides to aid us, Peter’s own dark reflection. Dead Luck it seemed had a very similar history to Peter, but while my Peter had been outside of the explosion, Dead Luck had been caught inside it years before. As far as he was able to tell, he had died all those years ago, but his spirit did not leave his body. I noted this occurrence, Aces luck was not infallible and I must ensure I did not push it too far.

Dead Luck and the four heroes banded together and were able to bring an end to Dark Liberty, Silversheen, and Surge’s reign of terror over the city. In the end, they transferred control of their prisoners to General Thaddeus Taylor, a man that had tormented Taser for years. Taylor had been in charge of a Special Development program for the military, a program that Taser had been transferred to after he had been exposed to his silver skin on 9/11 at First Tower. That was the first proof I had of what was going on, when I found out where and when Taser had found it. Perhaps I should change my view of luck.

Uthanar
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Story Arc 1 - Narcissus Mirror: Campaign Sessions 1-5 Recap

Postby Uthanar » Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:53 pm

Ambrose and Barbara Worthington host a party at their home in the Twin Towers of Central Park. They are hosting the party to show off the trophies that they have claimed from an archaeological dig that they sponsored.

Connor Adams' parents are invited to attend, but unable to make it. The General calls his son, who is in New York already, to attend for them and give their regrets.

Howard Hackman’s father, Hollywood producer Bill Hackman, passes his tickets off to his ex-wife, Ann Hackman. Ann demands that her son take her out for a nice time.

Lexa Livingston is invited to attend due to her family’s close relationship with the Worthington family. Lexa brings her head Teaching Assistant and confidant, Kyle Gipson to the party. She hopes that he will be able to network a bit, and the two of them share a vivacious passion for history.

Peter O’Hare is asked to attend with Veronica Veers, and offers his name as John Smith to anyone who asks.

Veronica Veers resurrection has been discovered by some individuals, and because of that she has received an invitation to the event. She wishes that instead of attending, she could simply be ‘dead to the world’ as Peter O’Hare currently is. She takes Peter with her to the party.

While at the party, the PCs meet each other in their civilian identities and are also introduced to the Worthington family (Ambrose Worthington, Barbara Worthington and Willits Worthington) who run multi-billion dollar company Angel Air. They also are introduced to Doctor Indira Jones, the archaeologist who headed up the dig on behalf of the Worthington family.

Doctor Jones sees a kindred spirit in Professor Lexa Livingston, and takes her to see what she found before the big reveal. The two women go to the private theatre room that has been set up for the display. Indira raises the sheet covering a number of rare and valuable finds, but the centerpiece captures Lexa’s attention.

A shining silver mirror that does not show the marks of its age that is wrapped in an earthen frame. The mirror captivates Lexa’s attention, seeming to draw her into it, as if there were some sort of connection between the mirror and her personal soul. Indira interrupts her by telling her that she knows exactly how it feels to be overwhelmed by the piece. She admits that it saddens her that the piece will not go to a museum, but instead be kept in the private collection of Ambrose Worthington until both he and his wife have passed away.

The two women return to the party to discover Ann & Howard Hackman speaking with Kyle Gipson about the importance of history to guide us into the future. Upon introduction to Lexa, Ann is completely overwhelmed with her beauty and tells Howard that he should impress a nice girl like her. Ann proceeds to moon over her son for the benefit of anyone who will listen to her, and relates that he graduated from NYU in record time.

Connor stays to himself, but is cordial with anyone that speaks with him. His blue-gray skin is enough deterrent to most that they do not seek conversation with the man in his military dress uniform, though Indira does converse with him for a time. Veronica carries on casual conversation, though Peter spends more time avoiding conversation with anyone than actually interacting with attendees of the party.

Ambrose and Barbara finally emerge from their business and invite their guests to see their showpieces. Ambrose delivers a short speech before passing the floor over to Indira. She relates aspects of the dig on a small island within the Aegean Sea before the big reveal. Indira speaks on the fact that the mirror is an unknown substance and does not line up with any other similar pieces discovered from Ancient Greece or the techniques behind their creation. She relates that it was discovered in a strange tomb that seemed to be sealed away from the world in fashions that did not line up with classic Greek funeral rites either.

After the presentation everyone is invited to inspect the mirror as well as the other pieces that are on display, though touching is prohibited. The entire audience seems mesmerized by the piece and everyone takes time to look closely upon the mirror. For the rest of the night, everyone is talking about the Mirror.

The earthenware frame of the Mirror that is not as preserved as the reflective field has repetitive symbols that have been worn away through the ages. Now it is clear that they are some sort of line that curves back upon itself, but what they were originally supposed to be remains unclear.

Three stories are passed around as possible origins for the Mirror, some mystical others mundane. Some joke, others state seriously that if everything that Indira related about the Mirror is true, it must be a gift from the gods of Ancient Greece; perhaps that is why it was locked up away from the world of mortal men in the end. Some even think that the repetitive symbols would be the rays of the sun, and this could be Apollo’s mirror. Others believe that it is simply a lost and previously unknown forging technique or material.

Lexa Livingston listens to everything that is talked about on the Mirror, looks at the shapes along its edge, and quickly sifts through notes Indira provides to her. She comes up with her own theory, that the shapes would be daffodils or Narcissus flowers. If they were flowers, the shapes all had them looking into the reflective surface, akin to the myth of Narcissus and his eventual transformation into the flower that bears his name. If this were to be the case, the ancient Greeks had found some correlation between this Mirror and that myth; this correlation might be the reason that they locked it away in such an unusual fashion.

After everyone leaves the theatre room, Connor sneaks back in to observe the Mirror. To him, this looks to be the first sign that he has ever seen of something similar to the silver that rests within his body, a material he is able to conjure forth to become Taser. Connor looked about to ensure that he would be alone for long enough before walking up to the Mirror and touching it. He feels an electric shock from touching it, and began to hear footsteps approaching from another room. He quickly steps away from the Mirror before Indira entered the room. The two of them speak for a few minutes about the Mirror before Connor excuses himself.

The evening closes up and the PCs leave the party, not knowing the change that has just happened in the world. The next morning gruesome reports of activity in New York City fill news reports. A homeless man was brutally butchered in Central Park by a shining silver knight, college students were gunned down in Hell’s Kitchen, and Columbus 72, a prominent night club, received a visitor in a powered suit of armor who claimed that the crowd was in violation of curfew. In less gory news, numerous individuals were rescued from an apartment building fire by a red haired woman in leather who informed them that they needed to be off the streets by the next night.

Veronica woke Peter O’Hare up with the news that had come in, and sent him to look into it while she waited at their safe house in New Jersey. Howard caught the reports when his best friend, Jerry O’Hare, called him about what was going on. Jerry demanded to know what was going on and when Howard had repainted the suit to red. Once Howard cleared the cobwebs out of his mind and processed the information that his friend was telling him, he loaded the Pulse suit into his car before going out to look into things as Howard. Lexa Livingston was busy with her classes during the morning, but made time after class to look into what had been happening. Connor Adams took to the streets to find out who might be a shining silver knight, something that worried him greatly after his encounter with the Mirror the night before.

The heroes all conducted their own investigations. They discovered that the homeless man that had been killed was done as an example for the punishment for breaking the ‘No Sleeping in the Park’ rule. The man that each one of them spoke to in their civilian identities was a homeless veteran known by the name of Mac who had witnessed part of what happened the night before. Mac told each of them that it was a park rule, not a law that they couldn’t sleep there. He also said that the shining knight promised to return the next night.

Aces was able to track down where the shooting had occurred based on his knowledge of the criminal underworld of New York City. The papers had refused to provide addresses, but he tracked down the disturbance to a brothel. Speaking with the working girls he found out that a cop in a mask had come and performed a shake down the night before. When some dumb kids took a run for it he walked to the door, saying “Bad luck,” before he pulled his gun and cut the two of them down. After that he left.

All the heroes identified Central Park as the primary location for future problems to occur that were exceedingly dangerous, since the incident at Columbus 72 had not resulted in fatalities. Aces, Lady Liberty, and Pulse all went to the park after sundown to stake it out. Connor wanted to, but he was detained with other responsibilities until later in the night.

The heroes ran into each other in the park and were pushed into an alliance together when they started to hear trouble from 5th Avenue. They rushed onto the scene to discover the ‘shining knight’ had just killed a driver for running a red light. The heroes reacted to the violent action and tried to take him down and quickly found out that he had back up from the ‘cop in the mask’ that Aces had found out about at the brothel.

Blows were exchanged before the two fled the scene and the heroes realized that things were a lot worse than they had thought. These two super-villains, who identified each other as Silversheen and Dead Luck, had proven that they were a match for the three heroes. Worse than that, Aces had been severely wounded when Silversheen projected a blade through his shoulder. The heroes exchange contact information before going their separate ways.

Lady Liberty offers to take Aces to a hospital, but he refused saying that he could take care of himself back in Jersey. Liberty argued with him that he was in no condition to drive there, and he agreed. She flew him to near his safe house, and he footed it the rest of the way. Veronica took care of Peter’s wound to the best of her ability, showing a startling familiarity with massive trauma though their safe house was unprepared to offer true care for Aces.

Pulse leaves from the 5th Avenue fight that the heroes had been in, and crosses the park back towards Columbus 72. He hopes that he might be able to catch the man that broke the club up the night before. He arrives too late and discovers the man flying away. He starts hopping rooftop to rooftop after him and his obvious energy signature, an energy signature that seems surprisingly similar to Pulse’s own suit. In the end, Pulse is outmaneuvered and faces the leather clad woman that rescued people from the fire and the red suited man that has been to Columbus 72 twice. They identify each other as Surge and Liberty, and say that they are doing their jobs as part of ARMED. Pulse is uncertain of his capability to fight the two of them by himself and so instead pushes his suits systems into a massive jump away from the scene that they are in. He ends up crash landing after his jump into a dumpster far away from his rooftop conference.

The next day Aces calls up the other two heroes and invites them to his safe house in Jersey to compare notes. The group of them meets up at the Jersey Base and start trying to piece together what has been going on. The heroes realize that they were all in attendance at the same party, a place where they saw a material similar to what Silversheen has on his body. Howard brings up that there was a blue-gray man in dress uniform there, and that is a symptom of a skin condition from over exposure to silver. He wonders if that man might be somehow linked to all of this.

Lady Liberty excuses herself to talk to her friend Willits Worthington, and is able to gain contact information on Sergeant Connor Adams from him. The heroes set up a meeting with Connor Adams in a warehouse district after hours. There they talk with him in their heroic guise and bring him up to speed, he reveals that he has been looking into the emerging situation himself and the group of them band together to deal with ARMED.

Lady Liberty brings in someone that she believes can help the group, Kyle Gipson. Kyle, having adopted the moniker ‘The Service’, shows up at the Jersey Base and soon both he and Pulse are geeking out on the possibilities of an emerging super group. The two of them put their brains together and quickly work up a commlink system that will allow the heroes to stay in contact with each other.

The heroes are called into action a few times over the next few days, but never find themselves in time to deal with ARMED until both groups respond to the same bank robbery. ARMED arrives on scene first and begins to quickly gain control over the scene, when the burgeoning team arrives Lady Liberty and Pulse attempt to stop Silversheen from killing the bank robbers with hostages who have retreated to the vault. The two women came to an understanding that the bank robbers did not need to die, but Silversheen was hesitant to accept that as a viable alternative. Eventually, he was talked down and left clean up to the heroes. The two Liberty’s agreed to talk more, though no specific arrangements were made.

Aces, still gravely injured from his first encounter with Silversheen, focused on getting everyone out of the building. While doing that he came upon Surge in the security box room. Surge had cornered another group of robbers who had a hostage with them. Aces tried to talk down the situation, but Surge acted saying that he had calculated minimal chance for civilian casualties before he dropped an energy grenade in the middle of the room. Once the grenade was down, Surge walked out of the room.

Dead Luck was not seen on the scene, but gunshots were heard from offices above the bank. There a dead robber was discovered that had been gunned down by him before he escaped out the window. ARMED was once again in the wind, and the police demanded that Taser answer for the actions of the Central Park killing nights before.

Back at the Jersey Base, Lady Liberty and Aces arranged for a lawyer to represent Taser, and they were able to get him exonerated from the charges. The group of heroes sat around and tried to puzzle out the situation that they were presented with. Lady Liberty, who had revealed her identity as Professor Lexa Livingston, proposed her theory that the Mirror was actually the Mirror of Narcissus. Something had triggered the Mirror and pulled through these four doppelgangers from the world where they worked together as ARMED. A theory was floated that it was Taser and his obvious association to the same material that triggered the Mirror when he touched it, though none of the rest of the heroes had been in the presence of the Mirror after that occurred. Whether they could explain it or not, the heroes agreed that the Mirror was the cause of these dark clones of theirs.

After everyone had gone to their own homes and Peter was in bed, he jerked awake to hear sounds in the Jersey Base. Peter grabbed his mask and gun before heading down the stairs. As he crept down the stairs he saw someone sitting in his LazyBoy recliner. Dead Luck had come to visit Aces. The two men talked, and Dead Luck provided insight into the differences he had found between their two worlds. While differences went back further, the breaking point seemed to be 9/11. The world that was home to the heroes had lost most of its heroes on 9/11, ARMED’s world had lost them all. ARMED had been formed after 9/11 to deal with the eruption of crime. Eventually the law became that committing a crime was a death sentence. This rule led to many less problems for the world, but the dark tone of Dead Luck’s home was obvious to Peter. Dead Luck revealed that the explosion that Peter had escaped, he had been in the middle of but he kept on living. He even lifted his mask to reveal charred and rotten flesh that he kept hidden. Eventually, Dead Luck left wishing Peter the best of luck and saying that Liberty was waiting for her other self.

Aces called Lady Liberty and relayed the message, and soon she was flying through the city toward the Statue of Liberty. On the torch the two women conversed, and Lexa found that ‘Dark’ Liberty only wished to return to her own world. Lexa promised to help her with that and set up a meeting the next night on the torch again.

The heroes look into various methods to try and allow their dark versions to return home, but nothing pans out for them. They all attend the meeting on the torch the following night where ‘Dark’ Liberty admits how foreign this world feels to her, that she has been cut off from herself by being here. When it became obvious to ‘Dark’ Liberty that the heroes would be unable to return her home, she took an off hand comment about changing this world to mirror her home to heart. She agreed with the comment and then flew away from the Statue of Liberty.

The heroes were unnerved both by her resolution and obvious resolve. They tried to formulate plans to stop her, but were uncertain where ‘Dark’ Liberty would start. The tracked ARMED down to an abandoned building that they had apparently been using for a base, and when ‘Dark’ Liberty, Silversheen, and Surge were seen leaving the building, Lady Liberty, Pulse, and Taser gave pursuit. The chase led them into a battle within the subway system before their dark clones escaped again.

Aces, unable to fly, returned to his car where he once again met up with Dead Luck. Dead Luck got the drop on Aces and had him drive the two of them out to their family’s home in Brooklyn. On the way Dead Luck told Aces that he was uncertain what they had done, but Liberty was convinced that the only way to solve this world’s problems was through a revolution. When she brought the plan to Surge and Silversheen, they had agreed that the government was too ineffectual within this world and aligned with her plan. Dead Luck was no searching for allies to stop them from their plan.

Once the two O’Hare’s arrived at Peter’s childhood home they broke into the house and reminisced on childhood memories for a time. Aces knew that this reflection of himself was a killer, but there was still a humanity to him that left Peter wondering would he be so different given Dead Luck’s circumstances. The two O’Hare’s left the home, a home that neither had been to since their ‘death’ and headed back to the Jersey Base. There Dead Luck was introduced to the rest of Peter’s team, and they began making plans to take ARMED out once and for all.

The final confrontation occurred on the steps of city hall, where ARMED planned to begin clearing the corrupt administration and reorganizing for a more efficient system. Heroes and ARMED collided in what would have been a viral video internet sensation had Taser not blacked out all of the electronics in the nearby area. Instead, word of mouth and print media would act to spread the story of the battle.

Many critics derided both sides as a return to the dangers of vigilantism, citing that the world was a better place without ‘heroes’ such as these, but self-proclaimed Investigative Gopher for Planet Bugle Jerry O’Hare would develop a following by offering a different opinion of this latest batch of heroes. He soon found himself blogging regularly about the benefits of having heroes like Aces, Lady Liberty, Pulse, and Taser back in New York City.

Dead Luck wished the heroes well before he drove off, ceding New York to their control. He told them that he would be finding the bad men left in this world, and making certain they could not hurt anyone ever again. The assembled were uncertain of their decision to allow him to leave, but could not bring themselves to strike at him after he had proved instrumental in ending the threat of ARMED.

The heroes took their three defeated foes and hesitantly passed them over to General Thaddeus Taylor, an old associate of Taser’s. General Taylor had run the Special Development program that Taser found himself in after gaining his powers on 9/11. If it was up to the General, Taser would still be sitting in a lab testing his abilities in hopes of being able to spawn future super soldiers. The heroes recognized a snake in the grass as soon as they met Taylor, but had no other option to safely incarcerate their evil twins.


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