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Retribution Chapter 1: Fight Your Battles
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 02, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Retribution Chapter 1: Fight Your Battles Reply with quote

This takes place in a possible alternate future. Considering Amber is legally an adult in this, we can reasonably assume that everybody has already graduated (or else they were held back). Anybody can join, so long as they keep the perspective.

Retribution Chapter 1: Fight Your Battles

Wanted for murder. Adrian Sees. Armed and dangerous. Has the power to consume souls. Answers to Split, Amber, George, Jen…

Amber tore the paper off the wall before reading it in its entirety. She shredded it in her hands. “Get my freaking name right, at least,” she seethed. She threw the pieces out into the pouring rain and strode on. “What do you mean?” she barked at a puddle. “They all deserved it, anyways. And I was trying to save you.” The sound of a heavy, deliberate flap caused her to spin around, her hand going to her sword hilt. Down to the ground dropped a hulking reptilian with armor on his shoulders.

“It’s the end of the line, Sees,” Grant said. “Don’t make this hard on yourself.”

“You could never beat me,” Amber replied. “Now won’t be any different.”

Grant looked at the woman who stood before him. Her hair was matted against her costume in different areas, long brown strands with red tips. Her skinny arms shivered in the cold, her hodgepodge suit clearly not providing the warmth she so desperately needed. “I could kill you in an instant,” Grant said truthfully. “But you were once Vince’s friend. And for that, I have always chosen to try and take you alive.”

Amber smirked. “So you say,” she said. “But I could thrust my sword right into your underbelly. You’re vulnerable there, aren’t you?”

Grant growled and his features contorted. His body rippled and grew until he no longer looked like a man at all. “You’d be a fool to test me,” he snarled, and fire spewed from his mouth.

Amber’s eyes closed for just a second before they opened and her arm went up, creating a wall of water that blocked the fire. “And you’d be a moron to test me in all this rain,” George replied.

“So it would seem,” Grant said. Amber’s body had stood upright, cocky, completely dry now. George always left so much of himself open, but made up for that in his considerable force. Grant knew that he would drag George out with the flame, and he knew that this one was actually far easier to beat. Just one rush and he could gorge George with his claw. But… he couldn’t do it. He shifted back to half-dragon form. “But I could beat you, George. And Amber, and everybody else in that head, but Vince wouldn’t be happy if I did that.” He flapped his wings, lifting himself off the ground. “Thankfully for you, today that’s still enough. Turn yourself in.” He flew off.

“Yeah, you should run,” George muttered. Suddenly his hands shot to his head. “Ow! Ow! Okay, Adrian, I’m going back inside your head now.”



The rain blinded Grant’s sight as he flew, but he still knew where he was going. He’d lost so much over the years. Had he lost his focus as well? He alighted in front of a gate for a chain link fence lined at the top with razor wire. Shifting to completely human, his shoulder pads morphed into a suit and tie with an ID badge that said Grant Croche, Level 5 Access. He saluted a guard at the gate, showing his ID. The guard nodded and pushed a button. The gate slid open and Grant entered, heading straight towards the barracks enclosed. Strike Team Alpha was inside.



Dossier: Levels 1-5 and Strike Teams

Because of the distinct and ever-wavering threat posed by Adrian Sees, neutralization is a top priority. Pentagon officials have given task of his apprehension to the World Warriors, the civilian task forces created to police the globe, with the aid of super powers. Security has been divided into five levels to deal with this threat:

Level 1 is maintained by the parole system. Super-powered terrorists looking to reform themselves can be given the lowest level access, which includes basic mission data and control by a Level 4 or 5.

Level 2 is maintained by the youth initiative. Schools such as Poseidon Preparatory and Apollo Academy may engage their students at this level. Primarily a backup level, as much of the subjects have not achieved the correct mental maturity.

Level 3 is maintained by the adult civilian force. Individuals willing to fight but unable to lead may be awarded this clearance.

Level 4 is given to those with sufficient leadership ability and no criminal record. Level 4s are assigned as team leaders and given tactical leeway.

Level 5 is maintained by those who possess superior leadership abilities. These individuals answer only to the outer ring of the Pentagon and the President. Current Level 5s include Grant Croche, Paula Alexander, Christian Gunn, and Lillian Thunderfoot.

Troops are also regimented into Strike Teams.

Strike Team Alpha patrols the area most associated with the subject: the San Francisco area. This is the most important Strike Team, as it includes the most individuals associated with the subject.

Further Strike Teams have been assigned to other key areas. There are several Research Teams, as well, which have the clearance of a Strike Team but are tasked with finding the history and patterns of the subject. Primary to this is Research Team A in the Middle East, looking for family history.

The World Warriors have been given unprecedented access to fill their Strike Teams, as the majority of the world’s super powered populace has lent their support and many governments have joined in.
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Adrian walked past an alley where a homeless woman curled hersellf up in plastic dising and cardboard. A male prostitute leaned against the wall of a corner store across the street, smoking his cigarette under the awning.

A shadow darted out of the corner of his eye...

A cat caught in the rain... nothing more.





Grant walked past a computer room where the computer seemed to be operating itself.

Text appeared on the screen: "No luck again? You're going soft..."

The screen flickered and fizzled for a second, then Override stepped out of the monitor.

"So what IS holding you back?" He walked across the room and touched the wall panel. It beeped and the computer system went into a lockdown mode. He stepped out of the room and walked with Grant down the hall. The door closing behind him.

They passed a room where a familiar Platinum Blond lying sedated on a gurney behind plate glass. The tubes in her nostrils suggested that she was under an induced coma.

"You hungry?" Override smiled at Grant nodding towards the cafeteria.
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Not hungry, and nothing's holding me back," Grant replied. He didn't want people to know how close he had come to catching Amber. They shouldn't know that he had already confronted her multiple times. "The target is difficult to find. I've been chasing leads." He was about to say something but shut up before he could voice anything. Instead, he just thought it. Sees mentioned saving somebody, I think. Who? "I've got more leads to organize, as well."



Amber headed into a deserted alley, taking care to see it was not occupied than the last one she'd passed. Prying up a board, she let herself into the basement of a condemned store. Right where she was told it would be, by one of her latest acquisitions. This should be good for the night.
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"LEADS hmm?" Override raised an eyebrow. "Let me know if you need help on this... it's why I'm here." He smiled.

"I mean come on, why spend your time clicking links on google earth when i can just jump inside a computer and pull satellite images from Moscow?" He chuckled.

He then looked around then whispered in grant's ear. "They're getting suspicious... you better turn up some results for them." He nodded slightly to a meeting room at the end of the hall as a bunch of suits came out.





The cat from earlier squeezed it's way through a few boards and followed Amber into the basement. It meowed and purred, rubbing against her leg. It then followed her down into the basement where it looked at the unlit furnace in the corner.
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grant straightened up and headed into the meeting room. Give them something. Her last soul acquisitions. What were the places these people were associated with? She was probably using their resources.



"Hey, kitty," Jen cooed. Amber was relaxing, "sleeping". Jen reached down and petted the cat. "You better not be a shapeshifter out to bring me in. Want some food?" She looked at the barren place. "I think we're all out." She picked up the cat. "But I can pet ya."
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cat had curled up in her lap and began to purr until it eventually fell asleep.
The rain outside began to downpour, the sound of the pattering on the side of the building began to lull them both into a dreamy trance.




He walked past a few suits holding briefcases. escorted by an armed guard.

Inside the conference room another businessman was making a presentation for a new land mine. Several high-ranking officers were sitting around the table, some of the looking at their watches bored, others scribbling notes.

One of them got up from the table and walked over to Grant. "Is there something I can help you with, son?" he spoke softly so no to interrupt the presentation.
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jen tried to keep her eyes open, but the body needed rest. She petted the cat in her lap and slowly dozed off, her hand resting on the cat's back.



"I'm not your son," Grant grunted. He only had one father in his life, and that man had been dead since Grant was 4. "I need all the information on the souls we know the target has collected. Need to do some digging."
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 18, 2010 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"We'll get your information to you, Croche; there better be results. you've been chasing this tail for too long, frankly there are others we need you to go after as well. but without any solid leads on this case, the guys upstairs won't let you move an inch of your life."

He nodded and turned back into the meeting as the guy at the front had just opened a briefcase with grenades inside. pointing at the diagram behind him.




Once she was asleep, the cat gently tiptoed up and out of the basement. it popped it's head outside the crevice under the broken boards of the door, and padded back out into the rain, now reduced to a light drizzle.

He wandered down another alley and began to scale up the side of the building through the fire escape. once on the roof, a girl in a cream-colored Arabian shroud holding a long staff stood waiting.

The cat transformed into a tiny red man, about the size of one's hand. The girl put her hands down where he crawled into her palm and up her arm where he leaned forwards and started whispering a foreign language in her ear.

She gently sighed. "I'm not sure either Nabeel, she seems a good enough person, but i'm still not convinced... helping her may put the others in danger, let's just see how things unfold for a bit before we get involved okay?

"Now quick, find me another transport spell, I've used this one up." She handed him a paperclip. he took it in his hands and disappeared. He returned a few minutes later with a pebble which he handed back to her. he then hopped off her shoulder and turned back into a cat just as his paws touched the ground.

The Girl held the pebble in her hand. the knowledge of forbidden magiks filling her mind. and in an instant, she disappeared in an eruption of sand.


The cat made his way back down and into the basement where he found her still sleeping. He quietly curled up next to her and went to sleep.
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 19, 2010 3:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I have my priorities," Grant said. "Sees is using magic. We know this. Must have learned some from an absorbed soul. I have a theory--but I need proof before I pursue it."



I want Split to be asleep for a reasonable amount of time, so it may be a while before I return to her. This chapter is mainly about Grant, anyways.
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Sall gravy, could you fill me in a little more on the background of this time period though? Is Adrian the only one being tracked?)



Override stayed further back in the hallway watching them exchange the gas tanks in the room where the platinum blond lay sleeping in her induced coma. This was a delicate procedure because if and when she wakes up, all the entire power grid and anyone with super powers within half a mile would be rendered useless.

He sort of sighed as he turned and looked at Grant whom was walking back to him. "So, how'd it go?"
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 29, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can understand the need for background. This is a specific situation, after all.

There can be other targets. It helps provide tension between Grant and his superiors (though he is now quite high up). To tell the truth, I wan't thinking about there being other targets before, but that can easily be remedied. After all, so many people looking for Amber would have nabbed her by now, right?

Anyway, there are details I'd love to share, but would spoil what I have upcoming in my Developing a Sense of Self stuff. Though this takes place in the future, it ties in directly, and I guess you'll see when it happens. I am going to try and fill in important details, but I find myself with less resources all the time. But my entry after this one should be chock full of goodies: I should get a lot of flashback information in, as soon as I can collate it in my mind and get it down in the computer.


Grant sighed. "So much to do. So many barriers to get to do it. And I've got a rendezvous with Awesome later, to coordinate strategies."

An aide passed by the two and slipped a folder into Grant's hands and walked on, never slowing down even a step. Grant flipped it open.

"Hm, that was fast," he said. He looked at Override. "Uh, I gotta go over this, and prepare to meet up with Awesome. You wanna help me brainstorm?"
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"My afternoon's free" Override smiled. "Besides, you know me, if it's ANYTHING to do with the internet, i can get it for you, or I can just pull you in and let you find it yourself..."
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Grant gestured to his office and they went in. Grant sat down at the desk and plopped open the folder. It was stuffed with papers, bits and pieces of information that seemed relevant. He picked up the first page. George Sees was written on the top. A family photo of a little red-haired kid sat in the corner. Grant looked at the date of death and muttered, "Probably too long ago." He flipped a page, and then flipped another couple pages. "I would have thought Craig Newman was a possibility in this." He looked down at the page to which he had now turned, and his heart dropped. There was a large list of names, and he knew that turning the page would take him back to the day of the tragedy.

In mid-January, shortly after the school semester began, almost half the people at Poseidon Preparatory Academy had suddenly screamed and dropped dead. Amber Sees had been found at the epicenter, unconscious. Upon waking, she had no response to questions, and escaped that night, never to return to the school. But a clairvoyant was able to give people an image of a little of what had happened. This had been amplified by telepaths and technopaths and the video of the incident was kept on Grant's computer, to try and flesh out what may have happened.

In it, Amber had approached Ngedi Mbouadell in the hall. She drew her sword before getting to the other girl. “Why?” Amber asked, tears in her eyes.

Ngedi turned to face Amber, looking confused. “What, now?”

“Don’t you dare—” Amber lunged to stab, but Ngedi turned to a mist, getting sucked rather quickly into the air conditioning. “Come back!” Amber called, and her eyes narrowed as everyone fell to their knees around her, writhing in pain. Then they all flopped to the floor, and Amber collapsed.

It was easy record to know what had happened after. Ngedi had been fished from the air vent, her body having taken solid form in the incident. The school was closed to get out the horrible smell, as the girl was not able to re-form in one piece. The dead were buried and the question always was: why did it happen? All possible clues always led to dead ends: the Seraphim died one by one, each without a scratch on them; a statue of the minister from Amber’s home town was found in a private home in Mendocino (the minister declined to comment); a few people associated with her were found in makeshift graves. It was determined that Amber should be put on a priority status, a wanted criminal. And she had eluded police ever since.

Grant looked at the names on the sheet. He knew so many of these people. Classmates, teachers, friends. He shook his head to try and keep him from feeling the pain of the memory. Sighing, he flipped to the details of the statue. It was the most random element of the whole event, but it had to have some importance. The thing looked like a person, just in stone. The preacher held a sword above his head, an angry look in his eye showing, looking for the world as if he was trying to attack something right in front of him. The kicker was that it was a real sword, but they couldn’t get it out of his hands, as the stone hands were wrapped so tightly around it.

“Could he be another victim?” Grant mumbled. He looked up from the paper and realized he’d forgotten that he was not alone in the room.
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MentalFloss
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Override watched everything over his shoulder.

"You know,i remember that day..." He spoke softly now, "going into he music hall and finding Eris-Skye's class all dead... and a puddle of black ink on the floor beneath the desk......"

He trailed off...

He sort of perked up and reached for the monitor. "You know, I think I can pull some stuff from he satellite for you, but if they catch you accessing that without warrant you'd be in a world of shit...."

He smiled.

"Want to just jump into the internet and see it for yourself? We can probably find surveillance footage of other incidents... it could help us find who she got the magic abilities from..."
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ShastaB24
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Sure," Grant said. He was pretty sure who she got the magic from, but wouldn't say. He'd seen something about the glint on her sword... He'd seen that before.
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