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  1. - Top - End - #1021
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Cracklord's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Jack Black is a Jack, but he's unaware of it. The Jack's spend most of their time unaware of it, in cover so deep that not even they realise that they are, but when needed old memories and dormant abilities re-emerge, and they do what they have to do. Eddie Riggs is not a Jack, merely a twinner of a man who happens to be.
    Nadir We,
    Youth Born,
    Blood Letters,
    Axe Weilders,
    Victors Still.

  2. - Top - End - #1022
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Cracklord's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Given that the bulk of the players aren't posting, I have to ask if it's an external difficulty (exam season, for example) or an internal one, i.e you not being able to make sense of my posts, or losing interest in the game.
    Nadir We,
    Youth Born,
    Blood Letters,
    Axe Weilders,
    Victors Still.

  3. - Top - End - #1023
    Orc in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    DO'nt worry Cracklord. It's mostly that College for me is getting close to exam times. Given that I am kind of a slacker I'm trying to do everything I can to get my grades up. Because I was kinda blase until this point. Plus I have joined a lot of games and keeping them all straight sometimes is a little difficult. Don't worry I'm not losing interest in this game, not by a long shot.

  4. - Top - End - #1024
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Cracklord's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Well that's good news. Just want to check if that's the case across the board, or just with you.
    Nadir We,
    Youth Born,
    Blood Letters,
    Axe Weilders,
    Victors Still.

  5. - Top - End - #1025
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Colesign's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Still very interested. In fact, my interest has been increasing again after a period of forum game related slothfulness.

    ...I blame it on movie posters for 'Breaking Dawn'...On My Kindle Screensavers!!!!!!

  6. - Top - End - #1026
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Cracklord's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Et tu, Kindle?
    To be fair, I have no such problem. My Kindle is a Kindle of wealth and taste, swanning around in a rather handsome faux leather case, and containing all the info a modern Renaissance man should posses. Plus, i never changed the settings, so it just shows pictures of printing-presses and pens, which I find rather charming.
    Well, if we assume that Doliest is taking one of his brief sojourns, where he wanders the world righting wrongs and solving mysteries (or whatever else it is he does when he's not bashing sparklepires), and my brother comes back as soon as the HSC is over (two days), then all we really need to account for as far as the game is concerned is Terry576.
    I'll get on to him posthaste.
    Nadir We,
    Youth Born,
    Blood Letters,
    Axe Weilders,
    Victors Still.

  7. - Top - End - #1027
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    darkblade's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    I don't think my kindle has ever been on screen saver. I'm too battery conscious to leave it on when I'm not reading for more than a few seconds.

    I really should have considered how much re-watching of things I haven't seen in years writing the Japanese United Supernatural Defense Force would take. So these stories are going to be slow going until I can better remember the characterizations of some characters I picked.

    Chapter 2: It's Space Time!
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    "He's too young Gendo. This may be your team, but if you think I am going to sit by and let you put a teenager where he might run afoul Luthor or the Authority..." Nick Fury growled throwing the first dossier Gendo have given him for the Japanese United Supernatural Defence Force or JUSDF for short. Japanese acronyms tend to not roll off the tongue as easily as their American counter parts.

    "He graduates next week. He is a man." Gendo replied coldly. He pondered about bringing up the age those chosen to pilot the Evangelions will be when they are called on to fight but thought better of it.

    Fury ground his teeth. It was really more of a moral issue than a legal one at this point. This Gentaro Kisaragi was old enough to make his own decisions and if he chose to work as a government sponsored hero under Gendo then Fury had no grounds on which to stop him. Particularly since he requested that Gendo hire the heroes in the first place. "Fine but if he gets killed it's on your head."

    ***

    Amanogawa High School was founded to bring about a new age of space travel for Japan. Well actually it was founded so a former astronaut could use the power cosmic as a bio mutagens to turn students into monsters but the cover story sounds much nicer and stuck around after that plan went South.

    Unfortunately some people haven't got that message just yet, as evidenced by the Kree battle cruiser floating above the school. A dozen Kree warriors descend down from the vessel, plasma cannons in their arms ready to vaporize anything they perceive as hostile. While most of the student body runs away in terror a single young man steps forwards. The boy is not wearing the same uniform as the other students. Discarding the blue suit in favor of a leather jacket and jeans. Along with the pompadour on his head you might be forgiven for thinking him a time displaced 'greaser' from the sixties. “Hey. There is no need to fight. I'm sure we can just work this out and be friends.”

    The Kree just laugh at this ridicules display taking aim with their weapons. The boy sighs deeply. “Fine if you want to play it that way then...”

    From within his leather jacket he draws a large belt containing six interchangeable switched. “I'll take you all on one on one.”

    He throws on the belt and flips the switches. “Henshin!”

    Recognizing that perhaps this human might be a threat as opposed to just insane the Kree open fire on the young man. Only to find him missing, in the place where he stood there is now an imposing robotic figure clothed in white. The only hint that this warrior was the boy from before was the belt he was wearing. The plasma blasts barely even scratch the white armor as the warrior raises his hands above his head and proclaims, “It's Space Time!”

    With that he runs towards the unit of Kree feet and arms a swinging. A fist firmly plants itself in on of the soldier's blue face knocking him out cold. The others back away suspiciously, there weren't supposed to be any Superheroes here. This was just supposed to be a quick job to wipe out the building radiating cosmic energy off the face of the planet to stop the humans from weaponizing the Power Cosmic. It would seem they were too late.

    Gentaro doesn't seem too concerned though. He reaches down to flip the first switch on his belt.

    <i>Rocket On!</i> The belt says in a tiny sing-song voice as a large orange rocket appears on Gentaro's right arm. The rocket propels him forward smashing right into the remaining Kree soldiers.


    Darn it. My computer borked up and ate half the chapter. I'll rewrite it tomorrow.
    Last edited by darkblade; 2012-11-07 at 12:14 AM.
    Rural Reign An Original Superhero Webcomic Written by Me and AteMozzarlla

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  8. - Top - End - #1028
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Colesign's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Ah, Cracklord: those were the days. Those were the days...

    I'll post updates for Gary and Leavenworth tommorow. Right now too sleepy in the head.

  9. - Top - End - #1029
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    Draxx's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Nice work, Darkblade. I admit to being unfamiliar with the character, however the way you've written it means I more or less get the picture anyway. Looking forward to hearing the other half.

    Actually, a Kree taskforce is very similar to what I originally intended for EXCALIBUR's introduction. Guess I'll have to do something else now…

    Excalibur Prologue

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    Metropolis, 2002
    'Aureole' was everything a trendy five-star Metropolis restaurant should be: the menu was creative, the food superb (if somewhat difficult to pronounce and actually consume), the décor was chic and colorful while still understated so as not to be overwhelming, the prices were more colorful still, and reservations and seating arrangements were entirely at the whim of the proprietor.
    It's owner Jean-François de Morangias was descended from an aristocratic French poet, and employed a strict hierarchy in terms of those who patronized his establishment that made the Hollywood star system resemble Mr. Roger's Neighborhood by comparison. He gave or withdrew favor on a complicated assessment of wealth, fame, influence, prestige, social position and class, that added up to mean that Nick Fury would never have made it inside on his own merit. The owner disagreed with his politics and considered him extremely 'common', and all the power in the world he may or may not wield wasn't going to change de Morangias' his mind in the slightest. To him, Nick Fury was barely better then the common oiks, and certainly not someone you'd associate with.
    For his own part, Nick eyed the place with distaste. A manly man who liked to drink and smoke while he ate, liked to gamble and enjoyed the rough camaraderie and ready atmosphere one found in a less 'cultured' establishment, Nick Fury was about as happy to be here as he was welcome to be here. But his companion had booked it, and so what could you do? Jean-François was always glad to seat him and his eye-candy companions at the most prominent table whenever he made his infrequent visits, and fuss over him the entire time.
    As he waited to be admitted, Fury adjusts his coat so that it sits a little more comfortably on his shoulders. Long, gunbolt soldat steel. Beneath it he was wearing a sidearm in his shoulder holster, a black kevlar vest, and a pair of military fatigues, plus a belt, a few spare clips of ammo. No wire, no observation, nothing else. Just Nick Fury.
    Normally, everything he does becomes a minor military operation. All the time, there's a dozen or so highly decorated undercover SHIELD agents undercover, and satelite footage checks the background of everyone else. Everything is sweeped for bugs and chemicals long before he sets foot there, and that's only for regular, day to day stuff. If he needs to witness an international agreement, or give an order to his men to invade or occupy, things get even more complicated.
    Even the clothes are million dollar outfits, laced with bugs and cameras. Nearly every single word he says is taped, typed and analyzed by top psychologists, behavioral specialists and linguistics professors. He's always under scrutiny and minute examination. It's almost refreshing to be taking care of himself again, even if just for a few hours.
    So Fury waits outside waiting to be shown to his table, and for nothing better to do reads the advertising.
    'Aureole offers the very best Metropolis dining experience, seating patrons in comfortable elegance and offering an award-winning wine list, unparalleled service, and an electric fusion of classic French cuisine with modern innovation and flair, prepared by master chef…'
    If you were standing there long enough to read past that point, you might as well depart with your tail between your legs, for the haughty proprietor had no intention of acknowledging your presence. But Fury did have a legitimate reservation, so having snubbed him enough, the owner glanced over and beckoned him through without a word, his face set in pinched disapproval. He sniffed at that the old soldier disapprovingly, running his eyes over the man's uniform with clear distaste. Look at his attire? Was he expecting to be attacked? Disgraceful! And worse, it was four o'clock! What kind of plebeians dined at so early an hour?
    In retaliation to the silent snub, Fury lit a cigar, ignoring the 'no-smoking sign', his attitude daring the owner to make any sort of deal about it at all. When he didn't (something in Fury's eye made him back down) the old soldier walked over to the table, sat in place, and waited. He'd order, except their was no menu (if you needed one, you didn't belong here and would never have gotten this far), the owner was pretending he didn't exist, and so were all the waiters. That was fine by him. He removed a silver flask, and began drinking the fiery liquid within.
    Nick Fury gave the impression of a burned-up old warhorse long due to be pastured out with a generous pension, a chestfull of medals and a head full of bad memories, but he is to professional soldiers and agents what Bob Dylan is to musicians: a master, an icon and a legend. He is a man of stark contrasts, the quintessential tough sergeant who knows the names and personal details of each and every man under his command, the unflappable veteran commander willing to make the hard choices and sacrifices when called to do it, and the world's first and greatest super-spy ready to risk it all. His cigar-chomping, poker-playing, man-of-the-people manner made him quite charismatic and approachable in his way, as did his habit of lacing his sentences with strings of manly profanity and refusal to adapt, but despite his decidedly common touch he's a shrewd and dangerous politician. He's had to be, the life he's lived.
    Fury has been many things over the years, a professional soldier and commando leader since the 40s, an intelligence agent since the 50s, and the director and best agent of one of the largest paramilitary/intelligence organization in the world since the 60s. He was a heavyweight boxing champ in the Army, an early student of the martial arts, a combat veteran of three wars and numerous gray and black ops, extensively trained and superbly experienced as a paratrooper, Army Ranger, demolitions expert, vehicle specialist, Green Beret, Black Beret, CIA agent and super-operative, and that's just what he could admit to and put on a resume. The experimental Infinity Formula that Fury first ingested during World War II had frozen his aging entirely, and his body is that of a much younger man.
    Nick Fury was a proud, upright soldier who for decades has proven his integrity, honor and resourcefulness, and in the process has become quite cynical, jaded and even bitter. He trusts no master - including his superiors in the UN. In his opinion the UN are corrupt and inefficient - yet remains the lesser evil and far preferable to mutually assured destruction that seems to become more and more likely every year. He even is quite wary of his own services - the rich history of S.H.I.E.L.D. traitors, rogue services, double agents and inside menaces made sure of that, however he knows all the better how destructive and bull-headed American agencies can be, and makes no mystery of the fact that he completely distrusts them - he was once an Agency man himself, after all.
    His job was to guarantee world peace, as best as he could, and to head off international incidents and conflicts before they could become a problem. He saw working as a hatchet man and manipulator with distaste, but he knows that someone has to go out there and solve problems, and he'd much rather do it himself - because his way, it would be done right.
    So here he was, dealing with a whole mess of problems. It was in America, his territory, rather then across the sea, for the simple reason they wanted to keep him and the big shadow he cast out of their sandbox. Such stupid provincialism was what made the UN need a espionage agency and taskforce, damn it! Why couldn't they see that? He took another swig of his drink, face drawn tightly, and sighed.
    * * * * *
    On the street outside, a silver car glides down the street, looking damn fine while it does it. The Aston Martin combines three things, power, style and soul. It didn't so much drive as glide. Gleaming silver and positively thrumming with power and responding to the slightest touch, seeming to have a life of it's own beneath it's owners sure hand. Everything around seemed dull and insignificant as focus inevitably slides towards the car's perfect majesty. If God was a car, he would be an Aston Martin. It comes to rest at the curb, not stopping so much as patiently awaiting its owners return.
    The door opens.
    A shiny leather shoe comes to rest on the pavement and then a superbly dressed man follows it, taking a moment to get his bearings with a glance both ways as he makes a minute adjustment to his jacket. There is a good reason that the tuxedo is still the epitome of mens dress to this day. It brings out the best qualities as well as looking sharp. A tuxedo is all that is required for a boy to become a man.
    Special agent 007 calmly lights a cigarette, his gaze sweeping the street and letting nothing escape, then satisfied he straightens his posture and locks the car door, before heading up into the restaurant. "I have a reservation. The name's Bond. James Bond." He says, brushing past the owner without another word. Despite his vocation as a secret agent, he reliably engages in a number of identifiable behaviors that are uncharacteristic of that profession. He always uses his real name, he almost always has the same drink and he always carries the same kind of sidearm. He was that good.
    Indeed, since Fury was kicked upstairs he had a good claim at the world's most prominent Secret Agent, having been in operation since the sixties and with no failures to report as yet. Fifty years is ten times the life of the average field operative, and so there was speculation as to whether he was a code name for a succession of men, an immortal or even a robot, but the truth was quite a bit less glamorous. James Bond in fact an injectable fake personality and consciousness, that has been uploaded onto several secret agents over the years by MI7, each successive one adding their own skills, talents and experiences to the gestalt, explaining how one man has lived so long, undergone radical changes in personality and appearance, and seemingly died several times. Men come and go, but James Bond was an institution.
    At the moment James Bond is a handsome Caucasian male, quite tall, but not unusually so and quite solidly built. He is always clad in the finest suit and gives the impression of being a real gentleman. His grey-blue eyes were calm and tranquil with a hint of ironical inquiry and the short lock of black hair which would never stay in place slowly subsided to form a thick comma above his right eyebrow. With the thin vertical scar down his right cheek the general effect was faintly piratical. He sits smoothly down at the table and nods to Nick Fury.
    "Have I kept you waiting?" He asked, polite and measured as always.
    "No. Jus' got here." Fury replies with a noticeable working class New York City accent. Seventy years and it still hadn't eroded, and probably never would. "Sit down, order somethin', and then lets get this sorted out quick-like."
    "Certainly. Quel est le plat du jour, monsieur?" Bond says, waving over the waiter. They exchange some rapid-fire french, then the man nods and heads over to the kitchen. The british secret agent returns his attention to Nick Fury.
    The two of them could not be more different. The urbane, witty, very charming, very courtly man who could look at a french menu and know what wine would go with what, not just red or white but the year and vineyard. And Fury, who was blunt, forthright and direct, and perhaps a little crude with no patience at all for subtlety. Which wasn't to say they didn't have plenty in common as well. While Bond presents himself in a very suave and charming manner, he is also utterly ruthless, and willing to go to any lengths in the name of his goals. Remind you of anyone?
    "Lets get down to brass tacks. Am I gonna like wha' I hear?" Fury asked, tapping the ash off the end of his cigar with a blunt finger, where it dropped onto the expensive persian carpet and singed dark holes into it.
    "Well, we've been efficient, which is the best you can hope for when dealing with Sir Humphrey Appleby and the rest of the departments civil service. You people are young, and have not yet learned how to do business, but in Britain they're the ones who actually make the government's decisions on policy for the most part, the politicians just supply window-dressing and keep the public occupied." Like Fury, Bond thrived on politics while holding it completely in contempt. It was an attitude that could develop in any public servant, looking on politicians as transitory figure-heads who passed fleetingly across a chessboard, whose real players were men like themselves. Seasoned life-long , who had been around long enough to understand the game with some perspective. It took a lot longer then any of them had to comprehend the true complexities of the global political landscape. This attitude has a way of forming in even the most diligent and humble, but is particularly apparent in a effectively immortal.
    "Eventually, the project and the team were approved. We go public in a year."
    "That took 'em six months?" Fury asked incredulously. "Takin' it easy, aren't ya?"
    "They don't like change." Bond replied. "I imagine they just want to slow things down as much as they can." His lips quirked, his manner calm yet respectful. "But if they have to have them, they want them to be a small, professional force who act with government approval, not anything like what you have here. I would have thought you'd be happy that people are taking direction outside the department, now that we're formalizing a team of metahumans to act with our sanction. Unless I'm mistaken, I believe you've got your way."
    "I always get my way, James. But I'd like to get it soon." He frowned. "Who's running it this week?"
    "The Convention of Twelve has established protocols while it's all shuffled from department to department, and waits for something to stick. I was briefed, and my agency requested that I keep you informed. We're now apparently colleagues. Just like the old days."
    Fury rubs his empty eye socket, and cracks his knuckles, trying not to get even more annoyed. The Convention of Twelve, also known as the Round-Table Conference, is a secret society comprised of individuals of political and economic prominence in great Britain, long established nobles, captains of industry and military leaders, all loyal to the Brittish Empire and more or less running it from behind the scenes, deciding matters of government policy, internal matters and laws, wielding their influence as power-brokers and kingmakers. Effectively, a gentleman's club with an almost unbelievable amount of clout. Nick considered their existence an insult to democracy, but he was also well aware it wasn't his buisness, nor in his power to change.
    "So, goin' to keep me waitin' forever? Or you gonna tell me about EXCALIBUR?"
    Bond sighed, his features slipping into his poker-face, and shook his head minutely. "I don't like that name. Feels ominous and vague, all the wrong associations. What's wrong with the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? It was good enough for Alan Quatermain."
    "Don' ask me. Not my department." Fury replied, and winked. "Tha' all you have to say?"
    "Even the british civil service has no intention of deliberately wasting your time to that extent." Bond says, then places a thick file on the desk, the famous 'Black Dossier', now with ten new pages of operative outlines. "This is all classified, of course, so I'll avoid the details. The initial stages are taken care of. Recruitment is done, we're just down to bickering about accountability and the rest. Waste of time, but bureaucrats have nothing better to do, and if we didn't let them do it then they'd be taken off the government payroll and be left dangerously unoccupied with national secrets in their heads. As for what they came up with, not good news I'm afraid. Turns out that Torchwood has jurisdiction…"
    Fury banged the table and looked away, frustrated at a years careful negotiating falling away at the last possible moment.
    "I thought you wanted this to be a national thing. You do have to make up your mind."
    Fury growls, reaching back into his coat, removing his flask and taking another mouthful.


    Excalibur #1/10
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    Once upon a time, there was a monster who had become something worse than the darkest nightmare, a deathless king who had warred against the world and the heavens themselves, and for his hubris was cursed with his own deepest and darkest desire. He endured in a ruined and broken castle with the turning of the centuries, a dark legend who's very name evoked terror. And, brooding over his curse, he took his anger out on his surroundings, destroying all he touched until it drove him mad and he decided to resume his war, and in doing so made the biggest mistake in his life. He put his show on the road, left his castle, his slaves and his worship, and ventured out into the world as a conqueror once more.
    For his efforts, he'd been humiliated, beaten and broken and bound with blood, as destroying him was out of the question, for death was denied to him, as was a true life. Now, he was a slave, bound by ancient seals to his masters will and therefore a highly disturbing agent for good. He called himself Alucard, out of vanity, perhaps, or simply an effort to remember his faded glories and triumphs, now long lost. And yet alone, he had the power to end entire civilizations. And his master had ordered him to obey. And so he would.
    Behind the glass was a humanoid figure, long and spindly. His hair was long and ink dark, his face a pale, bloodless crescent. It looked like a corpse, which was appropriate, but it was also strangely mesmerizing, impossible to look away from.
    The three of them stared from the other side of the glass, in various stages of horror, concern, and fierce pride.
    "You can't be serious." Professor Sir James Braddock said, his voice shaking a little (just a little). Sir James was old, his face lined and careworn, his hair a thinning white with surprisingly virile streaks of iron grey in his beard. His skin was pale, and his hazel eyes, despite having gazed upon the world's greatest secrets, the heights of scientific discovery and the magics that were the very bones of the country, appeared as two shallow pools behind heavy prescription glasses. He wore a plain black suit, and required a wheelchair for mobility.
    He was responsible for overseeing the British empire's super-soldier program, a job he did with a quiet and selfless patriotism. But that didn't mean he didn't, at times, get frustrated. "Can't we get Captain Harkness back? He seemed, at least, somewhat reasonable." He paused. "Even if he did try to flirt with my daughter.He paused again. "And my son."
    "Captain Harkness has another assignment, and won't be returning for a month at the outside. As for the vampire, he's marketable, and can handle any of the others. He'll remain loyal to us…" Yvonne Hartman began, folding her arms under her breasts.
    Yvonne Hartman is a career spy, a business woman masquerading as an agent, not a field operative by any means. A sensible skirt, a well pressed jacket and no jewelry. A little makeup, but not much, and beautiful silky hair. She was a well meaning but arrogant woman convinced that everything would work out the way she'd charted it out, and that it was all for the good of the country. That sort of thinking could be far worse then any malevolence.
    "If you believe you can control him, you are quite delusional, madame." Sir Irons said mildly, tapping his cane against the ground. The old man wore dark smoked lenses, a tophat and coat with tails, giving him a powerful and distinguished look. As the director of the Round Table Conference for forty years, he wielded tremendous influence and power in every sector. "We can limit his power, as much as it is possible to anyway, and he'll follow Sir Hellsing's orders, but no power on this earth will stop him from doing anything he wants, and any power nevertheless inclined to try will most likely become collateral damage trying to stop him."
    "Sir Irons talks sense, man. Listen to him." Sir James said. "The beast is quite uncontrollable, best left contained." He paused. "If not destroyed." He added.
    "He's marketable, and he's invaluable. A powerful symbol for terror, and a fearsome deterrent." Miss Hartman replied, like a pit-bull with it's teeth sunk in.
    "With good reason. I suppose your public relations people have something planned for when the media finds a picture of him chewing on a babies head."
    "I doubt it will come to that. While we allow that there might be risks in regards to his disposition, the potential benefits far outweigh them. The vampire stays. Perhaps we can even use him on crime. No doubt he'd have the streets cleaned in a week. Now, I want him ready in a week to make his first public appearance, I want him ready for interviews and onto active roster as soon as possible.
    "You're making a mistake." Sir Braddock repeated, but was ignored


    What's next? Will Alucard adapt to the change of environment? Will he become a superhero? Is there any way at all this can end well? Find out…
    eventually. I've got nine more to introduce first.
    Last edited by Draxx; 2012-11-08 at 06:57 AM.
    'C'est la vie' - Such is life.

  10. - Top - End - #1030
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Cracklord's Avatar

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Alucard to be forced to be a superhero? Jesus. This can't end well.
    To think Fury used to complain about the Hulk.

    Also Colesign? Excellent find. And yes, I can work that in very easily. Sorry if I don't update until a few more people post.
    Last edited by Cracklord; 2012-11-08 at 10:18 PM.
    Nadir We,
    Youth Born,
    Blood Letters,
    Axe Weilders,
    Victors Still.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Thanks! I'd pondered working it into the Evil Librarian mythos for some time: many, many themes are shared between the two series.

    On a connected note, I just finished reading a fantastic book called "Libriomancer", about a secret order of magicians with the ability to literally reach in and draw items out of mass printed editions of books. They're led by Johannes Gutenburg, who became immortal after using his mass-printed Bibles to conjure the Holy Grail.

    It's a geek's wet dream. And that besides, a damn good read.

    The problem with including this setting in a future game is that it's very concept requires a world with all the pop culture we know and love...and the worlds we play in are usually composed of all these settings jammed in together.

  12. - Top - End - #1032
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Note to Self:

    In near future, have gary attempt to befriend the British Library sentient mainframe and have a friendly conversation with it.

  13. - Top - End - #1033
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    …Be afraid. Be very afraid…

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    As for how to work this setting into our wider continuity, it's easy. This world (this part of the franchise) is run by one Kevin Thorne (sir not appearing in this game), who tells stories. This is a story about stories, about editors, about changing views and archetypes and all the rest, about organization, and about dreams. I'll go into that a little more when someone finally gets to Idris, and I can set you up with a character who can explain it all.

    As for Libriomancer, that sounds very Post-Modern, but I think we can work it in as well. We'll see how it goes, since I'm already doing my best to keep the game going.
    Last edited by Cracklord; 2012-11-09 at 11:12 PM.
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    The Book of Pure Evil in Alex's hands...that is not good.
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    Seemed the best way to shake things up. I'm trying to draw things back to the School. The Evil Librarians have taken things over a tad, and while I'm fine with that moving from subplot to main plot, the entire point of this game was to take things back to the roots. Hence, focus is going to shift a little. That is, if I can get the players that are actually in the school to post a bit more.

    Also, word of warning, I've been reading a series called Morning Glories (I have comic-book needs, and still haven't had my terms met), so I thought I might mix a bit of that in as well. Mostly to remind you all that the Cullens are there to be killed. So from now on, classes will be one part Sensei Negima, one Part Morning Glories, and the remainder a sort of radioactive cocktail of whatever happens to be on my mind at the time.

    For Tygre: A bit has happened, but most of it doesn't effect you all that much. The Holy Grail War has progressed a bit, Lelouch has finally gotten a little proactive, and it's been definitively revealed that yes, there is an evil librarian conspiracy. Taking cues fromt hat, the games become slightly more meta-textual, in terms of character-roles and medium awareness (as in, the gamy runs on story-telling functions, because that's what it is) anyway.
    I gave Alex the Book of Pure Evil, which essentially offers you a wish, then twists it to cause the most pain and suffering to the largest number of people possible. So the two of them should get on fine. It also means librarian hit teams are going to be after him to recover it, for reasons that haven't entirely been revealed as of yet (getting there, getting there).
    As for Touga, he reunited Lelouch with Nunally, then was at ground zero for the military occupation of the school. For now, I'm just keeping him occupied until I can time-skip a little (which should be soon).
    If you have any more questions, I can probably answer. I've got a pretty good idea what is going on for a change.
    Last edited by Cracklord; 2012-11-12 at 06:11 AM.
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    Chapter 2: It's Space Time! - Version 2
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    "He's too young Gendo. This may be your team, but if you think I am going to sit by and let you put a teenager where he might run afoul Luthor or the Authority..." Nick Fury growled throwing the first dossier Gendo have given him for the Japanese United Supernatural Defence Force or JUSDF for short. Japanese acronyms tend to not roll off the tongue as easily as their American counter parts.

    "He graduates next week. He is a man." Gendo replied coldly. He pondered about bringing up the age those chosen to pilot the Evangelions will be when they are called on to fight but thought better of it.

    Fury ground his teeth. It was really more of a moral issue than a legal one at this point. This Gentaro Kisaragi was old enough to make his own decisions and if he chose to work as a government sponsored hero under Gendo then Fury had no grounds on which to stop him. Particularly since he requested that Gendo hire the heroes in the first place. "Fine but if he gets killed it's on your head."

    ***

    Amanogawa High School was founded to bring about a new age of space travel for Japan. Well actually it was founded so a former astronaut could use the power cosmic as a bio mutagens to turn students into monsters but the cover story sounds much nicer and stuck around after that plan went South.

    Unfortunately some people haven't got that message just yet, as evidenced by the Kree battle cruiser floating above the school. A dozen Kree warriors descend down from the vessel, plasma cannons in their arms ready to vaporize anything they perceive as hostile. While most of the student body runs away in terror a single young man steps forwards. The boy is not wearing the same uniform as the other students. Discarding the blue suit in favor of a leather jacket and jeans. Along with the pompadour on his head you might be forgiven for thinking him a time displaced 'greaser' from the sixties. “Hey. There is no need to fight. I'm sure we can just work this out and be friends.”

    The Kree just laugh at this ridicules display taking aim with their weapons. The boy sighs deeply. “Fine if you want to play it that way then...”

    From within his leather jacket he draws a large belt containing six interchangeable switched. “I'll take you all on one on one.”

    He throws on the belt and flips the switches. “Henshin!”

    Recognizing that perhaps this human might be a threat as opposed to just insane the Kree open fire on the young man. Only to find him missing, in the place where he stood there is now an imposing robotic figure clothed in white. Or rather what a young child might consider imposing. The tiny rocket detailing across his helmet and the geometric shapes on his limbs make him a little comical despite the determined walk of warrior. The only hint that this warrior was the boy from before was the belt he was wearing. The plasma blasts barely even scratch the white armor as the warrior raises his hands above his head and proclaims, “It's Space Time!”

    With that he runs towards the unit of Kree feet and arms a swinging. A fist firmly plants itself in on of the soldier's blue face knocking him out cold. The others back away suspiciously, there weren't supposed to be any Superheroes here. This was just supposed to be a quick job to wipe out the building radiating cosmic energy off the face of the planet to stop the humans from weaponizing the Power Cosmic. It would seem they were too late.

    Gentaro doesn't seem too concerned though. He reaches down to flip the first switch on his belt.

    Rocket On! The belt says in a tiny sing-song voice as a large orange rocket appears on Gentaro's right arm. The rocket propels him forward smashing right into the remaining Kree soldiers.

    The rocket fades away from Gentaro's arm as the Kree drop. He bends over and grabs one of the fallen soldiers and slaps him back into consciousness. “Hey! Wake up!”

    Bleary eyed the alien soldier blinks at the young man. Gentaro takes this as a sign that his concussion inducing tactics are working. “Who are you guys? Why are you here?”

    The reply comes out garbled and incoherent through the soldier's barely conscious state and a heavily damaged translator. Gentaro does make out a few helpful words though. 'Power' 'Cosmic' 'Dangerous' 'Eater of Worlds'. Before any more questions could be asked to clarify the alien passes out again.

    “Eater of Worlds...Decade was supposed to be a Destroyer but no Eater...” He muses as he drops the soldier and removes his armor as a Helicopter comes to land on top of the school.

    Out of the Helicopter steps three men. Two older Japanese men, one of which Gentaro is certain he saw once on the news. Something about military budgeting and scientific developments. He wasn't too interested in what the man was talking about to he largely ignored it. All he really remembered was the sad little boy standing behind that man, a boy who looked a lot like the man but different in many ways, probably his son. Accompanying them was a large African man with an eye patch. He'd stick out in just about any crowd, even not in a country like Japan. The remaining man, who looked much older than the other two called out. “Gentaro Kisaragi, we'd like a word with you!”

    “If it's about the aliens. I think they're gone now!” Gentaro yelled back.

    “Actually it's about you. Or rather Kamen Rider Fourze.”

    ***

    “So you're saying if I come with you I can meet a group of other Superheroes from Japan to fight other things like those blue guys?” Gentaro asks as he bites into the large burger he ordered on NERV's dime. Fury was pleasantly surprised to see such an American stylized dinner in the heart of Tokyo. In fact this whole neighborhood seemed distressingly American.

    “That is correct. Your cosmic powered armor and ability to form bonds of camaraderie with just about everyone you meet put you on the top of our list.” Gendo explained, his own food sitting untouched under his perched hands.

    “I'll do it. After all I am the man who will befriend every single Superhero!” Gentaro said setting down his burger to thump his chest and point dramatically. Underneath his sunglasses Gendo rolls his eyes at the boy's over dramatic mannerisms. He considers letting him go, it would greatly weaken the potential team and would cause him to lose quite a lot of face in front of Fury after insisting on recruiting him but it would mean not dealing with this everyday.

    “I got one question though.” Gentaro asked. “What about your son? Will he be there in Neo-Tokyo 3?”
    Ever thankful that his eyes remained hidden as they widened with shock at that question. How did this stranger, a teenager no less know about Shinji? “My son has no lived with me for some time. I found it fit for him to live with another guardian since his Mother's accident.”

    “I see...” Gentaro says with a widening smile. “Then I want to meet him. He looked so sad standing behind you on TV that boy needs a friend and I shall be that friend.”

    Gendo prepares to interject about how that is impossible with Shinji living in Kyoto right now when Fury cuts him off. “Done, after all Gendo went to great lengths to convince me to recruit you.”

    Beneath his cuffed hands Gendo frowns deeply. This was not how he had planned for things at all.



    I'm adding Shinji and Rei to the team because Gendo without a child to abuse just isn't Gendo. They are still too young to be pilots but they will be around the base now.

    Also my plans for future recruitment stories.
    Shinken Red vs Weeping Angels
    Astroboy vs a T-1000
    Raiden giving more blatant foreshadowing as to who the Big Bad is going to be.
    Major Kusanagi foiling an assassination of the Prime Minister when he proposes cutting off trade with Latveria
    Sailor Moon vs Denarians (who since Tessa and Nicodemus's deaths have been quite directionless forces of destruction).
    Ultraman vs Crime Syndicate Ultraman (Too bad of a joke to pass up)
    Godzilla vs Zombie Evangelions

    All leading to one final big team up against a threat larger than anything they normally face.
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    In regards to the whole child abuse angle, there's a lot you could add. For starters, why not make Souske Gendo's bodyguard? He can be a prospective pilot, and be quite clearly the child Gendo wants. That way, you can add inadequacy to his already towering pile of angst.
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    I'm going to be away from the computer on Saturday and much of Sunday. Heading down to Georgia for a socially conscious get together.

    Hang tight guys, and if you want, Cracklord, you can have the Jacks knock Smedry out.

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Well, duh. It's a shock to me anyone thought you could win the way you are fighting. Seaton is attacking them with science (which stops working near vast concentrations of magic) in an environment that they control completely, and were technology doesn't work in certain places. What did he expect to happen? All I can picture is a sort of horrendous sequel to Vietnam, crossed with a sort of sausage-maker.

    Sorry about my lack of updates, and I'm quite aware I'm in danger of losing the franchise, but I'm pretty busy at the moment.
    'C'est la vie' - Such is life.

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Well, sure. Except for their vulnerability to iron, which corrodes their magic and their souls. And which Seaton can bring in as much as he wants. Sure, the first hundred armies will die horribly. But each successive army will corrode the fey, until they are so weak that it's even.
    Admittedly, it's the old 'crush 'em under the weight of our bodies' strategy, but it'd probably work.
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Don't worry Crack I'll be posting today. I've been a little busy what with actually GMing my own game now. It's a digimon game.

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    That predisposes a few things. One, that Seaton can continue to convince other people to offer up their armies, two that they can find a big enough and stable enough portal to the faerie to actually get the armies over, and three that they can retain control).
    The fey are almost unbeatable on their home ground, in enchanted forests, the dark places of the earth and the lands of always winter.
    'C'est la vie' - Such is life.

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    That I disagree with. The way I see it, the only reason technology stops working in the Faerie is that those realms posses different laws of physics and modern science of the level seen in Dresden Files has not had an opportunity to study those different laws.

    Within the Lynchingverse as of the Bad Future game magic has been studied by various scientific experts, experts Seaton had the knowledge of downloaded directly into his brain from the Constitutional Library. He could have easily integrated those findings into his tech and those of his allies.

    Now the Fae do still hold a vast home field advantage but they are not able to just outright shut down his every weapon.

    This of course assumes that Cold Days, which I won't be able to read until I have money after Christmas doesn't reveal something else about the nature of magic that contradicts this.
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Except it's one of the explicate powers of elves, in pretty much every interpretation I've ever seen, to control nature and the environment, from Tolkien to Hans Christian Anderson.
    They can make rivers get up and walk away, trees grow and talk and walk, and make animals sentient. Magic, yes, but isn't that what magic is? Ways to mess with the essential order of things? They are connected to the land, but who is to say the influence doesn't run both ways? For one thing, it's been established that elfland is on the very edge of the land of dreams, were the universe is less stable and connects to everything, explaining how the fey are made up of all the elves who left the old world when men came. Furthermore, we know that the borders within are constantly shifting, so that you can fall asleep for one night and wake up and a hundred years have passed, or can cross the world in a day. So what is the case with the laws of physics one minute might not be the same the next.

    A wild, free, capricious people, remember.
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    Your missing the fundamental of the elves, that they don't adapt. They can't really comprehend it. They just sulk and brood and grow bitter, but they cannot comprehend 'why' they lose. Sure, they have fantastic powers (or at least, some of them do), and they do, as a culture, pick up changing fashions and ideas, after a fashion, but they can't really come up with them themselves. Even their art and music is just mimicry, for the most part.
    Sure, dwarves and goblins can make original things, but usually only working to someone elses specifications. They don't have a lot of inspiration of their own, it's why they love to kidnap poets and painters and other artists to do it for them.
    They're not gifted with some theoretical perspective like we are, that lets them see the opposition and dream up perfect counters. They're not even using the same old tricks in new and intelligent ways. That, fortunately for us, is beyond them as a whole.
    They're dangerous, unbelievably so, and the war isn't going so hot for our protagonists at the present. That's probably why Ramirez suggested drafting child wizards, thinking of a way to fight them on their own terms (thankfully, he got out-voted). And it's certainly an uphill struggle. But the elves aren't exactly having it all their own way either, because they haven't learned from their mistakes.
    If they did, if they could, our ancestors would never have had a chance at winning the war.
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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    Well I got a copy of Cold Days for my birthday. The direction it went is pretty much completely incompatible with what we did after Changes. Spoilered for those who care.

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    First of all the nature of the Fae. They are not as we have been lead to believe simply spirits of nature and the natural world and forces of balance. Winter is a much larger force who has the bulk of their power focused on the outer edges of their territory in the Nevernever, right next to the Outergates which are constantly under siege by Outsiders. They are meant to be vicious cold hearted protectors of the universe from the Outsiders. Summer is meant to protect the universe from Winter's other assets. Although Mother Summer and the Gate Keeper imply that they are only the current protectors that others have filled that roll thousands if not millions of years ago. So our Fae war has pretty much doomed the multiverse to death by Outsiders.

    Also both the Summer and Winter Queens and Ladies were all humans once upon a time. It's not clear about the Mothers. So the are not part of the same type of Fae as Nauda who were driven away from the Earth by humans.

    Molly was made a Faerie vassal when she was kidnapped in Proven Guilty and is now Winter Lady. This did not quite go as planned as Mab meant her to become Summer Lady but considers this to be an acceptable plan B. So she would not have let everything that happened with her as Empress Blackstaff go down.

    Monoc is the Winter King, meaning Odin is also Santa Claus. Also based on their relationship I think the Erlking is also the Krumpus. I am perfectly okay with that. Of course this means we got to tie Wednesday to Santa Claus or just ignore it.

    Demonreach is indeed a prison for several nasty cosmic scale monsters. A dozen skinwalkers being shown to be the least of the prisoners. It was built as a four dimensional prison by Merlin. When Dresden bound himself to Demonreach he became it's warden. The Wardens are actually named after this warden. Doesn't directly involve us but letting Harry stay dead is pretty bad for the world.

    Mabs's Malk assistant was given a personality ruining my idea to make him into Cubey.

    An outsider parasite called Nemesis has been behind pretty much every non-Nicodemus related bad thing that has happened in the series. EVERYTHING.


    It's not the best in the series and it did some incredibly stupid things (namely sending him back to Chicago so soon) but it is shaping up be more like it was pre-Changes.
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    Happy birthday. Let us kill a fatted calf to commemorate the occasion. I want to apologize for my enforced stagnation, I've been hoping people would start posting again.

    Ha. And here I was worried it would still be provincial. Silly me.

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    Jesus Christ, what the hell happened in four then? He's really contradicting himself now.
    Still, we can work some of it in. First up, let's change it so that the guardians are the elves as a whole, given that we (meaning I) have established that it's a mostly stylistic difference, and they share an origin. I mean, the Dresden Files is a influence, but it's hardly the only place they're being drawn from. Besides, in our series Eldritch abominations are just that, eldritch abominations, not creations of the human psyche like they are in the Dresden files, so trapping them in the world of human imagination doesn't make sense. For one thing, they'd contaminate it to the point that we'd all be irredeemably insane.
    However, we could easily toss in the lesser ones as being banished to the edge of the Nevernever, like the elder things and the great race of yith. Of course, Nuada's whole crusade doesn't make sense if that is their intrinsic purpose, so we can assume that that's another thing forced upon them. Or, we could say that with the elves leaving those lands, the fabric is weakening and no longer entirely maintained, and there are cracks forming in reality.

    Given that Nuada killed the queens and ladies (though not the mothers as yet) I can understand, and believe, that they were all former humans. We can assume that they're all vessels for the power of earlier elves who they've replaced, like Lumi the Snow Queen (Hans Christian Anderson) many generations back. No doubt that's why Nuada hated them so much.
    Indeed it follows perfectly, since by the time he came around, Lily was the summer Queen and C.C was the Lady.

    Well, Wednesday's original motivations don't make much sense if he's also Santa (who, far as I can see, is doing pretty well) and I kinda wanted to make him the classic, jolly fat man version. Still, on the other hand it would explain why the hell he suddenly and mysteriously vanished. So I suppose it could make sense, someone else'll have to expand that. Me and Wednesday are a through.

    What the hell was Merlin doing in Chicago? Sorry, but that is just crap.


    Talos
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    The first of the people were born immaculately from clean earth and starlight, springing fully formed out of the earth with all the knowledge and lessons already in their heads. This was back when the world was young and the first cold time had withdrawn, before life that began beneath the seas had sought to take the land as well. They were born with all they would ever need, and knew their place and purpose, be it king, or dancer, lover or jester. And they had made war and love, lived and died, danced and sung and all had been good and as it should be.
    Whereas humans were just the descendants of monkeys who had learned to pick up swords.
    Such hollow, uncertain creatures, lacking even purity of purpose. All they did was desire, pulling the world they had stolen apart. Each snatched a tiny piece of it, desiring to posses what the could never even understand, and boxing themselves in with laws and rules and regulations.
    Motes of dust. Mayflies who die so soon after they're born they might as well not live at all. And yet they had banished the fey and burned them with iron and trapped them between the stars in the Nevernever, worlds of smoke and half-truths, intangible as mist and with as much substance.
    He had wandered further, to their edge, where the possible and impossible met, further then any being but a native of these reaches could endure without going mad.
    It irked him to stand here, and think of how he had changed from a being of clean earth and starlight to one of spirit and dream, barely more real then the place he inhabited. Yet he stood there, and let the madness flow past him.
    The ground beneath him ruptured upwards, throwing rock and soil into the sudden cyclonic gale. A column of blood exploded out of the ground like a geyser, half a kilometer wide and a dozen high. It rose like a gigantic tree, swirling with pustular flesh, sinew, muscle, ragged tissue and a million staring eyes that coated it like glistening foam.
    Branchlike tendrils of bone and tissue whipped out from the swirling, semi-fluid behemoth, but none landed on Talos. He did not interest it, any more than it interested him.
    Nonetheless, it's presence signified something more terrible then any lone abomination that dragged itself from the Nothing into the universe, or even a host of them. The world was disintegrating, without the stabling influence of the Queens. Soon, it would never be entirely, collapsing back into uncreation, and dragging the realms beyond down with them.
    So must the war against men end. It was a war of mutual destruction. Both sides would fall together into the end of all things, their hands still clasped around each others throats. And it seemed fine to Talos indeed.
    "You promised us an end worthy of remembrance, my prince." He said to himself, a brightness in his eyes as he stared at what would drive any mortal insane. "And it seems soon we shall collect it. Perhaps then I'll finally be able to forget her face."


    Just retaining the alien mindset.
    Last edited by Cracklord; 2012-12-16 at 01:49 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cracklord View Post
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    Well, Wednesday's original motivations don't make much sense if he's also Santa (who, far as I can see, is doing pretty well) and I kinda wanted to make him the classic, jolly fat man version. Still, on the other hand it would explain why the hell he suddenly and mysteriously vanished. So I suppose it could make sense, someone else'll have to expand that. Me and Wednesday are a through.
    I actually found a way around this. The Tim Allen movie "The Santa Clause" in which the powers and responsibilities of Santa are transferred to the first person to touch the red coat after the previous one dies. Wednesday could have tried to use that to his advantage and to steal Santa's power to replace his own. Instead he found it too limited and focused too much on supporting others for his tastes so he uses it only as required in the Christmas season.

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    What the hell was Merlin doing in Chicago? Sorry, but that is just crap.
    That's easy. With access to the ways of the Nevernever the new world was accessible to a Wizard of Merlin's power. He intentionally chose the spot to be as far from his high profile projects (Camelot, the White Council and the Catholic Church) as possible so no one would immediately tie it to him.
    Last edited by darkblade; 2012-12-19 at 12:23 AM.
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    Hey guys.

    So yeah, everyone's heard about Cold Days.

    I liked it...mainly because I shamelessly like anything Jim Butcher writes, but still...

    I think the revelation that Jim Butcher gave us about the Fae is really cool in light of our future canon of the Order's war against the Fae, mainly because it makes said war much more challenging.

    How hard can the Order fight? If they do too well, disaster could result.

    And will Seaton, that genocide-happy space ace, try to forge ahead anyway, and replace the old magical ways with super-science substitutes, a la Dark Tower series?

    It leads to some potential fun plot events.

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    Default Re: [Twi]Chronicles of the Impaler: Crisis of Infinite Draculas OOC

    So, belated Merry Christmas to all of you. I would have posted a poem, as is traditional, but I was in rural Chech Republic, spending time with my extended family. There are many things that you can do in the countryside of Europe, however unfortunately participating in the lynching of twipires is not one of them.
    With that said, I'll get on with the game. I figure that those who no longer post (pretty much all of you) can pick it back up if you want to, but in the meantime we should just get on with it. So that's what I will do.

    Here's what passes for a present, the next installment of the brothers Wilson.

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    The man was short and compact, a half a head shorter than average and wiry rather then sturdy despite his broad shoulders. His skin was naturally pale but long since burned nut brown by sun and time, and he had a squashed, mean face that put one in mind of a fox, a sloping forehead and a broken nose, and plenty of attitude, that, along with his natural roughness, gave him looks that were a real hit with many wilder ladies. His hair was distinctive, big and tall on the sides coming up to brush points in a devilish manner, and he favored a prominent pair of side-burns that grew in a wiry, course thicket along both sides of his face. He wore a pare of faded jeans, a leather coat, and old well-broken in cowboy boots. A throwback from the look of him, like a neanderthal that had against all probability survived and thrived in the twenty first century. The motorbike out the front was his.
    The 'Crocodile Bar and Grill' was one of seven commercial buildings in the town, though that might be too strong a word for a cluster of prefabricated, identical terrace houses, a small lumbermill that pulped wood, and an oil refinery. Their certainly wasn't much in the way of community or society beyond a certain working-class solidarity and shared occupation. If you wanted to work, you could find it here, but there were little in the way of luxury, it was as far on the outskirts of civilization as anywhere in this hemisphere. Which is why he was visiting. He preferred to live away from humanity, though he had been having dreams of Japan, and felt a strange ache that told him to go back to one of the few homes he'd known in a life that had, in many ways, been far too long. His life had been ugly, brutal and unending, but before he joined the X-men most of his happiest memories had been in Japan. Maybe, when he was ready to be a person again, he would go back, but for now he just wanted to be alone.
    Logan was a wild, natural personality that liked women and to gamble, drink, smoke and fight. Despite that, seemingly in contrast he possessed a dignity and high degree of honor, derived from the samurai code of Bushido. While once a brutal, ruthless fighter, Wolverine has mellowed somewhat over the years. He has made a definite effort to subdue the 'beast' side of his mind, although he can call on it when necessary. He also has a certain degree of self-loathing, due to his past and perceived value as a killer. He was a loner, through and through.
    Felicia wasn't doing so well, in their shared self-imposed exile. She was a city girl, born and bred, and while at first life in the wilderness had interested her due to the sheer novelty value, she was a girl who liked her creature comforts, and was beginning to get miserable. What she wanted and what he wanted were very different, and while he was dangerous enough to keep her addiction to living on the edge under control, she wasn't happy on the edge of civilization, where there were no clubs, no ready avenues of socialization, nothing to steal or flirt with, and the VIP treatment was running water and a roof over your head, and she was more or less completely dependent on him for everything. As a result she was beginning to get snappish and withdrawn, and he as beginning to fear that he was in the midst of yet another relationship that wasn't going to work out.
    He still wasn't altogether sure what attracted him to her. He cared for her, and they had fun together. Her enthusiasm and carefree spirit were appealing to him, as was the fact that she was independent enough to take care of herself, and the fact that such a ravishingly beautiful woman and fantastic in the sack was more than contributing as well, but the two of them fitted together badly, and were too different in their wants to keep it up for long. An amicable split might be best. Don't bring love into it, not after all you've been through, just accept that you're being selfish, and only holding onto her because she's the only person that you have left, and you don't want to be alone.
    Let the girl go, and you got plenty more time to feel sorry for yourself before you finally get a life, and when you do crave company (like you do now, like you do every few months) you can show up here, to drink, and to feel like a stranger.
    But he wasn't, not really. Alone in a crowd, he still could tell more about these people, about their lives and their habits than all but their closest acquaintances. You could tell a lot about a man by their scent, if your senses were as advanced as Wolverines. His nose was so sensitive he could track a week dead trail under fresh fallen snow, if he gave it his best. But sometimes finding a faint trail was easier then distinguishing specifics from a multitude. Humans were always a cacophony on their own, each one detailing their past as surely as any tell. Some were always present, usually soap, stale sweat, and mint, along with the distinctive smell of humanity, all mixed together with the other lingering odors that clung to them, each one a reminder of some part of their life. And beneath that, there was where they were from and who they were. Experiences and feelings had their own distinctive odors. The man pouring his drinks, for example, had a scent of good, oiled hide.
    Almost everyone else stank of fire ash and flint, bone dust and chemicals and mineral dust. They worked on the refinery, turning crude oil into gasoline, and it had left it's mark on them, even if they didn't know it. Others smelled of resin sap and mould, lumberjacks and saw-mill workers. And a few others, of hard, good steel. There were fifty in the bar, it being the only source of entertainment in a town of six hundred. And he could tell you everything about them, where they'd been, what they did, what they were trying to hide, whether they were nervous or happy or scared out of their minds, and where they'd come from, just with a single sniff.
    He sniffed again as the door opened and a blast of cold hair hit his back. Now, there were two more scents mingling in the air, one who stank of machine oil and blood, the other like stale decay, of a sickness that he recognized as cancer, the disease that rots. The latter was so overwhelming even the ordinary people could sense it. Wolverine knew that scent. Only one man was walking around smelling like that.
    "Not you." He groaned, not turning around. Only one man had cancer at that advanced a state and was still walking, unwelcome wherever he went. The red-headed stepchild of the superhero world.
    "Hello, Hugh Jackman! It sure is nice of you to cameo in my movie that is about me." Deadpool said, prompting Wolverine to groan again. He didn't want to deal with this. Not now. Not ever. "And it's already ten times better then yours! The cast has great chemistry, the sets are really well done, and -"
    "We have a schedule." The voice was cold and rigid. He didn't recognize it. And he knew almost everyone in the game. "A consistent timetable. Enough of the banter."
    "Rightyo, Willy." Wolverine looked up. He'd just realized who the other was, the one who smelled like the Taskmaster. The two had a shared history, and he'd been going through a lot of that lately. He'd wondered when he'd get around to this.
    "Don't call me that." Slade Wilson said.
    "Wilson?"
    "Not acceptable. We're working."
    "But Deathstroke sounds so nineties." Deadpool whined. "I'm not even going to comment on 'The Terminator'. Former Governor of California, you ain't." There was a smooth sound of oiled steel scraping lightly against on oiled steel, and suddenly Deadpool was focused and on the job and all business. "Anyway, attention all random people in this scene! We are dangerous lunatics who are, needless to say, out of our minds! Anyone not out of this place by the time I draw my weapons and start firing them indiscriminately will get killed to show just how dangerous I am, most likely in a gratuitous and gory fashion to attempt to wring emotion from a jaded audience, and display just how awesome I am without losing any valuable characters who sell comics. You have until the pre-fight banter comes to an end to get out of here. Over to you, boss."
    This was not Slade's preferred style at all. He had to take a prisoner, Wolverine would take time and effort to kill, but he would have preferred to take his target out from half a mile back with a dark rifle, then move in. Failing that, if contact was absolutely necessary, a series of thumb jabs to the nerve cluster at the base of the neck would be his chosen modus operandi. Quiet as a whisper. To Slade, the ideal fight was one that your opponent didn't even know about, although he rarely got to do that.
    But that wouldn't do any good against a regenerator. He'd get back up before you'd even finished. Even something like a high-powered explosive detonated at close range would only slow him down. The only way to do it was to kill him and keep him dead, overwhelm him before his abilities could bring him back, then restrain him in such a way he couldn't get back out. Which meant getting in close and getting your hands dirty. And Slade could do that too, and had done time and time again. And in this instance, he was actually looking forward to it.
    "Well that's just adorable." Wolverine said, turning to look at the two of them, as the rest of the patrons exited the premises. Police would be called, but their weren't any law enforcement in a tiny place like this. By the time they'd mobilized and actually arrived in a position to do something, both the Brother's Wilson and their target would be long gone, one way or another. "Family outing, is it?"
    "Something like that." Slade replied, folding his arms across his broad chest. The mask was half black and half copper with a single eye, the costume all layers of leather and kevlar and chain-mail well-fitted so as not to inhibit movement, the arsenal considerable. He hadn't drawn any of his dozen weapons slung on his back and clipped to his belt, but one only had to glance at him to tell he was spoiling for a fight. This wasn't just a job. This was something that had been festering in him for almost three decades, ready to let out, all at once. And once he began striking, he wasn't going to be able to stop.
    Which was just fine with Wolverine. That was the sort of fight he enjoyed. "I keep telling people. I'm the best there is at what I do." Wolverine boasted, clenching his hands until they were as hard and tight as iron sledges. His claws slid out with an audible snikt as he did, and even in the low light they gleamed. "Well lets see what you got, bub. Come at me."
    Slade's face shifted beneath the mask. "Thought you'd never ask."


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    "So both at once, or one at a time, bub?" Wolverine said, lowering his center of gravity and spreading his arms, waiting for an opening. You don't just charge a man as good as Slade unless you have back-up, or he's distracted. Slade was faster then him, just as skilled, and he could probably crush Logan's neck in one hand.
    "Hey, if we're not getting paid, then what's in it for me? No money, no Deadpool." Wade folded his arms and smirked. His face seemed more misshapen than usual, as though it had been made by a child out of clay, without the benefit of tools, or of skill. "There is no honor, without dollars, American. Shakespeare said that. I'll just hold-back, take a few pictures, and make cutting comments now and again to remind everyone I'm here." He paused, side-tracked by questionable logic. "Because if I don't, there'll be no reason for me to be in the scene. And then I won't exist." He paused. "Besides, my own cunning plan to take him out was fiated."
    Slade smirked as well, ignoring his brothers tangential prattling. "Hardly seems sporting. Perhaps I should tie one hand behind my back." he said, cold, calculated, yet patronizing.
    Wolverine came forward swinging. Time to put that theory to the test. Wolverine had never fought Slade before, and wasn't entirely sure what his weak point was—he was all armor and solid muscle—so he went for the usual failsafe: the face. There was a mask, but his claws would go right through it and out the other side.
    He should have seen the return blow coming. Slade leaned back out of the way, the claws whistling harmlessly past, then did something with his feet, shifting his weight before he countered. The hard fist smashing into his face caught Wolverine off-guard and he stumbled back several feet before losing his balance completely and landing roughly on his rear, an embarrassing blunder in any fight, but even more humiliating now.
    "Get up." Slade said plainly, adjusting his stance minutely, yet somehow endeavoring to seem relaxed and contemptuous. It was a gift.
    Fuming, Wolverine scrambled to his feet. His inner equilibrium barely stabilized before he crouched low and began to circle his prey like a hunter on safari. Not for one second did Slade take his eyes off of his formidable opponent, but he made no moves of his own, content to watch. Running out of patience, Wolverine leapt at his adversary with an angry, frustrated growl, baring his sharp teeth.
    His rush at the mercenary was doomed from the start. Slade easily side-stepped the most dangerous mutant in the world's strikes, then countered with a single kick to his back that knocked him off his feet again, flat onto his face. "This time get your balance first. You're embarrassing me." he goaded, adjusting his stance again. Wolverine clambered to his feet and lowered himself, only to find that Slade wasn't playing defensively anymore.
    Slade was on Wolverine before the former X-man he had a chance to react, slamming his hard fists into the smaller mutant. A thumb jabbed at his neck, going for the pressure-points, while his knee drove up like a piston between Wolverine's legs. Wolverine felt the agony, but he felt it the way he knew it was night outside. It was undeniable, but it didn't meaningfully effect him very much. He only grimaced and resolved not to let that happen again.
    Slade lashed out twice more, and Wolverine could barely match them, stumbling backwards with every blow while Slade moved around his claws as though they weren't there. He was hit three more times, then he managed to catch Slade's fist in his hand, stepping closer so that he could feel the mercenary's breath sting his face, and drove his claws at Slade's throat. Slade twisted his arm, breaking the mutant's grip, turned aside the claws with his other hand, and even as Wolverine struggled to reassert dominance, he surged forwards, with a dizzying combination of high left, to the temple, a savage low right, to the kidney, and a devastating second left in the center of his face, flattening his nose like a pancake with a spray of blood and cartilage, leaving only a pulpy mess where once had been Wolverine's face. He'd be fine. His features were already pushing itself back into shape, but the violence was immensely satisfying.
    Slade spun and kicked downwards, his heel snapping the links between ligament and bone beneath the knee, sending Wolverine staggering and stumbling and swaying away, barely able to keep upright. He staggered back out of reach, and wheezed, a bit more theatrically then necessary. "Gotta hand it to you, bub." Wolverine panted. "You been eating your spinach. Don't think legs are supposed to bend that way."
    Slade didn't say a word. He just advanced, fists raised, single eye narrowed.
    Wolverine picked himself up, and no sooner had he got his feet underneath him then Slade waded in, suddenly exploding into brutal, astonishing action. His economy of movement was both lethal and almost hypnotic, there was a cruel precision in the punches and kicks as they came, hard and fast. It was all Logan could do to ward off the first few. He threw up his claws desperately but it made no difference at all.
    There was no time to speak, or even to think, because he was too focused on avoiding those knuckles coming at his face, or that boot about to stomp down on his back. He knew that he was being an idiot, trying to match Deathstroke's skills. He needed to stop trying to think of a strategy, and let the animal take over. His instincts could handle this, but he wasn't given a chance to do more than act—
    Something awoke in Wolverine then. Something fierce and primal and unwilling to give up, not willing to just lie down and take his beating. 'Let your mind go limp. Your instincts can handle this. Use the claws. Go for broke. Just enjoy yourself. No time or space for anything fancy, just -'
    He staggered back again, but this time he didn't lose his balance. He didn't fall. He only bared his teeth, and fought harder. 'Use the claws. He can hit you as much as he likes, you'll get right back up again. No matter how hard, how painful it might be, there's nothing he can do to keep you down. Because he's just a killer, and you're the most dangerous man alive.'
    Wolverine was a blur. He attacked wildly but craftily, leaving himself opening and taking advantage of every opportunity, bending back, leaping in, feinting, thrusting, warding, striking trying to overwhelm his opponents immaculate defenses. He spun, attempting to slash into the meat of Slade's legs with his spare hand while Slade held his right, then when Slade leapt back he sprung from his spot with all six claws aimed forward and at the Mercenary's chest. But Slade had never lost his balance, he leapt eight feet in the air and Wolverine sailed beneath him to crunch into the wall. Recovering quickly, Wolverine flipped up and landed on his feet, but Slade was ready for him again, and sent him staggering back with a well-placed kick.
    Slade remained cold, calculating, scintillant. He made no waste of movement, no motion not absolutely necessary, now forced onto the defensive but with no hesitation or so much as a momentary lapse. Indeed he seemed almost content. But no matter how hard Wolverine pushed himself, Slade was always faster, stronger, a dozen steps ahead. His skills were incredible, a perfect rhythm to everything Wolverine had to offer. Indeed, he barely even seemed to be trying.
    Then he lowered his hand a fraction too late, a minute accident but the only one he'd made, and what Wolverine had been desperately waiting for. Swinging in, one of Wolverine's claws ripped across his chest-plate and into the softer flesh beneath. It was only a glancing blow, but it did send Slade back a step. Before Wolverine could capitalize on that, Slade regained his balance and lowered his arms. Then he glanced down at the cuts.
    "There he is. I was starting to worry you were going to disappoint me." He sounded pleased and of good cheer, now that he had three bleeding cuts on his chest. The fight had lasted barely three minutes including the banter, but it felt like far longer to both of them. "That there was nothing left of you. It took you a while, but you showed me otherwise. Now, let's see what you have to show for it."
    Slade stepped back again, and stretched out his right hand.
    "Quit playing around, or you're off the team, and you'll have to give back your badge and discount card." Deadpool said, then gestured at his brother. "Hey, look. Blood. You're actually bleeding. I can see it. Which means, we're not censored. Which means, anything goes. So why don't you take one of those nice weapons you always have, and actually use one of them? This scene needs some explosions!"
    "Good suggestion." Slade replied, then reached behind his shoulder and pulled at the handle of something silver. Wolverine tensed, expecting a gun (bullets couldn't kill him, or at least they hadn't yet, but they certainly hurt), and so was surprised to see that it was a sword. Not the usual, short hacking blade Deathstroke favored in close-quaters, more suitable for butchery then marital arts, this was something else, something altogether different. This was a long, fine piece of Japanese steel that had been shaped by a master to a deadly blending of purpose. The Muramasa Blade. He'd know it anywhere.
    Shiny and very, very sharp. Shiny enough to throw his own shocked expression back at him. Sharp enough to slice through adamantine. Sharp enough to even kill him.
    "Where did you get that?" Wolverine breathed, suddenly very conscious of his heart pounding in his chest. "Tell me what this is about."
    "No." Slade replied simply. He didn't brandish the weapon. That's not what it was for, it was for killing or, failing that, maiming. Which was the use he was going to put it to.
    "Tell me what this is about, and you walk away with a flesh wound." He growled.
    "Mister greasy canadian pedophile is threatening me? Oh this is rich." Slade chuckled softly to himself, then slowly walked forward, the sword held loosely in his right hand so that the tip of the blade scraped along the ground as he advanced, cutting into the wooden floorboards like they weren't even there, and leaving a long scar behind him. "But why not answer? This is about you. You've lived too long, and made too many enemies. Some of them have toys like this, and know men like me."
    "Scott wouldn't -"
    Deadpool rolled his eyes, in a manner that was perhaps just a little jealous that one dangerous psycho was accepted and he wasn't. "Fearless leader doesn't even know it's gone. Now why aren't you fighting?" He shook his head. "Or are you going to wax philosophical about your respective burdens, duties and obligations and eat up our time? Because people hate that when the characters start doing that sort of thing, particularly when they could be fighting for no adequately explained reason. Nobody reads the words, but they like it when the men in brightly colored costumes hit each other, preferably with big sound-effects." Although now that he thought about it, there was a lack of ludicrous sound-effects in this story, bar that one 'snikt' when they first got here. He wasn't sure he was comfortable with that.
    Slade swung the blade in a fierce crescent that Wolverine threw himself out of the way from. Snatches of his reflection—flashes of expression, faded blue of his jeans and deep earth tones of his jacket darted across the surface of the thin, deadly blade when it slashed up at him. Before Slade could bring it to bare again, he tossed himself at the mercenary, bringing two fistfulls of claws at his kidneys. Too slow. Always too slow. Slade stepped aside, letting him stagger past, and then cut into the meat of his back, shearing through muscle an inch deep, from left shoulder to right hip.
    Blood gushed, and muscular action didn't close the wound. Slade's mask shifted again, as Wolverine made a grunting noise and turned. He was smiling beneath the mask.
    Slade whipped the blade four times so fast it looked like one movement that you'd have missed if you blinked, leaving Wolverine's clothes and skin red with the blood that oozed from cuts on cheek, breast, arm and thigh. Cuts that were not closing. They'd be worse, except Slade was toying with him. He enjoyed it too much to want it to stop and be over. He stepped back, giving Wolverine room, and rested the blade on his shoulder. The pose was casual, but the tension in his shoulders was not. He was trying to lure Wolverine into doing something stupid.
    Wolverine was not taking the bait. Not anymore. Instead, he was watching every movement Slade made, no matter how minuscule, in case it was the precursor for an attack. He wouldn't be caught off-guard. Slade simply kept the blade where it was, occasionally striking out with the speed of a striking snake, cutting him superficially then returning to place. With the reach the sword afforded and his considerable skill, Slade was free to attack with impunity, and all Wolverine could do was try and minimize the damage by dodging. It wasn't working out all that well for him. In a melee, the claws were invaluable. But here they were barely better then nothing.
    "Luthor offered me money for this. I wouldn't take it." There was a blur, and a hot sting above his left eye, and suddenly blood was dripping from Wolverine's forehead all over his face from a long gash. "And he's just the only one who came to me. Some people have offered quite a considerable bit more over the years. You've made a lot of people very angry, James." He feinted with the sword, then brought it between the two of them, hefting the sword and switching it from right hand to left hand and back again. He moved up onto his toes, then rocked back on his heels.
    "But to me, you're not worth anything but the pleasure I get from this." He feinted again, and when Wolverine closed in he put his shoulder behind a straight cross with his empty hand, hitting Wolverine in the solar plexus and making him choke and gasp for air as he almost swallowed his tongue. Then punched him in the mouth, cracking six teeth and dislocating a jaw, bruising his knuckles in the process. An adamantine skeleton and a near-instant healing factor made that sort of violence less then effective, but Slade was too stubborn to stop it just because it hurt him a lot more then it hurt Wolverine. He stepped back as Wolverine righted himself, and waved the sword threateningly, forcing him to back down.
    "Because when I volunteered for Weapon X, I thought I was going to be a hero, not another murderer on a government payroll. Thought I was going to be Captain America. I learned better pretty fast, and got smart. See, a country isn't worth working for, nor are the idiots who inhabit it. They want something done, they should fight themselves rather then wait to be saved… but you…"
    "Well, you're selfish, like me. Difference is, you were Weapon X, even if I was the first person they worked on. Thanks to you, thanks to your blood, my brother is now a maniac who doesn't know who he is half the time because he can't see the world through his own delusions." Slade cut him again. A line across the chest, ragged and deep. "Which makes you ultimately responsible, and if it wasn't for you, one way or another Wade would still be himself."
    "Talk to your therapist." Wolverine spat.
    "Oh don't worry about my mental health. Now that you're in front of me, I have a pretty good opportunity to vent." Slade said, and cut him again. The chin. It would have been the throat, but Wolverine had ducked fast enough - just - not to die.
    "Whoah! Lets slow down here. It's good to know you care and all, sometimes I have my doubts, but leave me out of this." Wade said, in an unusually quiet voice, holding up his hands, although neither was paying attention. "I'm pretty happy the way I am. You probably think I'm mad, but it feels good to me."
    Neither of them reacted. Slade was too busy milking the fight for all it was worth, and Wolverine was too busy trying to stay alive. Wolverine, as the most dangerous mutant alive, didn't make a habit of running from fights. But he knew hopeless when he saw it. Any moment now, Slade was going to run out of things to say, and take his head off. And that would be that. It wasn't that he was outclassed, it was simply that this fight favored Slade, his brand of martial arts to start with, then he got the sword and Wolverine didn't. Which meant he had to escape. His bike was still out the front, if he could get to it, then the wilderness would swallow him up. And if the two hired killers tried to follow, then it would swallow them up as well. Here, Slade had the advantage, a clear target and all the weaponry he could want. But in the wilds, things would be more even. Out of civilization he wouldn't even see Wolverine coming, and all his fancy skills and weapons would only get in his way.
    The problem was actually getting away. Slade was between him and the exit, and the only thing that he knew about which could definitely kill him was between him and Slade. He tried circling around, and got a shallow cut on his upper bicep for his trouble. It was odd, his wounds weren't healing, and he was bleeding heavily, but if he felt the ebb of his powers, his body wasn't showing it beyond numbness and pain. But that could change any moment. He didn't want to go down here, unable to even fight back.
    Then Slade lunged, going for the kill. The move was hurried and left an opening. It was his second mistake, and again it was all Wolverine needed. Throwing himself forward, he darted into Slade's swing, twisting aside at the last second. it was a risky maneuver, but it was so unexpected Slade was momentarily put off balance, and Wolverine got away with only another jagged cut across the chest as he slipped past. Fortunately, there was no earthly use for the male nipple, as his right one was now a mess of badly lacerated flesh and pounding agony. Turning his staggering momentum in a running start, he darted for the door, making a break for it. He expected to hear the thump of boots behind him, or smell the sharp discharge of gunpowder. But there was nothing. They weren't pursuing. He didn't stop and consider why, he just lept for his bike, kicked it to life, and roared up the road.



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    Wade rounded on his brother, who was standing in the middle of the room, completely unconcerned. His chest was clotting, and his body language was relaxed, that of an artist who has visualized every step of his masterpiece, then completed it to every detail all at once. Deadpool didn't know if he was angry, or worried that he was in the presence of a man madder then he, or what he was seeing, but his brother was acting positively bizarre and out of character, and he was sick of this secret agenda he refused to talk about. Maybe they'd had a change of writers who just didn't get Slade's character, or wanted to rewrite him as a jazz critic or something. It had happened to him a few times. Hell, it had happened to everyone, as far as he could tell. "You let him get away. You let him. Get away. What the hell are you doing?" Wade asked. "I mean, I figured he'd get away, but not because you let him. What game are you playing?"
    Slade looked at him blankly, then dropped the blade. "It glanced off his spine on the first cut I made. It might wound him and keep him wounded, but it doesn't cut through adamantine. I was bluffing the entire time."
    Deadpool blinked, then shook his head. "No. You were not. So you can't cut his head off. Big deal. You can hit any major artery, stab him in the kidney, cut his throat, or just keep on going until he's mince. You don't need to cut bone to kill a man, and I shouldn't have to tell you that."
    It was a curious fact of their association that while Wade brought out the best in Deathstroke, Slade brought out the worst in Deadpool. In each others company, Slade relaxed and his affable side rose to prominence. But Deadpool suppressed his better nature in an effort to live up to Slade's standard.
    Slade remained blank at the highly accurate point. "Maybe. But I would have had to get close. Then he could retaliate. Wounded, cornered animals bring down their hunters before they realize they're dead. I have no interest in dying with him, particularly when I have a few more irons in the fire."
    "And I suppose you're going to drag me along." Deadpool had remained on subject a record eight sentences, and felt his mind wandering back into the more comfortable avenues of spontaneity. "Yeah, right. You know, Wolverine doesn't actually have a healing factor. Us Americans are just easily impressed by a universal healthcare system." He folds his arms, as he remembers the other reason he's angry. He's not hugely thrilled by what Slade said about him. "So what's the plan now? Let him get away?"
    "Yes." Slade bared his teeth under the mask. "Timing wasn't right. He'll run. We'll catch him."
    "Did you at least put a tracer or something on him that we can track as a signal?"
    "No."
    "Damnit, you're heading into amateur hour now! Why not?"
    Slade ignored him. Wade got distracted.
    Deadpool thought about Logan, about the times the two of them had worked together in Weapon X, in the bad old days. The strange blend of feral man-beast, the wise old man, and the metal-clad killing machine all wrapped into a stocky frame. Now, they were mortal enemies. Time changes everything. Except for the Wolverine, of course. "Sure that he'll run? Don't think that might be a bit of an ego thing? Seems more his style to set up an ambush and get even."
    "It is. But he has a squeeze. He has an instinct to protect, and animals always listen to instincts. So he'll run." Slade picked the sword, and replaced it, not bothering to clean the blood off, then handed it back to Deadpool. "Just not fast enough."
    "Right. And you'll cure me?" It was a pointed question.
    "If it can be done, I'll find a way. You deserve better, Wade."
    Wade tilted his head. This was as sensitive and nurturing as his brother got, and by his standards it was great progress, but Wade wasn't entirely happy to know decisions were being made about him behind his back. "And you were planning on telling me when?"
    "I told you just now, didn't I?" Slade didn't wait for a reply, he left the empty taproom, heading for where they'd left the jeep in the middle of the street.
    Walking to the open back, he unslung a massive silver gun, close to a high-powered rifle if built on a much bigger scale, and began to load it with his other trump card (and if this one didn't work he'd have to get inventive). Carbonadium-adamantine alloy bullets. They'd switch off all a bodies systems, including even the most advanced healing factor, until it down, usually in about three hours, at which point it was rendered it harmless and dissolved it's component elements. But by bonding it with an indestructible substance… Well, chances are Wolverine would fossilize before his systems started again. Slade had tried magic, but it was unreliable. Fortunately, he wasn't a purist. He was happy to utilize both sides of the board, an equal opportunity sort of assassin. Now, he'd try science.
    "You want to be paid? There. Every bullet you don't fire is a hundred thousand dollars worth of adamantine." Slade said, handing his brother the gun, who sagged a bit under it's weight. They didn't all have a reinforced muscular structure that let them power-lift about 2000 pounds.
    "Yeah, to who? Who with a hundred thousand dollars to burn decides to spend it on a useless tiny piece of metal? Somehow I don't think anyone will accept it, unless it's loaded into a gun that's pointed at them. And if I did that, well why bother throwing away such an expensive bullet, when they'd probably be just as receptive to a normal one?"
    "Try some dangerously unstable maniac who wants to take over the world. There's enough of them around."
    Wade conceded the point with a nod. "Alright, I suppose that works. And they're all rich from all the banks they rob with their trillion dollar hardware and space-age tecnology. Good call."
    Slade turned the key, and the engine grumbled to life. "Time to hunt. You're paid. Coming this time?"
    "Haiku isn't really my thing. Try and pad your sentences with a few subject nouns and tenses, oh mighty warrior poet."
    Slade rolled his eye, and started up the truck. Wolverine had a head-start, but they already knew where he was heading. He wouldn't get far.
    "Now, when we catch him, just don't do anything that will compromise our newly formed family values assassination image." Deadpool warned. "No torture, or maiming, or letting him go to dwell on the shame of his defeat, or making him watch you kill his girlfriend first, or whatever. Just kill him."
    "Wade, all I want is to see him dead. I don't care in the slightest whether he suffers or not."



    Spoiler
    Show
    Wolverine didn't live like it, but he was very wealthy, a long life, a dozen fortunes he'd won and with few needs he could certainly settle comfortably down. But he'd wanted to get away from the trappings of civilization and the problems that came with it. So he'd come back here. The house here had sentimental value, though it was also the site of his single worst memory. The big cabin looked very innocent; quiet, windows dark, and nestled between soft drifts of fluffy snow. The white powder coated the roof and window ledges of the cabin as well. A chill, icy wind buffeted the structure lifting flakes into the air, and rustled the branches of the green pines dotting the otherwise empty field around it. It was built in a shallow depression, out of sight unless you knew what you were looking for.
    It was a log cabin styled house, large, stately, a comfortable retreat from the cold. There were three long leather couches in the area and several glass and wooden tables by their corners while a small table stood behind him. A long dining table with a closed window frame, and a large fire was burning in the gray stone fireplace. He looked up at the stuffed heads of his various prizes and sighed before turning back to the fire. He wanted to collapse. There was perhaps enough blood left in him to keep a small kitten alive, and he could barely keep his head straight.
    It would be so easy to succumb. To just slide down, let himself drift off and only wake when it was all over. But he took the hard way, like he always did.
    He was Wolverine. And he never gave up. Ever.
    Behind him, he could hear the wind hitting the side of the house and he could see closed windows keeping it out. Above, the roof crisscrossed and from it's center, a chandelier made out of deer antlers hung from a iron chain. The floor was mostly bare and wooden, but the area in front of the fireplace was carpeted. Their were locks on all the doors and windows, and keypads in the corners of the room. He'd had made this place a fortress.
    It wouldn't keep Slade out. Not for a heartbeat. It wouldn't keep his less competent but annoyingly persistent brother away either.
    He was going to have to run.
    "Felicia?"
    "Here lover." He blinked. There she was, in costume. Up close she was stunning. Five feet eight inches of impossible perfection poured into skin tight leather that clung to her flawless curves. Full red lips that begged to be kissed and hinted at other talents complimented blue eyes only partially hidden behind a half mask that complimented her charming, heart-shaped face. Long white hair in tresses as smooth as silk.
    For a moment he tensed, then realized she had just planned on surprising him and relaxed. "Get your coat." He said, a bit harsher then he intended.
    "Aren't you awful surly tonight? I thought we were past all this." She purred, a deep vibration in the back of her throat that he didn't know humans could make, and slunk closer, swinging her hips a touch more then necessary. "I was planning on an early night tonight."
    He sighed. "I mean we're leaving. Or we're in trouble."
    She sighed, and folded her arms under her breasts. "You're serious?"
    "Yes. Anything you want to pack?"
    "Nothing. Lets get going then, we might be able to find a decent hotel if we move quick."
    "Just a moment." It took more effort then it should have, to force his wounded body to stagger down the hallway and into his room. But he needed to do one more thing in order to feel like himself. He was in costume less often than other adventurers, but he'd brought it even if he was going into partial retirement. Didn't feel right not to have it along. He pulled on a yellow full-body spandex suit with blue shorts, boots, shoulders and gloves, a red belt and a yellow headpiece with large black 'ears', which only left his muscular arms uncovered. Three metallic pieces on both hands serve as channels for his claws when he needs to pops them out.
    He still felt sore. His head still swayed, his vision wavered, and he really needed a sleep. But now, they were just problems to be overcome. He turned, and made his way back outside, heading for his motorbike. He'd have to backtrack as far as route 73, but then he could follow the open road wherever he wanted. Next time he'd be more careful. He wouldn't be found again unless he wanted to be.
    Luthor had put a hit on him. The man had made a big mistake. Shortly, he'd find out just how big.
    He swung a leg over the bike, and revved it a few times. The black leather clad woman with flowing ivory hair leaped onto the bike behind him. "You know," she said, lacing her arms around his chest from behind him. He could feel her breasts press up against his back and felt a little aroused at the prospect. "All this racing and secrecy is enough to get all the adrenaline pumping… get a person all worked up. You worked up?"
    Her hands started to trace the definition of his chest and abs, but he pushed them off. "Yeah. Never can resist you. But we can't be distracted. Not now. If either of them find us, then things'll get really ugly really quickly. It's Deadpool and Deathstroke, working for Luthor."
    She raised one delicate eyebrow. "Danger as well. Exciting. You do know how to show a girl a good time."
    "That's really distracting." He said, revving the engine and driving back up the way he'd come.
    "Kinda the idea, big boy." Sometimes, a silver-haired flirt/nymphomaniac with a very skewed series of priorities was exactly as much trouble as she was worth.
    He didn't remove her hand. He was too busy steering. "Time and a place."
    "Well I can't wait." She pouted, then stopped all at once, as a chill crept down her spine. There was a figure standing on the road ahead.
    "Contact." Slade stood in the center of the road waiting for them, humming Creedence Clearwater Revival's 'Run through the Jungle' under his breath. His rifle was held in his hands, and he'd taken his mask off. This time, he didn't bother to fight, to build up to it. This time, he was going to settle things. He braced the stock solidly against his shoulder, keeping his arms loose, narrowed his eye as he took careful aim, then put his finger on the trigger. It was a big, powerful rifle that dealt with customized amunition. As has been mentioned, the bullets it was currently loaded with were worth a hundred thousand dollars each, and with a fire rate of 25 every second, It cost fifteen million dollars to fire it for six seconds. But he only needed to fire one.
    Range accurate to a mile. No wind or other factors that mattered. He was a distant target, but a clear one, no cover or mitigating factors. No need to account for acceleration, no wind to speak of, things couldn't be better. His finger tightened on the trigger but he didn't pull it yet, double-checking all the motions in one micro-second, then he fired. The gun spat fire, and he felt the world come crashing back, but his eyesight and concentration were uncanny. In the space between the tic of a second his eye following the bullet as it sped across the distance to his target, traveling more then a kilometer a second and outracing it's own sonic boom. Wolverine's back was turned, but he had no compunction killing a fleeing enemy. He watched as Wolverine spasmed as the bulled hammered into his body, the bike wavering, wobbling alarmingly then skidding as he lost control and crashing into a tree. Black Cat leapt clear. Wolverine did not. He slumped to the ground, pinned under the twisted remains of his bike.
    "Game to Deathstroke." Slade said, and got back in his jeep.
    Nadir We,
    Youth Born,
    Blood Letters,
    Axe Weilders,
    Victors Still.

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