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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Powers and the City [IC2]

    The sun rose on a new day, today, in the streets of Skyline City. The clouds were in the air and it might rain on the outskirts. Men of power came here, be that power wealth, magic, might, or what have you. This is Skyline City, and these are some of those men
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, human shields offering free cover.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Flashbulbs were snapping off, blinding. Sweating. Heartbeat up. Mouth dry. My opponent, calm, blank faced, where is his face? The board's a mess. And he moves his pawn . . . sideways? Someone's laughing . . . .

    He struggled toward consciousness as she said Wake up, Steven. It's eight in the morning. Wake up.

    "I'm up. I'm up." He looked around bleary-eyed. "I had that dream again."

    Oh? She sounded concerned.

    "Yeah. I'm playing chess, but I don't know the rules. Everything's wrong."

    I'm sorry. Your medicine is on the table.

    "Thanks." He fumbled for the two white pills, tossed them in his mouth, and dry-swallowed the bitterness. Steven Dole lay back in his bed, waiting for the amphetamine rush. "What's on the schedule, Continuity?"

    She spoke again from the small speaker next to the bed. "10 A.M. Meeting with General Connors of DARPA, demonstration of the hush suit. Noon, lunch with Senator Sardin. 3 p.m., teleconference with Microsoft. 7 p.m., celebrity chess matches for autism. The mayor will be there."

    "Thanks, Connie," Dole said as he stretched and got out of bed. Windows on three sides of the bedroom showed Skyline from eighty floors up. White clouds, almost close enough to touch. Rain on the horizon. Eighty floors down, humanity scrabbling for life. He poured some coffee.

    "How am I doing today, Continuity?" A sip of the strong brew.

    All vital signs within normal parameters. Your stocks in the Hong Kong market did very well over the night. Estimated total value, sixteen billion, two hundred million. Liquid assets, five billion, eight hundred million.

    "Up a bit indeed, Connie. OK, let's see the sights." The southward window polarized black, and a hundred feeds from a hundred cameras flickered to life. Security cameras, red light cameras, every camera he could tap into. Checkmate stepped back and took it in.

    "Report, camera 82, mugging, 3:42 in the morning. Report, camera 713, hit and run accident, 5:21 in the morning." Continuity started to send out anonymous reports to the authorities. "Report, attempted pickpocketing, wait, freeze 231 and expand."

    A frame enlarged to take in the whole window. A kid, trying to steal from a woman, and there, in the alley. "Transmute. Interesting. Note Transmute's location and triangulate with other known appearances. Roll back - did we get his real face?"

    I'm afraid not. Checkmate shrugged. "No matter. We'll just keep watching." The world flicked by on the windows.
    Last edited by Voshkod; 2008-01-24 at 09:17 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    On another of Checkmate's cameras, a scruffy-looking man sat on an overturned trashcan in the back of a McDonald's, tearing into a Big Mac. The man wore a London Fog that had seen better days. His face was concealed by a wide-brimmed hat that matched his coat, but if the camera focused in they'd be able to catch coarse blond stubble flecked here and there with bits of gray. His hands were covered in scars, including what almost looked like four side-by-side bite marks on his left, and black leather gloves hung lazily from one of his outer coat pockets. He finished up the burger and wiped his mouth with the wrapper before tossing it behind him. Then, he got up, put his gloves carefully back on, and took a knife from his coat pocket, and began singing quietly under his breath.

    "The dog won't bite if you beat 'em with a bone, she's so shy when she's talking on the phone..."

    He slid his knife-carrying hand into a pocket, and began walking down the sidewalk.

    "The ground rises up and starts to groan...I'm rollin' over to the lowside of the road..."
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-24 at 04:31 PM.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Escher slipped out of the back of the McDonald's and started to follow the man. He felt apprehensive about the bum he had served a Big Mac. The bum looked like a stray dog who had gotten into too many fights. The kind of dog who had lived through too many fights. He looked intelligent and sharp with no scent of the devil's drink, his scarred hands looked like he had learned how to use a knife the quick and bloody way, and the black gloves draping out of the coat pockets boded no end of trouble.

    Escher's face seemed to turn inside out leaving a blank mirror finish, he shoved a hand into his pocket. Pulling out a Snickers he fell back and watched the hobo croon what sounded like a disturbing lullaby.

    "I'm only following him for half an hour, and then I'm going home. No, I am not going to spend all night following somebody again. I don't care what you think. I know I'm you. Well... I don't care what I think then."
    Last edited by Podger; 2008-01-24 at 05:54 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "Freeze 42!" Dole stepped forward as a security camera feed from behind a Burger King filled the window. "Play back, Connie, quarter speed."

    He watched as the bum put knives back in his pocket, in slow-motion reverse. "Connie, get that face, cross-index with local and national police databases. That guy knows how to use knives, and he looks like he has used them. Run forward."

    Yes, Steven. Continuity began to process as the feed continued. The bum walked off image, and then a new person, hesitating, taking out a candy bar, following the bum.

    "Interesting. Watch for both of those two, Continuity. Signs and portents, Connie. Something's up. People are gathering. Not sure why. Let's see the news."

    Headlines scrolled. Spectacular Six retiring. No, they can take care of themselves. The Pale breaks out. That's worth watching. Tribunes in town. God, I hate those guys. Alien pod? Might be worth checking out . . . .

    "Connie, pull up everything you have on that extraterrestrial incident. Might be worth going out there personally. Nothing like new tech."

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Continuity brings up a handful of files. It appears to have been a deliberate landing, using some kind of bio-mechanical technology. The ET was a trinary creature, with what is probably an indo-exoskeleton as well, and has multi faceted eyes. It has deliberately avoided contact with any humans. The SLEA has designated the site as secured and members of the press are beginning to gravitate there.
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, human shields offering free cover.

  7. - Top - End - #7
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    The "bum" continued walking until he could duck into an alley. He'd spent too long of a time in prison to not know when someone was following him. He drew the knife out from his pocket, stuck his other hand into his coat, and grasped a pistol hidden in one of the inner pockets. Pressing himself against the wall, he waited for Escher to follow so he could grab him and put that knife up against his throat. Who knows, maybe this person following him had some answers...
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  8. - Top - End - #8
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    The bum stopped singing. Escher crooked an ear, for a second his eardrums became a fragile crystal structure, sensitive enough to hear the music of the spheres. Static, a distant siren, a weird localized high pitch thrum, dogs baying. and a slow, steady intake of air. The mark had stopped.

    Escher fell upward, up to the top of a building. Escher's eyes had already shifted to the gray light of morning, he saw the glint of a knife, still not enough for an arrest. He took out his cellphone and a card with a picture of chess piece on it, flipped it over and dialed the number.

    "Continuity? Hello, I need some information. Why should you give it to me? I just found one of your cameras. If you don't tell me what I want to know I will walk over there and rip its entrails out. Fine, tell Checkmate that I owe him one. I just finished at Mickey Dee's and am now two blocks west. Tell me everything you know about the man I'm following. Thanks Continuity, I'll talk to him now."
    Last edited by Podger; 2008-01-24 at 09:39 PM.

  9. - Top - End - #9
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    SLEA. Well, he'd considered the superhero thing before....if you're gonna sample the life of a vigilante, you might as well do it legally.

    Tin popped a pill and closed his eyes - a brief spike in that incessant alarm pounding through his head. Silence. What he wouldn't give for some silence. The regular humans, they complained about noise regularly. The sound of the city; the cars, the crowds, the electric advertisements flashing in the square. They didn't know how silent their world really was. Of course, thought Tin with malice, I could always change their perspective on things. But, no, you can't do that if you're a prospective member of the SLEA. It was a wonder there weren't more supers running through the streets of the city, eye lasers blazing. Tin wasn't one of those; he had control.

    The mutant pushed the door to the agency open and looked about. Fancy lobby. Marble, gold, polished steel - one would certainly be suspicious of where the SLEA got all their money. Certainly the army of hypnotic mutants and ATM sweettalking techno-Frankensteins in their employ had nothing to do with it. Rolling his eyes, Tin proceeded to the largest desk in the room, at which was seated - of course - a bespectacled young receptionist. He placed his hands on the corner of the desk and smiled his most winning smile across at the young lady.

    "Hi. I'm looking to join the SLEA."

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Checkmate scanned the files. "Very interesting. . . ."

    Steven. I have Escher on the line. He seems to be following the subject in camera 42, and is requesting information.

    "Put him on, Connie. . . . Escher. Checkmate here. Your quarry has two knives, and has used them in the past. Many scars. Definitely dangerous. And don't gut those cameras; I don't own them, they're city property. Good luck, call me if you need anything else. If you're interested, I may be going bug hunting later today. Some aliens are in town."

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    Eddie gritted his teeth and suppressed a growl. Obviously, he had been outmaneuvered, and the person who was tailing him had made a disappearance when he went into that alleyway.

    "Damn it," he thought, "I should've just jumped him while we were walking. It's not like there's any people around here..."

    He took out a cigarette and a matchbook from one of his pockets and stuck it in his mouth, then struck a match and lit his cigarette. Puffing to diffuse his frustration, he walked out out of the alley and back onto the sidewalk, looking around for the person--or people--following him out of the corner of his eye.
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-24 at 08:01 PM.
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    "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

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  12. - Top - End - #12
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    "Oh come on, you can do better than that, Checkmate. He took off his hat in McDonald's. Check the footage there. This guy gives me the willies. Check the military database, prison records, known mafia hit men, and the book of the month club, my next month's rent says that he is somewhere in that list.

    "Oh, and can you follow him with your peeping toms? He already spotted me once."

    "Thanks, if you want to meet E.Ts, well I said I owe you a favor. G'bye."
    He hung up and watched as the bum strolled away.

    Escher waited another ten minutes until the man with scarred hands was just a distant memory for the street.

    "I'm going to bed now. No, shut up. I mean it. Thank you." Escher clambered down the building and walked away.
    Last edited by Podger; 2008-01-25 at 10:16 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "Don't worry, Escher. Connie's got his full facial profile now. He shows up anywhere, our cameras will have him. And yeah, there's something wrong with that guy. I'm running all the databases, but that's a lot of ones and zeros. We'll have something on him. And you can keep your next month's rent, either way."

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    (Okay, does Escher work night shift? Because Checkmate appears to have just woken up, Escher is going to bed. It was my general understanding that this was nine-tenish in the morning. I'm willing to alter that to player's choice but there are two of you. And I am confused. I don't really think SLEA would be that fancy either. It'd be an office building. A nice office building maybe with marble floors, clean white walls, a nice round receptionist desk with three receptionists. But I doubt the government would siphon off gold. Unless Transmuter "donated" it. But that would damage world economy if done too much. So I doubt it would be done.)

    The receptionist looks up and smiles happily, "Alright, if you'll fill out this form for us please," she takes a form out of the desk, its about as thick as you fist and weighs like eight pounds. It roughly comes to an outline of all the rules that they want you to follow, basically police rules, plus enhanced discretionary power. Then there are two pages of questions about your powers, and then there's two pages on why you want to join, and then there's a waiver for a mandatory mind scan.
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, human shields offering free cover.

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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    ((Alright, are we doing a time skip or something? Just so I can now how to post. Having a lot of fun so far, by the way.

    EDIT: Never mind, just re-read some stuff.))

    As Checkmate looked for info on him and Escher got some shut-up, Eddie was traveling around the town, looking for some hint on Father Autumn's whereabouts. No luck, of course. He'd probably gone underground by now, and no random hood or hobo in Skyline was going to know anything about him. Still, the beatings served some purpose. More than any cigarette or bottle of beer could, violence took the edge off.

    That guy tailing him, though...it made Eddie uneasy. He wandered into a coffee shop to get a quick cup. He got the feeling he'd need all the energy he could if he was right about this ill omen.
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-24 at 10:55 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    (Its morning. Not really a time skip, as it was already morning.)
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Tin looked down at the book in front of him, and back up at the receptionist. "You can lift this thing? I know what your power must be." He grinned and returned to his form. Name, age, height, weight, standard stuff...."mandatory mind scan"? Well, that's fine, he had nothing to hide. Wonder if it works any differently for telepaths. I might be able to cheat on it.... But no, there'd be no reason to do that, other than to show off. He should really get thoughts like those out of his head, or else they'd actually think he was up to something "Well," he said, "give me just an hour or two with these and I'll get right back to you."

  18. - Top - End - #18
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    Continuity has collected as much information on the face as possible. The most important part being that he, Eddie Balthazar, was declared dead in prison a few months ago.

    Background shows Eddie was married with one child before a conviction for triple murder in Los Angeles. The wife, Emma, works at Checkmate's company branch in Los Angeles, where she is married to a one Nathaniel Anderson a reporter at a small local newspaper. Father Autumn, the man that Eddie claimed killed the three people, disappeared nearly nine years ago. William Balthazar doesn't appear to have manifested any powers yet, though he does have numerous delinquency charges.
    Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer, human shields offering free cover.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    "Interesting. Very interesting. Connie, flash a copy of all that to Escher. Track this guy on the cameras, I want to know where he goes to ground. Innocent or guilty, he looks crazy. OK, after that, tell the maid to put out my best conservative suit for meeting with the General, and push lunch with the Senator back to one. Finally, set up a trust with an anonymous benefactor for each member of the Spectacular Six. Minimum annual of $250,000 each for the remainder of their lives . . . none of them are immortal, I hope. Anyway, can't let them live on a government pension." He finished his coffee. "Got all that?"

    You know I do, Steven, she replied.

    "Yeah, I know. Last thing, e-mail to Cassie, quote, 'Will you be at the tournament tonight? It's been too long. You know I'm sorry. I'm sorry.'" He sighed. "Where is she, anyway?"

    San Francisco. She does not have tickets to Skyline.

    "Damn. Send her some. First class the whole way."
    Last edited by Voshkod; 2008-01-25 at 08:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Escher's alarm clang at two in the afternoon. Blearily he got out of bed and stumbled into the shower. Feeling marginally awake he cleaned out the fridge and wandered over to his computer. He had bought it 8 years ago, it was top of the line then; he would have to pay to get rid of it now. Ever since Escher found out that people like Checkmate existed he had learned to appreciate an analog lifestyle.

    He looked through the file Checkmate sent and muttered to himself. Finally he pulled out his phone and called.

    "Continuity? Tell Checkmate, no, I don't really want to speak to him now, Look, my main concern is how he got out of prison. Can you look into possible mob connections, corrupt officials, possible potential powers? I'm going to head him off. If you could have a SWAT Team standing by?"
    Last edited by Podger; 2008-01-26 at 06:38 PM.

  21. - Top - End - #21
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Yeah, I don't really have to roleplay through the whole SLEA induction process, do I? I should've just started my character off as part of the agency to begin with. *hits self*

  22. - Top - End - #22
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Eddie had decided what he wanted to do with this tail. Obviously, he was dealing with someone good (he didn't even hear the guy walking away from his alleyway trap). It was likely that the person had stopped tailing him, and was now waiting for Eddie to make an appearance somewhere so he'd know where to look.

    Eddie was never the one to hide away for long. He'd make himself seen, and then when the problem came, he'd handle it. With a pair of brass knuckles.

    He'd wandered into a convenience store about an hour ago, looked up at the security camera, took off his hat so his face was clear and mouthed, "I'm waiting for you." Then, he plunked himself down in front of the store, and started waiting.
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-26 at 05:58 PM.
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  23. - Top - End - #23
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Escher's face twists, his face becoming a reflective mask as he walks toward Eddie. Smiling Escher finishes his cheeseburger, wipes his hands on his pants, and opens his hands; palms toward the mark he stops about 10 feet away.

    "Would you like to talk? Or we could just punch each other until someone falls asleep, your decision."
    Last edited by Podger; 2008-01-26 at 09:59 PM.

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    (Oh no, sorry. Yeah, the hour jump is totally cool.)
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    The Senator was jabbering on about defense contracts and what he could do for AIA, and Steven was getting bored with that. His glasses, on the other hand, showed a feed from a security camera in a 7/11 and an upcoming confrontation between Escher and the man with the knives. This ought to be good.

    ". . . with your kind support, of course," the Senator said, smiling broadly, "we can keep up funding for this hush suit."

    Dole blinked. "Yes, of course. Well, the General was very impressed with it. He liked the sound dampeners, wanted to know if we could equip aircraft and helicopters with it. And, by the way, the senior executives of AIA have pooled a nice half million for your reelection."

    The Senator's grin grew, and Checkmate smiled back, as the drama at the 7/11 played out between them.

  26. - Top - End - #26
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    Eddie got up and smiled like a crocodile at Escher. "I'm willing to discuss. Especially since I'm sure as hell not going to prison, and beating on some hero is very likely to send me there. Though I would love to cave in that mirrored face of yours. Anyway...who are you and what do you want from me?"
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-26 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Death to Cliche
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  27. - Top - End - #27
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    "I'm Escher, and right now? I want answers. You don't make sense, Eddie. You have a happy marriage and then go and randomly kill three people? You escape from prison and you come straight to Skyline? And according to the prison you're dead.

    "I haven't been in this business long but I know when something is wrong, this is your one chance to explain."


    Escher took one step backward keeping the exact distance between them. The public had seen his mask and vacated the area. Gawkers stood across the street, one man seemed to be running an impromptu bookie operation.
    Last edited by Podger; 2008-01-26 at 09:51 PM.

  28. - Top - End - #28
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    "I didn't kill anyone, OK? I'm assuming you read up on my criminal record. Did you read about my claims in the courtroom? Did you read up on Father Autumn? He was a hero like you. He disappeared 9 years ago, and I don't want to think about how many people he's killed since then. The ones I supposedly killed were his first. He wrote some weird manifesto--essentially, he wants to kill every human being alive except for one man and one woman, whom he called his Adam and his Eve, and reset the world. Maybe you and whoever you're working with would like to stop wasting your time stalking me and throw me a ****ing bone instead."
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-26 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Just in case...
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    The electronic marquee for displaying current lottery winnings suddenly flips over to scrolling letters.

    LET'S ALL STAY CALM AND MEET SOMEWHERE A LITTLE MORE DISCREET? ESCHER, CALL ME.

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    Default Re: Powers and the City [IC2]

    Eddie whirled around to see the "talking" marquee and gave a laugh that was more sarcastic, fearful, and plan weirded-out than mirthful.

    "Fantastic. You have Big Brother on your side."
    Last edited by MisterSaturnine; 2008-01-26 at 10:42 PM. Reason: A marquee and a Marquis are entirely different things.
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    "Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."

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